To be clean again!
Shelter Cove Resort, camped at RR tracks campsite near resort
PCT mile marker 1904.1, Miles hiked today: 12.3
It’s 3:53am, and I can’t fall back asleep. My body is all pumped up, ready to get out of the creepily empty campground where I feel like an intruder, or at risk because there aren’t people around but there could be (at least my fear is saying it’s easier to find me here than some random place in the woods). A firm resolution – don’t camp again at a place you feel weird about! I got a little sleep, but maybe 3-4 hours.
Now Obsessively planning the daily mileage in the next section to Sisters as I made arrangements for a ride pickup in lieu of hitching (my preference when solo) and so have a definitive date & time target to hit. Hiking against a schedule – something I don’t like to do, but if it saves me the worry about getting into town, I’ll deal. Most of the days are still right around 15 miles – my concern is being able to sustain that without a major break for 5 days in a row. Ironically I can take some of the pressure off by hiking out of Shelter Cove today — but that depends on how quickly I can get chores done and thus when I arrive. Hoping this adrenaline lasts all day and works for me by having me power up the climb this morning despite little sleep.
Ok, now it’s 7:15pm, and it’s so good to be clean! Both myself and clothing. I feel like a new hiker :). With the sound of the rushing creek (more like a river back home) nearby, I hope I sleep like a baby tonight. Goodness knows I’ll need my energy for this next section – the elevation changes each day are serious business! Thanks Oregon for easing me into long distance backpacking again with the relatively “easy” terrain the past 2 weeks.
This morning I got up and out of the creepy empty campground around 7am, and admired the alpenglow on the beautiful Crescent Lake and nearby mountains. It was too cold to pull the phone out for pictures, so you’ll just have to imagine. Speaking of cold, my was it chilly! It didn’t feel that cold overnight but maybe that’s just where I was camped. It was downright frigid until 9:30, when I realized 15 mins later that I was actually sweating and it was time to take off my rain jacket and hat. All of a sudden – bam! I went from looking for sunny spots to pause in during the climb, to shady spots to get cool. The climb itself was annoyingly sandy and dusty, and at my first break (before the warm up happened) all I did was empty out and bang the heck out of my shoes and drink some Gatorade – too cold to actually linger to eat anything. The feeling of sand accumulating in the individual toes of my toe socks is particularly grating by the way. Blister on right heel was about the same – I haven’t had one in so long I’m debating how best to proceed in treating it, where I had that down pat for years. I did try an alternate tying pattern for my shoes, which has helped with slippage in the past and did so again today.
Diamond View Lake, the main “attraction” of the hike today about halfway, was kinda a let down – the mountain view was pretty but the lake so-so. This is me being snobby and out of sorts that I didnt have the PCT views. The last several miles of the Oregon Skyline Trail alternate were great through a mossy pine forest and followed the creek down and down and down. Blowdowns made for a mini hiker jungle gym but only for a few miles. Frankly with the nice dirt and pine needle covered trail, and the rushing sound of the creek to divert me, I was pretty happy even with going up and over and to the side around the blowdowns – class 1 and 2 only ;).
I arrived at Shelter Cove around 2pm as expected, and gosh it must be a mental thing but the last mile of the day is always long and with aching feet, no matter how long or short the day is! I left around 5:45pm, too late (for me) to do several miles, so I’m camped literally across the train tracks from the resort, where it’s free. I almost stayed at the resort’s campground, but I spent essentially $10 on a travelers sewing kit and a box of bandaids and so the inner frugal said – walk the 0.1 miles for heavens sake! Yea, there’s a premium on some stuff in these backcountry resorts. I was running out of both thread from the copious repairs I’ve done the past 2 weeks, and bandaids as I’m actively using them — crack on my thumb, not wanting to let dirt in now I’m clean again; and who knows what my blisters may need in the next few days. I drained both of them after I showered, so hopefully they won’t get any worse. Anywho, the hiker box here got the remnants of my extravagant purchases!
No one else here in camp, though I saw a backpacker go by not long ago, so he may show up. At the very nice hiker area next to the store, I met an older gentleman using Shelter Cove as a base camp for doing short sections – he can’t carry a full pack because of back problems. It was nice to have some company while I did my chores and charged my external battery and phone. The showers here are a great set-up, even though it is $1.50 for 3 minutes. I’ve always been quick in the shower thankfully. Also nice laundry facilities, my clothes are squeaky clean! Very hiker friendly staff, though the car and cabin campers clearly thought I was a bit strange walking around with dripping wet hair and the silk long johns and long sleeved hiking shirt I’ve been greatly anticipating in this resupply box for at least the past week due to the very chilly mornings.
A train just went by – but no whistle thank heavens. Plus it was very short. I heard trains in the distance last night, since I was up all hours, but I don’t know if these are the same tracks. By the crow flies, I’m not as far as the 12 trail miles but I don’t have a bigger area map with me.
Tomorrow I will stagger up the mountain with my heavy food bag (over 5 days is ridiculous, what was I thinking??) and simply try to go as far as is reasonable. I have many camping options near water in this stretch, thank the trail!