A DAY OF SNOW & BLOWDOWNS
PCT DAY 4: Thursday June 29th , 2017
Mile 1775.3 – Mile 1796.8
21.5 miles (34.4 km)
The stars are washed out of the sky by 4.30am and 15 minutes later the birds are awake and soon the mosquitos. This must be what is referred to astronomical sunrise. It is the best time of day it is so quite and still with just the sound of the few early songbirds. We were joined at the campsite late yesterday by a couple who turned back after encountering snow 30 miles south of Mazama Village. They did not feel comfortable hiking while not being able to see the trail.
I think we may have opened up our Oregon gift a little early. It sounded like obstacle hiking was up ahead of us today. We were packed and left camp by 6am and within 3 miles started to encounter snow drifts and fallen trees. And it was like this for the next 7 miles to Christie Spring (Mile 1782.4).
After the spring the mosquitos were horrendous, hovering and opportunistic, landing on any part of the body not covered by repellant. It was hot and with the number of fallen tree detours our pace slowed. I was struggling with heel pain and reflecting on my preparation for this hike. I really should have done some hiking with a fully loaded pack. Hammer just took it in his stride but ended up destroying his 2 day old Darn Tough socks before lunchtime. Lucky they have a lifetime warranty.
We found a lovely shaded spot with a slight breeze to stop and recharge. It was such a nice spot we decided to take a longer break and have an early lunch. Always the highlight of our day and today was no different.
After lunch we were refreshed and the hiking seemed easier as we encountered fewer blowdowns. This easy hiking did not last as the snowdrifts started to increase and became quite precarious at times. As we approached Seven Lake trail junction (mile 1792) the trail was completely under snow and it continued like that for longer and longer sections till we called it a day just below Devils Peak . Not the easiest hiking but the views especially of Mt McLaughlin and Mt Shasta peaks were spectacular. We did not see another hiker all day.