PCT DAY 3: Wednesday June 28, 2017
Mile 1753.3 – Mile 1775.3
22 miles (35.2 km)
A northbound hiker walked by our tent just as we were falling asleep last night. The late evenings are beautiful to hike – its cooler and it stays light till 9pm. Good to see another northbounder.
Sunrise did not penetrate into the forest where we camped last night. We packed up and were on our way just after 6am. About a mile in we walked past a tent -probably from last nights hiker. The forest was cool and the trees were draped in abundant moss growth. Reminded me of bearded old men with long stragly beards. We hiked through the forest shade till we reached South Brown Mountain hut 3 hours later about 7.5 miles.
Quite a few fallen trees across the trail but not too difficult to get over or around. It was quite a pleasant morning, filtered sunlight and soft trail underfoot. Just before reaching the hut we passed 2 southbound German hikers and soon after we met Lance. He was hiking with a chainsaw out to do some trail maintenance. It’s people like Lance that make a hikers life easier.
Once we hit the lava fields, just before lunch, hiking for me got a whole lot more difficult. Hammer on the other hand loved it. I knew I had to find some positives if the hiking through miles of lava fields were going to be bearable. I looked around and was amazed that such lush forest could exist in such a forbidding landscape. These thoughts were swirling through my mind when up poped Mt McLoughlin – almost in front of us and off to the north we could the snowy peaks around Crater Lake. With views like these as a reward, hiking through lava fields is not so bad after all.
Soon after we met a couple of southbound Washingtonians who were section hiking the PCT. Leisure Suit and Little Feet were very friendly and seem to be having a great time. It’s a shame they were not northbound, it would gave been fun to hike with them.
Before decending to Highway 140 and the turn off to Fish Lake we stopped for lunch in a lovely shady spot. The hiker who passed by our tent last night came by and stopped for a chat. His trail name seems fitting ‘Don’t Panic’. He through-hiked the PCT in the notoriously difficult 2011 season and was very modest, as we later learnt he was a Triple Crown hiker (he hiked the big 3 distance trails in the US – the PCT, the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail).
From Highway 140 mosquito activity increased hundred fold. It made for a speedy ascent to our campsite at the top of the climb where we passed two other northbound hikers, Eddy and Burns from Michigan. They were such lovely young ladies. It has been great to see a few northbound hikers.