FROM SNOW TO DESERT
PCT DAY 8: Monday July 3rd , 2017
Mile 1854.2 – Mile 1875.8 – 21.6 miles (34.5km)
Five miles after leaving our campsite the snow cover started breaking up and we were finally seeing clear bits of trail. It was slow going trying to stay on course. The mosquitos didn’t seem to mind the snow and swarmed around, particularly difficult to swipe away while trying to stay balanced on a tricky snowy slope. They seem to take turns divebombing into our faces. We stopped for a break at the first snow free campsite we’ve seen in over 11 miles. What a fantastic spot, there was a breeze keeping mosquitos numbers down, views of the Red Cone nearby and fabulous distant views of a valley below.
It was tempting to linger but we were running out of water and needed to get to Six Horse Spring the next available water in about 8 miles. The next stretch was extremely dry and hot. It seemed unreal, it was as dry and hot as some of our desert hiking days except we kept coming across small patches of snow. Concerned that we may run out of water before reaching the spring, we decided to get some snow to melt from the small remaining patches we came across.
Where the trail rose above the forest, we had fantastic views of Miller Lake and snow covered buttes. Always feel re-energised after a fabulous vista.
We reached the spring late afternoon, having run out of water some time back. The spring emptied into a beautifully clear small pond surrounded by masses of spring flowers. It seemed like a mirage. We were so thirsty it was temping to drink straight from the pond. But ghiardia may never be far away and we patiently filtered the water, drinking it as quickly as the filter could produce it. We drank litres of water each and donated half as much to the resident mosquitos, in blood.
With our thirst satisfied the rest of the days hiking seemed like a breeze. We stopped for the day at the junction with the Oregon Skyline Trail. Absolutely exhaused.