FROM LAKE TO LAKE
PCT DAY 12: Friday July 7, 2017
Mile 1922.6 – Mile 1943.9
21.3 miles (34km)
We fell asleep just after 6pm last night and were awake 11 hours later, just in time for the sunrise. The sunrise over the lake was beautiful. It was very still, the surface of the lake was glassy and the mosquitoes were hovering. We broke camp as quick as possible and got going before being eaten alive.
The next five miles were absolutely delightful, even though we were hiking through an old burnt section of forest. There was a breeze blowing, there were beautiful spring flowers and we started getting distant views of the snow covered peaks of the Sisters. There is something strangely sad and beautiful at the same time about the skeletons of the forest still standing majestically on the skyline. Hiking felt easy.
Six miles after leaving Charlton Lake we entered the Three Sisters Wilderness and were back in the green forest. The sound of marmots whistling was accompanying us through the forest. We passed a hunter going in the opposite direction, wearing camouflage gear and a fully scoped rifle slung over his shoulder. He was out for a training hike. He made a change from the normal hiker we would expect to encounter and was certainly a strange sight to our eyes.
We passed several small lakes or ponds before stopping for water at Brahm Lake. Lots of beautiful spring flowers lined the lake shore. From here we started to encounter snow patches which were fairly broken up so we could still see sections of trail.
Around Jezebel Lake (mile 1932), we had about a mile of snow through which we had to navigate. Sections of the lake were still frozen despite the warm temperature. Once we were off the snow past the lake, it was great to see so much new spring growth. The under story vegetation was just beginning to burst into bud. The snow must have receded here only recently.
The afternoon went by slowly as it sometimes does. It was particularly tough today as it was hot, we were in open forest with little shelter from the sun and no particular view except for lots and lots of lakes. A bright spark in our afternoon was the increasing patches of bear grass lining the side of the trail. They look like lanterns all lit up, I couldn’t stop myself from taking pictures of them.
We passed a day hiker with his dog going south to Cliff Lake. He’s been visiting this area for 38 years and was very knowledgeable about the local trail history. He welcomed us to Oregon and was on his way. By 5.30pm we reached Island Lake and called it a day. Another campsite by a lake, water views and a nice breeze – life is good.