Day 125: (19.2 miles)
mile 1755 – 1774.2
We left camp without our friends, Mike and Delaney. Mike saw us off while Delaney continued to slumber. There will be a next time we tell Mike. For what ever reason we felt sluggish this morning and the easy trail climb had us both huffing and puffing. The air was full of the smell of forest fire and the sky appeared to be overcast. We knew, however, this was smoke. The sun was bright orange and cast eerie dayglo orange shadows on the ground.
Throughout the day we could hear the fire crew air support flying overhead. We have been checking the internet when possible for trail closures and know that 40 miles of trail behind us is closed. Fires up ahead in Oregon and Washington have us concerned. Fortunately, our friend, Tortuga, is a recently retired National Forest Service ranger. He has assured us there will be plenty of notification, so we march on.
Mid afternoon we reach the Brown Ski Shelter where a hand pump is used to retrieve water. A bit rusty looking, but ice cold.
Upon exploring the cabin we discover a PCT registry, and best of all, a cooler with ice cold 7-Up. Trail Magic!! After a refreshing soda we are back on the trail with five miles to go before making camp for the night.
It appears that we also are 2/3 of the way done.
We traversed along a forest trail and emerge out into a lava field. Large black lava boulders surround the trail. Small red lava rock lines the trail tread. This is a new look for us, something we haven’t seen in over 1700 + miles. As we walked between the large rocks we could feel the day’s heat radiate on our legs. Lucky for us the evening temperature had begone to drop and the radiant heat was tolerable. Now to find a campsite in this rock quarry. Just before dark we find a nice flat spot between rocks and forest and camp.