Day 130: (23 miles)
mike 1843.5 – 1866.5
Today was all about managing our water. We thought when we were done with the desert, we were done with worrying and planning for long stretches without water. We were also under the impression that Oregon was flush with water, and it may be, but not where were at. Luckily, there were some unexpected and very welcome water caches today, oddly enough by people we either know or had met on the trail. Thank you Mike and Delaney, as well as Dennis and Linda Phelan.
The trail tread was soft and reminded us of the well used and sandy trail into Tuolumne Meadows. The trail was not without our daily dose of rocky terrain, but for the most part it was easy on our feet.
The trail wove through a corridor of slim trees as far as the eye could see, climbed up toward Mt. Thielsen, and down of course to an icy brisk flowing creek. We were tempted not to filter as we could see it originated from the glacial melt from the mountain, but thought better of it being that one bout with Giardia is one too many.
The water was so icy cold neither of us could keep our tired feet submerged more than two minutes in the creek before our joints began to ache from the cold. Once rested and watered up we pushed to “summit” the highest elevation point on the PCT for Oregon and Washington. The trek to this point was rather refreshing as the groves of trees opened up into moderately sized meadows with sparse tufts of green grass.
Where the PCT passed through these meadows, barren poles that appeared to be wilting were erected as cairns to mark the well worn path. Reaching the highest point on the PCT for Oregon and Washington was anticlimactic, as I think we were expecting a Sierra mountains “oooh aaah” moment. Oregon is to California, as Canada is to the US…too polite and understated.
We took our obligatory photos and began our quest for a flat place to set up for the night. We located one just before the downhill was to begin, and on a spot with tall trees so as to block the ever glowing brighter moon.