Wednesday 22nd June
Start: Hyatt Lake Resort, off mile 1740.2
End: Klum Landing camp, off mile 1748
In the PCT world, today was what is known as a ‘nero’ – near zero miles. The reason for this was two-fold. Firstly we thought we would stop at a proper campground at the next lake to enjoy a shower. More importantly we had pack issues, having just filled them with a 5-day food supply. Food is heavy! Even dehydrated rubbish. I blame the trail mix (contentious inside-issue). Having woken in the comfort of a cabin we had a hot breakfast and borrowed some scales to review the damage….
My pack was 30lbs. This did not include water. After I made a circus of hoisting it onto my back for the first time I wanted to cry. How could I possibly carry this to Canada?
We plodded along the lake slowly, reaching the campground a mile away in what felt like an eternity! There we found Micha, Brandon and Maya situated in a nice little spot with what looked like a very comprehensive camp set up – it must help carrying 70lbs! They are staying put for another day to rest and enjoy the lake. I felt jealous as we trudged on.
The trail was very quiet today, we didn’t see a single person. We did disturb some deer at various points, but otherwise our world was silent. The tranquility try was only broken by a mid-trail ‘discussion’ between us on pack weight. I will not go into details, but it was resolved. Due to the discomfort of the bag on my shoulders and feet I probably didn’t enjoy the trail as I should have. I did think towards the end of the day that it would have made for a really great day hike – minus the pack. I was consumed in my agony. Why am I so weak? I have to tell myself to take this day by day and hope that it starts to feel easier soon.
We reached Klum Landing, a state campground at an early time of 4pm. This was welcomed as it gave us time to unwind. It was strange though, as not a single other campsite was occupied. We could hear a few boats out on the lake, but otherwise nothing. It became quite eerie after dark when we were still alone – you don’t expect that in such a place.
Just before dark we had met just one person. A fellow hiker who had driven around from the other side of the lake with her dog Oscar. I wanted to adopt Oscar. He could be our trail companion and mascot. His owner had been up hiking near Fish Lake where we are due in 2 days and warned of mosquitos and snow in the Sky Lakes Wilderness – basically the stretch to Crater Lake. This is not the first warning we have had saying similar. Back at Hyatt Lake we had been told the same, but reports are sketchy. A Crater Lake Ranger told us they have over 200 trees down in a 4-mile stretch, but couldn’t elaborate on if the trail is still passable. They haven’t seen any thru-hikers yet, so remains to be seen. This may be an issue. We will see once at Fish Lake.
The day ended better than it started with a campfire, s’mores, and a very starry sky. It was really windy by the lake though and I eventually fell asleep to the pounding on the tent.
We are under no disillusion that so far we have been very fortunate. For a start it hasn’t rained! Secondly, we have just enjoyed the last 2 nights with access to a shower and somewhere to sit. Much to my surprise I actually think that having a picnic table is even more useful than a shower as cooking and eating on the ground sucks. This is a very rare amount of amenities so close together on the PCT, so things are set to get much tougher.