Monday 4th July
Start: Bushcamp, mile 1856
End: Bushcamp, mile 1872.2
Our day started with a slow navigation across re-frozen ice mounds. Being so high up, and climbing even further our tired legs were really feeling it. Thank goodness for GPS, as it kept getting fired up to guide us where the trail was buried.
When we reached the official Oregon PCT highest peak (not to be confused by the one on the Rim Trail alternative), we found that Dan had left us a helpful note in the dirt! Shame it wasn’t a more complex level of instructions as the next half a mile took us nearly an hour of zigzagging across snow fields to complete! It was so frustrating and zapped our energy further.
The snow gradually petered out as our elevation dropt below 6500 feet. We started making quicker progress. Unfortunately for Conrad the mosquitos were in their element, and at one point he just had enough. Queue a mini meltdown in the middle of the trail. We each have our low points and that was his. The next few miles were walked in silence, with him marching way too fast out in front for me to keep up.
Our intended destination for the day was Six Horse Spring – yes finally some water! The Spring is located 300 feet down a side trail, so Conrad very gallantly insisted on scoping it out as we didn’t want to trudge down there with our bags. I sat at the trailhead feeling very alone and singing out loud to warn off any bears! When he finally returned he was totally out of breath and said it was like a swamp – no camping there then! We decided to take the water he had brought back and carry on for a few more miles. Conrad wanted it noted that his daily mileage included an extra 0.8 mile of very steep incline!
There was no sign of Dan all day since he left camp before us. He has left us in his dust! We expect he is headed for the nearest road, and will reach Shelter Cove tomorrow a day ahead of us.
Tonight we are dry-camping for the third night in a row. This is hard. Rationing water to be able to cook, clean up a pan, clean oneself, and hike out in the morning is a massive pain. At the very least with flowing water at camp I could rinse my socks and pants out! In a nutshell I miss and appreciate the convenience of my normal life.