Wednesday 6th July
Start: Crescent Lake campground
End: Odell Lake Resort, off OST mile 20.6
Our mission today was to get a bed and a shower. By the power of magic PCT forces we have succeeded!
Starting out from Crescent Lake it was even too cold for the mozzies when we first exited the tent. They soon woke up though. We began our hike rounding the northern part of the lake, skirting around the base of Diamond Peak. There was a brief mile accidental ‘detour’ trying to reconnect to the Oregon Skyline Trail, but we are going to blame the mozzies for that one!
The early part of the trail is popular for horseback riders, and runs alongside Whitefish Creek. The forest here felt dark and damp. We bumped into a team of Youth Corps swinging axes working to clear the trail. Unfortunately for us (for the third time) the crew was just starting and heading south as we were hiking north, so they didn’t help us much! Credit to them for being out here doing this hard labour – as it is a wilderness zone they are not allowed to use chainsaws! If there was a group of youths in London with the same axes and knives things would not be in the same charitable spirit!
The tree blow downs were fairly frequent, but not quite as bad as in Sky Lakes Wilderness last week. We met a section hiker coming south who had been told to look out for us by Dan, whom she had met close to Shelter Cove last night. Word travels fast around here – the old-school way! There is absolutely no phone signal.
Passing by Diamond View Lake we admired the wonderfully situated campground spots, but was glad we didn’t reach it last night due to the level of bug treachery! Conrad vowed that if they don’t get better soon they will ruin the whole hike and make him want out. Fingers crossed they all just die a sudden unexplained death.
The forest towards the later section became full of trees shrouded in wizards beard (or is it old mans beard?). It gives the place an almost mystical/ eerie quality. As we approached our destination, Trapper Creek was roaring beneath us full of clear water. All I could think was ‘how typical’! After days of rationing water, and then carrying 2 litres out of the campsite we have endless refill opportunities all day!
Crossing a set of railroad tracks (no idea where they go?), we arrived in the lakeside Shelter Cove Resort. First impressions were to admire the endless huge RVs, then note the handful of cute wooden cabins that dotted the edge of Odell Lake. We headed for the store to check out first and foremost the food options. They were disappointing. We got a cold drink, crisps, collected our second resupply box, then sat outside in the PCT hiker section to review our options. The Cove was fully booked, so to stay there we had to camp, and eat just snack food. The closest town we were told sits 30 miles away. There was a resort on the other end of the lake, but that would mean a 5 mile walk, and we were done walking for today!
Just as we were pondering what to do, a pickup truck pulled up with the branding of ‘Odell Lake Resort’. The doors opened and out stepped Dan and Habit carrying food containers! I literally ran over to it and asked the driver for a ride back there. We bundled in, crossing paths with the guys who are camping tonight. The driver John, is the owner of the resort on the southern end of the lake (7 miles away). He proudly told us that it is the oldest resort in Oregon. Once we ascertained that it had hot showers, beds and hot food we couldn’t have been happier.
We will take a zero day here tomorrow to recover and hopefully sit out some of the bad weather expected. Yes – we are finally due some rain! Just when we thought we had been challenged enough! It is expected to last right through the weekend, so we should sit back and enjoy tomorrow as we will most likely be miserably sodden come Friday!