Saturday 9th July
Start: Charlton Lake, mile 1923
End: Desane Lake Bushcamp, mile 1939
Thankfully we made it through the night without being attacked! I slept really badly though, dreaming about our hanging food bags being stolen, and listening to the rain hammering down on the lightweight tent.
Yes, once again today sucked. We had all the bad parts from yesterday, such as the rain and mosquitos, but escalated. Our feet were soaked before we even left camp. They remained sodden all day. We took the muddy tent down in the pouring rain. The trail also stopped being maintained once we entered the Three Sisters Wilderness, so we had slippery tree trunks to climb over too!
Morale is very low. It is hard to appreciate our surroundings with hoods up and feet frozen. We are existing purely to count down miles. Traversing the Charlton Butte area was particularly depressing due to a destructive forest fire rendering it black and rather bare. A thick white mist followed us throughout the hike.
Just after the burn zone there was a parting in the clouds and the rain stopped. We crossed an unpaved forest road and found Ginger, the lady we had met at Theilsen Spring after her accident. She was waiting for her husband to collect her for a night in Bend. She has been on and off the trail hiking alone this past week. Even now I cannot believe it, but Conrad and I turned down her offer of a lift! Literally within 15 minutes of leaving her the rain started right back up. There were a few brief pockets of sun, but otherwise the whole day was dismal.
We never expected our hike to be completely rain-free. We did pack waterproofs. But we didn’t expect to be rained on virtually non-stop in such an English kind of way. Constant drizzle! I’m sure the lake region that we have been passing through these last two days would be really pretty if the sun were shining.
Our feet are now prunes. To top matters my trainer lace is being held into place with safety pins after ripping yesterday. We can’t wait to get to Elk Lake resort tomorrow for a hot meal, and to dry out our clothes. The weather is due to clear by Monday, so I just hope that we have dealt with the worst of it. We’re having a good time. We’re having a good time…!