Day 30: Hiking with downtime

Tuesday 19th July

Start: Jude Lake Bushcamp, mile 2047

End: Bushcamp, mile 2062

Miles: 15.3

Finally we have found a stretch of trail that was relatively easy to hike.  Leaving misty Jude Lake behind us we enjoyed a pretty flat 5.5 miles to Lemiti Meadows. We arrived in under 2 hours!

Leaving Jude Lake behind

Whilst filtering water at the creek we met a guy camping nearby with his dog who warned us there had been a lot of animal activity last night.  Apparently because of the berries now abundant along the trail we are in bear territory!   Awesome.

Filtering again!

A few miles further on we passed through a short burn zone, but this one was different because somebody had gone to the trouble of logging the deadwood.  This meant no blow downs to tackle. There were a few tiny pine saplings beginning to poke out of the ground, showing regeneration was in progress.  At this point we started a fairly short climb up and around South and North Pinhead Buttes.

Blueberries or huckleberries?

Resting towards the top we met an energetic lady called Camelback, and her two Canadian hiking companions bringing up the rear.  In conversation it appears that she passed Dan (Throbbing Trill Hammer) , Vicky (Toaster), and Laurie (Smudge) on Sunday near Three Fingered Jack.  They must be so close behind us!  From that point it was a descent all the way into camp along a freshly maintained trail to Warm Springs River.  The trees nearby are much taller, (I think there maybe some Redwoods?), which created the feeling of dusk in the early afternoon.

We reached camp at the record early time of 2:45pm!  This was not intentional – we ideally would liked to have hiked on for a few extra miles, but have made the conscious decision not to dry camp wherever possible.   It is such a hassle to cook and wash without access to water, and we didn’t fancy hauling a load up the hill ahead.   Tomorrow we will start the approach to Mount Hood, so lots of climbing is ahead.   For tonight we will bathe our feet in the icy river and rest.

I forgot to mention that we saw the 3 Canadian hikers again around lunchtime, and I asked them about their tiny backpacks.   It turns out that they have help in this section driving their camping equipment ahead each day!  They therefore are carrying just water and some day snacks.  This is called ‘slack packing’, and I am very envious.  No wonder they moved so fast!  They did offer if we could shadow them to do the same for us up to Timberline Lodge.  This was obviously a great temptation, but we didn’t think that we could manage the 25 mile day it would have entailed to get to their pickup point by Timothy Lake.  If only we had some American relatives…

Conrad is very pleased with his self-assembled gravity filter

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