Tuesday, August 8, 2017
PCT 14 - From Green to Black - Callahan's to Santiam Pass - 283 PCT miles
Finally I could upload my photos, so this is a catch-up post for over two weeks of hiking.
Southern Oregon is aptly called the Green Tunnel, as the trail winds through mile after mile of forest. The scenery changes little from one mile to the next and even from one day to the next. Thank goodness for audiobooks! As I walked through the forest, I also worked my way through the last few books of the Harry Potter series, which was a fantastic treat. Although the scenery changed little inside the Green Tunnel, the forests and lakes have a calming beauty, and walking that trail is meditative and certainly worth every step of the journey.
As I worked my way north, the trail goes through a large area of volcanic activity, including Crater Lake, the Three Sisters Wilderness, and the Obsidian Limited Entry area. As you will see from the photos, the trail passes through beautiful mountain valleys, past small mirror-smooth lakes, and also through unbelievably desolate lava fields. A forest fire nearby Crater Lake threw up a smoke plume and made everything hazy in that section. A few days after I passed through that area, the trail near Crater Lake was closed due to the fire.
My hiking pace continues at 20 to 24 miles on an average day, with a penalty of 6 to 10 miles when I make a town stop to resupply. At this point in the trail, probably 80+% of the hikers are in their 20's and 30's, with hikers over 50 representing only about 10%. The younger hikers are mostly hiking longer miles each day, but also taking longer town stops, so I've still been meeting a lot of the same hikers day by day.
My knees continue to bother me from time to time, and I've felt that a few days off would help. On August 7th one of my friends picked me up at Santiam Pass, and I am currently spending a few days in Portland before getting back on the trail. While most of my gear is holding up, my clothes, boots, and backpack need to be replaced while I'm in town.
The trail north of Santiam Pass is closed due to a forest fire, so I have to skip ahead to continue my hike. I'll let you know where I got back on trail in my next post.
Here is a link to the photos for this section: https://goo.gl/photos/oXS4fC7GxUsCsTir9