Day 131 8-3-07 Tarp Tent 5275′
Minnie Scott Spring – Just past Santiam Lake Trail
26.3 (2.6) miles; 2008.4 (72.46) total miles; 3875.1 trip miles
Days camped alone 17
Critter Tour General Category
Deer count is 117
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 23
Pika count is 7
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Badger count is 1
!!!The Deer came out late and put five bucks into the game, then a doe and baby!!!
Even though I set my alarm a half hour later, I still got up a half hour after it went off. I was hiking by 6:24 AM, no record but earlier than of late.
The terrain started right where it left off last night, beautiful! I skirted another lava flow and then crossed into it before finally leaving it, so I thought. I reached South Matthieu Lake where I was treated to some trail magic in the form of a Nestle Crunch bar. Thanks Ian! As I rounded the lake, I saw someone doing dishes at the edge. It kind of looked like a hiker I knew so I went to investigate. As I headed over to their camp, I ran into a llama. She turned out to be an Amazon. I guess a type of llama. She was one of three. It wasn’t anyone I knew but two gentlemen and about 5 boys. They were from Coos Bay on the coast. I stayed and watched them load two of the llamas up. It was neat. (A deer just hopped by my tent. I could hear it.) I left the llamas and descended in the cover of trees to Lava Camp. I took a small detour to a trail angels campsite that had a sign up at the trail head junction. She was not there but I was able to get water, an apple, soda and some pretzels. As I went through her small hiker box, I saw the newest book in the “Dune” series. I had started re-reading all the books from the very beginning before I left; but only got to the original Dune. My plan was to refresh my memory before buying this new one. I picked it up and then put it back. Then a few minutes later, I decided it was there for a reason so I took it.
I also met a guy named Cool Breeze doing a southbound section hike. He told me Okie Girl was in town. We chatted then I moved out. Once back to the PCT, I entered right back into the same lava field from earlier, but now I was just on the bottom instead of the top. I wound my way to Highway 242 where I took another detour to checkout an observatory I saw while hiking through the lava. It had a compass telling you what the surrounding mountains were on top but it also had small plaques inside with little windows that looked right at each mountain. It was a really cool design.
I left there since it was getting late and hot. I knew I had more lava to walk through. Back down the road, I went into the lava. I saw the second pair of cheap sunglasses in two days so I picked them up. Mine have no nose pads any more and have made sores on each side of my nose. I tried these on and they were great.
I had to climb 900′ up through this massive lava field that came from Belknap Mountain. As I did, I passed Little Belknap. When I finally reached ground other than lava rock, it was sand. Then sand gave way to a burned out forest with more lava and more sand. Today was brutal on the feet!
Around 12:15 I stopped for lunch in what little shade I could find in this shell of a forest. Lunch wasn’t much since I didn’t have much left. I made due and started my book while I ate. After lunch I hauled butt to get out of the heat and sun. I finally made it to an alive forest, but the sand was there to stay. I passed a guy going climbing on Mount Washington, then a couple on horseback. It wasn’t long after the couple that I reached my turn off to Big Lake Youth Camp. I doublechecked the map and off I went. Not a tenth down the side trail and there was an arrow pointing left; while I was sure, I just went straight. I had cell reception so I called my buddy, Scott, who is trying to come down and meet me. I got him and we set it up for him to meet me at the Olallie Lake on Sunday.
I took the left and it spilt again so I doubled back and went straight. It turns out my decision was right. I came out within site of the building that held my packages. I went to the office and signed in. One of the girls working there got my packages while the other showed me the hiker box and asked me questions about my trip. They had a store there which was just about to open and there was a ton of teeny boppers waiting to get in. I went to a nearby bench and sorted out my food.
Finally when the line died down, I got my chance to get in and get some snacks. As I finished my snacks and was about to leave, Silver and Backtrack showed up. I said hello, invited them to find me at Olallie for some beers, but they say there doing big miles to reach WA as soon as possible to meet Silvers parents.
I took off and headed back to the trail. I called Sam and Scott along the way. Once back to the trail and the sand, I made my way north to the Old Santiam Wagon Trail (I believe it was the first route through the area), then stopped at Lily-pad Pond. I had dinner and filled up on water since there isn’t much on trail water for a while.
I hiked two more miles to Highway 20 and then climbed for about a mile and a half to camp. I passed a group of 5 on their way out who chatted me up about my hike. Oh, I’m also in another burned out forest. I’m camped right next to a big black log and theres died trees everywhere. Just before camp I spooked 5 bucks. One must have been a 10 point. His rack was huge! Then a bit closer to camp, I saw a momma and baby.
Scatman 2011- This day was long and hot. The lava walking was brutal on the feet. Between the heat and the rough footing it really took it’s toll. Though tough I truly enjoyed the hiking. It was such a change from anything else I had hiked through up to this point. There were many highlights to this day besides the lava fields. There was trail magic, llamas, very cool craftsmanship in the form of a lookout, and snacks. I had my first Mountain Dew in years. God it was good and it was only 9:30 in the morning. Just before camp I saw a horny toad. I love how they look like miniature dragons.
Get out there!