Day 119 7-22-07 Tart Tent 6750′
Saddle past Darkey Creek Trail – West Ridge of twin topped Observation Peak, OREGON
31.1 (.6) miles; 1700.5 (59.96) total miles; 3563.3 trip miles
High 80-90, sunny with some clouds
Deer count is 99
Marmot count is 51
Elk count is 23
Bear count is 6
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 2
!!!The judges were in a very good mood now that the Tour has crossed over into Oregon and they granted the Elk a spot in the race. With a big herd of 15, they added to their previous uncounted 8. The Deer moved one step closer to the century mark and only need one point!!!
My sleeping spot turned out to be sloping to the left. I slept okay despite this. I woke up to no wind at all and tons of condensation inside and outside my tent. I got up right around 5 when the alarm went off so I could enjoy the sunrise. It wasn’t all that cold and looked to be a warm day. I was pretty hungry when I got up, so I started eating right away.
I had to climb Upper Devils Peak first thing. It wasn’t too bad but it looked it at first. To the west the valley was all filled with low clouds. Once to the top, I traversed to the boundary trail then turn NE to Lily Pad Pond. I had my first descent in over 8 miles at this point. For the rest of the day it would be up and down with only one long climb of 7.8 miles. I passed Kangaroo Mountain and its poor springs, then Echo Lake, and descended into Cook and Green Pass. It was here I had the 7.8 mile climb. It was fairly tough and water was in short demand. At the Lowdens Cabin Site, I took a look at the spring but it was barely flowing so I passed. I went on 5 minutes and got the coldest water in a well from Bear Dog Spring. Next I got water from a spring on an old section of PCT. It was cold but had a lot of floaters.
I had lunch shortly after and got a chance to dry out all my stuff from the condensation and sweating. I had a couple, out for a day hike, pass me going south before Road 47N81. I continued to climb, and then had a short descent to Alex Hole. There was group of people shooting skeet. At first I didn’t know which way they were shooting and didn’t know if I might get shot. I climbed up and out of there to Mud Springs Spur Road, where I checked out the spring but passed. This time it was the sight of too many cow tracks in the mud and cow pies. I went on just a bit further and got some really cold water from Bearground Spring. I took as much as I could.
From Bearground Spring I descended through bare, open areas and pine forests to Wards Fork Gap. I heard many groups of cows as I went. I saw the most beautiful brown cow with white on her face, too. Usually a cow is a cow, but she was stunning. At this point I only had 2.8 miles to go to reach my first state line. I could taste it! Of course, it was all uphill but that wasn’t going to slow me down. I blasted up the first climb to the bridge over Donomore Creek. I got water to replace what I had drunk. It was the first water to have a odd color to it in as long as I can remember. Now I only had 1.3 miles to go. I took off expecting to see the marker for the border around every turn!
Finally at 6:38:51, I reached Oregon and crossed my first state line! I was so excited and still am. I took a ton of pictures. The signs told me I had done 1706 miles and had 962 to go, (it was really 1698.8 done and 951.2 to go). Either way, it’s been a long road and there is plenty more to go. I signed the register and moved on up to the nearby road to cook my first meal in Oregon.
I was going to stay there since it was fairly late but I saw I only had to do 1.2 miles to break the 1700 mile mark as well. I went on up to the West ridge of Observation Peak. While looking for a flat spot, I was being assaulted by mosquitoes from the nearby kettle lake. While off the trail and stomping around, I felt some thing bite my leg and it was a hornet. The little sucker stung me good. I batted him off and hightailed it back to the trail. Silver told me she got stung yesterday. I went back a 100 yards to a spot I saw and threw down. The mosquitoes are so loud outside my tent. They want my blood! To say the least, I am pumped to be out of California and into Oregon. I’m really looking forward to Oregon and Washington; so I can’t wait.
Scatman 2011- This was a huge day for me! Unlike the AT with it’s 13 state lines, the PCT only had two. You’d hike from Georgia to the middle of Vermont on the AT to hike as far as it is from Mexico to Oregon! I felt good this day, most likely because I knew I’d reach the state line at some point. It was a be motivating factor. Water was an issue as it would be for a good portion of Oregon but I didn’t let that slow me down. It was cool seeing the heard of elk. They were a ways off down in a valley but it was clear what they were.
Get out there!