Day 123 7-26-07 Tarp Tent 6190′
Junction to a large trailhead parking lot – Jack Spring spur trail
36.1 miles; 1817.0 (61.46) total miles; 3671.2 trip miles
Deer count is 105
Marmot count is 52
Elk count is 23
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 2
Badger count is 1
!!!In the early part of the day the Bears moved ahead of the snakes by one. They sent out their second “black” bear. We also have a new team out in the race, the Badgers!!!
I got up and then fell back to sleep and it cost me a 40 mile day. I wanted to at least do one 40 during the trip. I didn’t get going until 6:30, a late start by my standards. As I made my way up the first climb of the day, I was looking for critters. I saw what appeared to be the blackened end of a fallen tree but I thought I saw legs. Sure enough it was a 200-300 lb. black bear looking for insects in the dead trees. He never saw me so I just watched him at a distance. I got one picture but there wasn’t much light so it’s not that great. He left on his own and I climbed on.
Later on another climb, I spooked two deer at separate times but only saw one of them. At the junction of the Mt. McLoughlin Trail, I ran into two ladies and three young girls. I left them when the PCT turn westbound off to the right. I passed Twin Ponds Trail, Cat Hill Way Trail, and then stopped at Christi’s Spring. I filled up with ice cold water and moved off towards my chosen lunch spot. Not to far from the spring, I ran into a mother daughter and their 123 lb. Rottweller, Sirus. He didn’t care too much for me so I didn’t get to say hello. They said he only gets defensive when hiking. Maybe it was my long shaggy hair and face. Not to mention my smell! Along the way I passed Red Lake Trail 987, No Name Trail (which I never saw ?), and Sky Lakes Trail 3762, before reaching a spur to a scenic view as the signs read.
I had lunch and the view was okay. After lunch I had some downs but mostly up. I would pass 5 trails on the way to the top of Devils Peak/Lee Peak saddle (Wickiup, Divide, Hemlock Lake, Snow Lake and Devil Peak trail). The climb itself was the first major test of Oregon. Besides that climb, the rest of the day was a snap. The view from the top was great, then I traversed to the Lee Peak saddle and when I turned the corner I got an even better view. There was a giant glacial bowl before me and Devils Peak turned out to have many spires. I descended into the bowl passing the same two creeks about 3 times as I switched back down. I passed a great campsite about half way down. The mosquitoes got worse as I descended. I didn’t mention it, but they were bad before Devils Peak too. Bad enough that I put Deet on for the first time in ages. I passed the Junction to Seven Lakes Trail and cooked at Honeymoon Creek. It smelled of horse shit at the creek and that worried me.
I pushed on to do 4 more miles and the mosquitoes chased me down the whole time. I stopped to go the bathroom and they got me good. I left the Sevenmile Trail and then passed the Middle Fork Basin Trail to Ranger Springs and started an easy climb to McKie Camp Trail 1089. I planned to stay there; but I got there so fast, I decided to go to Jack Spring, where the book said others had camped. About half way there, I was in a forest of pines and saw a critter coming at me on the trail. The first thing I saw was black and white markings. Then I looked closer and saw no well know stripe down the back. It turned out to be a badger. He hadn’t seen me so I let him continue south towards me. There was a small rise between us and when he got to the top, he stopped as he finally saw me. I took his picture and he then turned back to the north and quickly turned up the slope. I watched him go and said goodnight. I reached camp shortly after seeing Mr. Badger, my first one ever. Camp was struck quickly and then it was time to catch up on this journal.
Scatman 2011- I really enjoyed this day. The bugs were bad but the hiking was spectacular. Devils Peak was a sight. Really it doesn’t get much better: I slept in, saw a bear, deer, and badger, saw amazing views, covered 36 miles and felt great. If only every day on the trail was like this one.
I did worry about my packages that were supposed to be waiting for me at Crater Lake. I worried the fires back in southern Oregon delayed them even more. My shoes were pretty much dead at this point and really needed to be replaced. I could feel that the cushioning was gone from them as my feet hurt more than normal. That and they had giant holes in the mesh and rocks kept getting in.
Get out there!