Day 126 7-29-07 Tarp Tent 6620′
1 mile past Old Summit Rock Road – Minor crest saddle to lakelet
31.1 miles; 1885.2 (65.46) total miles; 3743.4 trip miles
80’s, sunny Day 15 camped alone
Deer count is 109
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 23
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 4
Badger count is 1
!!!Today the Pika finally made a move. They saw the Rattlesnakes weren’t in a position to strike so the came out. More were heard but only two were seen!!!
I had forgotten I set my watch for 6AM when at the Mazama campground, so I got up a full hour later than usual. I didn’t get hiking until almost 7 AM. I slept well even though it was warm when I went to bed. It’s on the chiller side tonight. Not to far out of camp, I was going through a rock field and saw my third Pika, then just 100′ down the trail I heard one under me. He was in the rocks and when he squeaked, it sounded like he was under the trail. He did come out and I saw me for a quick second before he saw me and went back into the rocks.
I climb around the west side of Mt. Thielsen, stopping at the New Mt. Thielsen Trail for a snack. I could hear people climbing up. My book says it’s one of the steepess trails in existence. I thought about leaving Bessy (my backpack) behind and hiking up but decided against it. I traversed over to Thielsen Creek where I filled up with water. I got a good look at the other side of Mt. Thielsen, too. I passed the Thielsen Creek Trail, then two guys doing a loop, and then passed Howlock Mountain Trail. At this point I went from lush pines forests to the high alpine desert. From Howlock Mountain Trail, I climbed 1.7 miles and reached the highest point on the PCT in both OR and WA, at 7560′.
Just .8 down the trail, I found a nice overlook and some shade so I had an early lunch. (The two guys from before showed up a little later and joined me.) I had a nice 4.3 mile downhill after lunch to the junction of Maidu Lake Trail. After that I was supposed to have a 1.3 mile uphill and then a roughly flat 2.3, followed by 2.6 more down. If you added the two, I bet 80% of it was uphill. I was not happy about the poor representation of the grade thats for sure. I haven’t admitted this yet; but there have been days like today that are really boring. The only thing that really stood out was Mt. Thielesen. There were a few other cool peaks but for the most part it was all woods walking and the miles dragged.
I skipped getting water at Maidu Lake since it was off trail a bit and was going to get it was Six Horse Spring. What I forgot is that my book says the water is nasty. When I re-read that, I decided not to hike down the .33 miles for nasty water. I only had to do about 5 miles to get to the next water. I climbed a little from Tolo Camp, where Six Horse Springs was, and at Tenas Trail I stopped to call my folks. It was then mostly downhill to Windigo Pass. At the pass there was supposed to be water .1 miles away to the east. I could not find it. I had no choice but to either dry camp and eat tomorrows lunch for dinner or go on 3 more miles to a lakelet that was supposed to have water until July. I haul my butt up 400′ and got to the lakelet around 7:30. It was a small pond no bigger than the one behind my house in Easton. The water was like bath water too, warm as hell. I set up camp, and then went back down to get water and wash up. The mosquitoes were terrible. Cooking was a pain with the little bastards flying all over. I even put my head net on. I also ate in my tent. It’s now ten o’clock and I have to hit the hay.
Scatman 2011- Funny how I went from such a great day of hiking yesterday to one like this one where I was bored. It it weren’t for Mt. Thielsen the day would have been a total wash. I remember the lakelet I stayed at. It was like a hot tub in temperature and I was convinced I’d get the shits from drinking it. The whore’s bath felt good but the mosquitoes made me rush and the enjoyment of getting clean was lost. I remember feeling like that camp spot was really isolated. I truly felt alone that night. Besides the mosquitoes buzzing to get in the woods were deathly quiet.
Get out there!