July 22, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 2004.2) to Milk Creek (mile 2025)
Our total miles: 1618.7
We woke up in a cloud. By the time we left the fog had thinned and we could see the outline of Three Fingered Jack. So beautiful!
We walked through the fog and across a boulder field into the forest. The trail climbed up towards an unnamed pass. As we crested over to the other side we again made note of the beauty. Clouds rolled in and out framing a sunny meadow.
From here we walked back into a burn area. We stayed in the burn area most of the morning, getting water from a pond near Koko Lake. Waldo caught up as we were setting off to hike another 1.5 hours before taking a second breakfast stop.
Andy boiled water and we enjoyed warm oatmeal and hot chocolate. Waldo eventually joined us here and we hiked near one another the rest of the day.
We stopped for a late lunch with a view of Mt Jefferson. The mosquitoes found us quickly so we ate as we swatted them away. We wondered outloud about the purpose of mosquitoes. None of us had a good answer.
From here we hiked down to Shale Lake. It was a sweet little lake glistening in the sun. We wished we could stay here longer but unfortunately we had miles to cover.
The trail led us down 2000 feet to Milk Creek. Andy noted the silence of the forest as we walked down into a sea of maple trees and other dense foliage.
We stopped for a moment and heard nothing. No birds chirping, no creatures running about, no wind moving the branches. It was as quiet as a cave. If there was a place to camp in here Andy would’ve been tempted.
Less than a mile later we reached Milk Creek. It was a good sized creek with milky looking water. It reminded us of the rivers in Nepal.
After setting up our tents in two separate but equally snug spots a tenth of a mile from the creek, we took what we needed and headed for the rocks.
The three of us ate dinner sitting on said rocks watching the alpine glow fade off of the west face of Mt Jefferson.
Tomorrow we will part ways with Waldo. His father and friend are meeting him at Timberline Lodge around the time that we hope to be in Cascade Locks.
It was fun hiking with him and we hope to connect again whether on this trail or future trips.
Tonight we are grateful for cold creeks and our shoes.