July 24, 2016
Pinhead Saddle (mile 2055.8) to bushcamp (mile 2080.2)
Our total miles: 1673.9
We both fell sound asleep the moment our heads hit our pillows. Morning came quickly and we started the routine all over again.
Getting out of a warm sleeping bag is one of the hardest moments of the day, but we are always happy when we get an early start.
Last night we decided we would wake up early again to build a routine. We feel that when our bodies know what to expect they will perform better.
We were walking by 6:10am as the sunlight pierced through the tall trees. Our bodies were stiff but nothing hurt.
We glided down the trail. Laurie sang random lyrics of random songs and decided today was a music day.
Unfortunately when she reached for her MP3 player she discovered it was dead. She’s probably used it once or twice over the last 3 months, and like other electronics, if it isn’t used, its battery dies. So she opted for an audio book instead.
We walked through a forest most of the day. There were no specacular views but there was lots of shade. Laurie walked mostly with her head down, while Andy wore his hat backwards.
We were making great progress until we noticed bushes teeming with small, blue and purple berries!
“Blueberries” squealed Laurie with delight.
They were huckleberries but no matter. We excitedly ate our way down the trail. Some moments it took us 10 minutes to walk 10 feet while other times we blazed through. It depended on the abundance of berries and how full our stomachs felt.
Andy made a fun game out of grabbing berries, tossing them in the air and catching them in his mouth, all while not breaking his stride. He attempted many times but was only successful 30% of the time.
We stopped for an oatmeal break at 10am. To our surprise we had hiked 10.1 miles.
Another 10 by 10. Hooray!
We added huckleberries to our oatmeal and enjoyed one of the best breakfasts on the trail thus far.
Lois, Paul, Ben and Nate (Golden Horse) passed us while we ate. We have been leap frogging with them since before Crater Lake. Once again, the trail keeps bringing people into our life.
We thought they were way ahead of us and they all thought we were miles ahead of them.
We walked on, gradually dropping toward Timothy Lake. Andy’s complained about his heels hurting as we hiked around the lake. He doesn’t have blisters, it’s the meat in his heels that feel tender.
This happened once before around Vasquez Rocks (mile 452) and one day off plus new shoes fixed the issue. Unfortunately, he is currently wearing new-ish shoes and our next day off is still 5 days away.
We got to Timothy Lake around 2pm and looked for a good spot to take a lunch break and maybe go swimming.
We found a spot in the shade but access to the water was difficult. We were tired and hungry and chose to sit rather than look for a better location.
Timothy Lake is huge and beautiful. Clear blue water with great camping and many access points for watersports.
After lunch we continued to circumnavigate the lake until branching off toward Little Crater Lake.
We took the quarter mile side trip to a 40 foot deep and perfectly clear lake. It is spring fed and freezing cold (34 degrees). We gave our feet an ice bath and Laurie briefly dipped her right knee in the frigid water. It was so cold it hurt to keep any part of ones body submerged longer than 30 seconds.
Other tourists had jumped into the lake but Laurie wasn’t that brave. (Andy doesn’t know how to swim so he doesn’t jump into lakes.)
After 30 minutes at the lake we reluctantly put on our shoes and hiked the remaining 2.8 miles to camp. It was uphill and Andy set a good pace…until we found more berries.
The last mile took twice as long because every 10 feet we stopped to pluck huckleberries and pop them in our mouths.
Unfortunately the mosquitoes were out in full force as well. Laurie would stop long enough to grab some berries, all the while telling the mozzies to “leave me alone!”
Of course they didn’t listen but it made her feel better to try.
We got to camp around 6:15 and found a semi flat spot. Lois and Paul were already fed and cozy in their tent. Golden Horse and Ben showed up moments after us.
We chatted while making dinner and by 9 everyone was settled in their respective tents.
Tomorrow we head to Timberline Lodge for our resupply before starting on the final 50 miles of Oregon.
Tonight we are grateful for edible berries along the trail and perfecting backcountry cooking of gluten free Mac and Cheese.