Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to the PCT- day 4 Shale Lake to Jeff Creek

August 17th
Shale Lake to Jeff Creek
Trail mile 2030 to 2038 8 miles 
We lost some elevation on this day

We started hiking at 10:30 in the morning since we were both tired.  I’d much prefer to hike in the morning and rest during the heat of the day, but sleeping in is always nice too.  I was able to procure an ace bandage for Aimless to put on her ankle, from a group of cheerful climbers who had failed to summit Mount Jefferson the day before.  
Breakfast time at Shale Lake

After we had traveled 6/10ths of a mile by crow I realized that I had left my P-style behind.  Aimless encouraged me to go back and get it while she waited with my pack.  So I set my pack down and back up the switchbacks I went to our campsite.  I could not find my P-style anywhere, how strange. 

 I think that makes the 6th P-Style I have lost.  At least I got this one for free in exchange for reviewing it.  I’ll buy another one for sure.  I also lost my P-rag as it was made of a towel that I had sewn into a pocket to hold my P-style.  Oh well, I would just have to use my bandana and pee the old fashioned way for the rest of the trip. 

I searched through my pack and could not find it.  I even held my pack upsidedown and shook it, but the only thing that fell out was my Delorme InReach.  Good thing that it was already broken.  Yes my new Delorme broke, I had hoped that Delorme units would be tougher than SPOT units.

Why are satellite messengers so fragile?  My GPS(r), my Digital Camera and my IPod have been on countless hike without breaking, but I can't seem to keep a satellite messenger in good working order on the trail.

We continued hiking the 5.5 miles to the Hunt’s Creek Junction.  Aimless said that she would decide if she wanted to continue with the hike once we reached the junction, but first we would go to Milk Creek for water and then backtrack to the Hunt’s Creek trail junction.   
Climber with huge load
Climber's son with huge load.
This father and son team were going to climb
Mount Jefferson, the father had climbed it many years before
and he was really excited to take his son up the mounatian.
 It was getting hot and I was getting anxious for water so I raced ahead with Milk Creek as my goal.  I only made it just a little way past the Hunt’s Creek trail before I stopped.  I was hot and tired and I could see that Milk Creek was going to be in a hot and exposed avalanche chute.  I found a shady place to sit and wait for Aimless.  

I only had to wait for about five minutes.  When Aimless arrived she said that the ace bandage had helped a lot and she was going to continue to hike in to Ollalie. 

Good news, but I was so tired that I could not think.  I said that all I knew for sure was that I did not want to climb up the hill past Milk Creek at that moment.  It did not take me too long to recover and I was ready to go again. 

We met a hiker named Forest and I tried to give him some Pepperoni but he declined.  I recognized him from Crater Lake and he recognized me too.  He had so many kind things to say to me about attempting to take my daughter on a thru-hike.  He said that everyone at Crater Lake thought it was really neat that I was thru-hiking with my daughter.  I guess that helps to explain why all the hikers there were so kind to me. 

South bound thru-hikers crossing Milk Creek
Milk Creek was milky, but I’ve seen much worse.  I scooped water right into my bottle and drank it.  I already was sick from something that I seem to have caught while eating at a salad bar  outside of Eugent three weeks before, so how would I even know if the water made me sick?  I mean I had really been suffering that day, so much so that I let Aimless talk me into taking two Imodium.  I’ll never go hiking without Imodium again!  Forest was taking a break at Milk Creek so we passed him there. 

We agreed that we would make it a short day since Aimless was still having ankle trouble, we set Jeff Creek as our goal for the day, but we did not know for sure if there were any campsites at Jeff Creek.

I went ahead and then I waited for Aimless at the junction with the Woodpecker trail and I saved one PCT thru-hiker who had started to go down the wrong trail by asking him “where are you going?” 

 Forest caught up to me there and he asked if he could have some of my trail mix.  I warned him that I had been sick for three weeks, but he did not care.   My trail mix from the hiker box and Big Lake looked that good to him. 

Soon we passed a little lake with a nice campsite and Aimless kind of wanted to stop there, but I thought we should push on at least to Jeff Creek since even that would only give us an eight mile day.  We had to keep on some sort of schedule if we did not want to run out of food.  Even though I had packed too much food, I could not share much of it with Aimless since she is a vegetarian. 
1000 Kilometers written with pine cones

Mount Jefferson West Face near Milk Creek

I made it to Jeff Creek at about 6pm and I found the camping to be poor and cramped, there was just barely enough room for both of our tarps.  However Eric was in the middle campsite so we were going to have to surround Eric with our tents.  Eric said he did not mind. 

 Eric was a section hiker who started in Ashland with two friends.  Both of his friends had to bail out, the most recent one to bail out had only left the day before and due to a bad ankle.  I think Eric was happy for the company.  Eric said he was hurting, I could tell that he had very half heartedly set up his tent by the way it was sagging.  He had also gone to bed early. 
Three tents and four hikers in this picture all crowded into
Jeff Creek campsite at sunset.  My 9 year old tarp tent is in front.

Sunset makes the lichens glow at Jeff Creek
Soon Aimless arrived and set up her tent and I went over to her tent site to cook my dinner since there was an actual place to sit in her campsite.  Other PCT hikers started to arrive all looking to camp at Jeff Creek but there was no more room so they all had to hike on.  We were glad that we got to camp early. 

I told Aimless that the next day I intended to start hiking at 6:30 am.  I was tired of hiking in the heat and I was tired of pulling into camp too late to cook dinner.  We had to climb 2,000 feet in the morning and I wanted to be up and over the 7,000 foot hill before the worst of the heat.    Aimless said that was fine, but she was on vacation, so she intended to sleep in and get a later start.
Before I  went to bed at 7:30,  we agreed that we would camp at an un-named lake at trail mile 2048 the next night.

This was the first night of the trip that my tent did not get soaked with condensation.
Big Boletes, maybe Boletus chrysenteron

No comments: