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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Tue, Aug 18th, 2009
Start: Cougar Flat
End: Island Meadow Trail/Sunriver
Daily Distance: 14
Trip Distance: 1,957.0
Entry Visits: 699
Journal Visits: 132,536
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
For the last few days I'd had an ulterior motive to get to Elk Lake by early afternoon. I had been to Oregon in February to ski Mt Bachelor and as part of that trip some long time friends hosted the group for a wonderful evening at their home in Sunriver. During the evening the subject of my PCT attempt came up and Jack had said if you get this far we'll host you for a shower and a cup of coffee. Jack and Donna had been following my progress so when I contacted them as I was closing in on the Oregon border they were enthusiastic about following through with their offer - I'm actually drinking the cup of coffee as I'm writing this having just had my second shower. So as I got closer we arranged to meet at Elk Lake today.
I was up and going by just after 6:00 am and it was more of the same from yesterday - lakes galore and even more small ponds. The lakes were Desane, S, Mac, Merrill, Horseshoe, Moody, Cliff, Island and Dumbbell. Island Lake amused me because the only island was a small tuft of the grasses that surround the perimeter of these lakes. I've included a picture - you try spotting the island.
The mosquitoes were still in abundance but I think the very slight breeze kept them at bay. Almost to Elk Lake after many miles in relatively dense forest, I was surprised to come to a large meadow - called Island Meadow - that was just grass. Odd how that can occur in the middle of a big forest. Then I reached the Island Meadow trail that took me down to Elk Lake. I had good cell coverage so I called Jack and he set off to meet me.
Elk Lake was just like Shelter Cove although it had a more comprehensive store and restaurant. Jack showed up in his now classic Mercedes 280SL that he bought new in 1969. On the way to Sunriver we went past the Mt Bachelor ski area and there was still quite a bit of snow up the high bowls that I skied earlier this year. We stopped for lunch in Sunriver and when we reached Jack and Donna's house I got my shower and laundry done. I also sorted out all the food and have a box of surplus plus other stuff to send home.
We then went into Bend and the first stop was REI. I had broken the tips of both poles and wanted them to put new ones on. But they didn't have any new tips so they replaced the poles. I also was having a major problem with the zip on the inner tent. It kept pulling apart and although I could mess around and fix it, I couldn't keep it from pulling apart. Not a good situation when I'm trying to get into the tent quickly without a swarm of mosquitoes and flies joining me. So they replaced the tent as well. I also got a poncho for rain protection as my other gear was worthless. The irony of this story was that they now owed me money. Because I bought the tent and poles in Los Angeles I paid sales tax. They refunded me the amount I paid and then sold me a new tent and poles. But Oregon has no sales tax so the new ones cost less overall, hence the refund. I felt bad about walking out with money so I got some extra headlight batteries instead.
Then we had dinner next door at Greg's Grill, a restaurant I tried to eat at in February but they had just had a kitchen fire and were not able to serve dinner. I asked them if the kitchen was fixed and the staff remember the incident well as it was major disaster that was just avoided by some fast action. They were amused to find out I had walked back here just to have dinner. It was a great meal too.
It was very fortuitous on my part that this week is the Sunriver Music Festival and Jack and Donna had tickets for tonight's pop concert. It didn't take any persuasion when they asked if I wanted to join them. So I went to a pop concert at a high school auditorium. The orchestra numbered about 50 players and I thought they were excellent as they played to a nearly full house. They played many themes from movies, had a singer who was outstanding, and had solo performances on the trumpet, saxophone and violin. A wonderful memorable evening all around and then I got to sleep in a real bed. It'll be hard tomorrow getting back into the rhythm after such pampering.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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