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Rcluster - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2009

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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
City: Eugene
State: OR
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 12, 2009
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Aug 2nd, 2009
Start: Near Richardson Lake, CA
End: Gilmore Lake, CA - 8337 ft
Daily Distance: 16.1
Trip Distance: 634.2
Hours Hiked: 7.5
Daily Ascent: 3353
Daily Descent: 2426
Min Elevation: 7049
Max Elevation: 9400
Entry Lat: 38.89202
Entry Lng: -120.1153
Min Temp: 53
Max Temp: 73
People Met: 40

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 678
Journal Visits: 94,671
Guestbook Views: 34,232
Guestbook Entrys: 123

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Pacific Crest Trail Map

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Fontanillis Lake

Desolation Wilderness

A 16 mile day today, including the climb up and over 9400 foot Dicks Pass. We are feeling good!

Not too long after going to sleep last night we were awakened by the sound of branches being broken. Lots of branches. Big branches. Then it sounded like a tree was just being ripped apart. This went on for quite a while and it wasn't very far away. Very likely our first bear encounter although we didn't see anything or hear any animal noises. Julie looked around this morning and found 3 old rotten trees that were pulled apart. Probably a bear looking for grubs or ants.

Didn't feel like getting up early today so we didn't get on the trail until 8:15am. A short mile to Richardson Lake where we stopped to filter water and have second breakfast. Then it was quite a few miles through forest and meadows full of wildflowers. Oh, and mosquitos too. We had our headnets on a good portion of the day. We climbed up to a ridge at 8100 feet and then descended slightly to Velma Lake. It was about 2pm so we stopped for lunch and to filter water again. Next was a climb again up to Fontanillis Lake at 8300 feet. We are enjoying all the scenery on this trip but this lake just amazes us with it's beauty. Tall trees line the shore we are on. We are looking across at huge granite cliffs that rise out of the lake's sparkling blue water. There are a couple of granite islands out in the lake with tall conifers on them and beyond that is a tall ridge that towers over the lake. The water is so clear you can see the huge granite boulders that make up the lake bottom. This would be a great place to spend a day or two, but we have 8 miles left to go and it is getting late so we force ourselves to get going.

Next is the climb up to Dicks Pass. At 9400 feet, it will be the highest we have been so far on this trip. We are fortunate today because there are no thunderstorms nearby. We have not even heard any distant thunder, so even though it is past 4 pm we feel confidant that we can make it up and over the pass before we run out of daylight. It takes us almost two and a half hours to reach the top but we are rewarded with great views of the Desolation Wilderness to the south. It is nearly 7pm when we begin our descent down the south side of Dicks Pass. The trail is very rocky so we have to take it slow but we have only an hour and a half of daylight left to find a campsite. About 8:20 we reach Gilmore Lake and find a nice flat spot up away from the lake. We should reach Echo Lake Resort tomorrow, our first resupply point 11 miles away.

We are feeling really good today, even after the climbing and the rocky descent down the pass. The packs are feeling good and we don't have many sore muscles. It's great to be out here again putting in the miles.

Animal sitings: Grouse, squirrels, marmot.

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Journal Photo

Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2009

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:


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