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Country: United States
Begins: May 5, 2010
Date: Wed, Aug 18th, 2010
Start: South Matthieu Lake (1985.5)
End: near Summit Lake (2010.5)
Daily Distance: 25
Trip Distance: 2,066.4
Entry Visits: 884
Journal Visits: 151,408
Guestbook Views: 14,738
Guestbook Entrys: 179
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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Hurricane hikes up the lava flow near McKenzie Pass
The nice thing about being rained on in the backcountry is that the next day's air is usually extraordinary clean. The rain seems to remove all the dust from the air and give the following day a fresh feeling. My ultralightweight tent held up fairly well last night and I fortunately had a dry sleep.
After my usual morning routine, I attached my wet tent to the outside of my pack and headed down the trail. Hurricane and I scurried down to McKenzie Pass. The landscape turned alien. An expansive lava flow covers this entire area for miles. There are no trees, just black volcanic rock. A paved road has somehow been built through this lava field. It reminded me of the road on the big island of Hawaii, except this one is backed by the snow-capped Sisters volcanoes. Visitors would slowly drive by in their clean cars.
Hurricane and I started the climb from McKenzie Pass through the lava flow. After several miles, we reached a petrified hemlock forest. The trail then wrapped around Mt. Washington and without any notification we passed the 2000 mile mark. While it seemed like a big milestone, there was simply too much beauty surrounding this place to really allow one to be overwhelmed by such personal statistical accomplishments.
We headed over to pick up our resupply boxes at Big Lake Youth Camp, a summer camp for families. This place was a welcomed surprise in the sense that the staff were all incredibly friendly and genuinely interested in our trips. Also, just like Mazama Village, they provided exactly what a thruhiker needs: shower, laundry, resupply, and an AYCE buffet. I seemed to restrain myself this time at the vegetarian buffet, but still ate a large plate of food along with two slices of apple pie a la mode. They only charged me 6 bucks for the buffet, so I'll have to send them a donation for the other services they provided.
After cleaning and filling up, we headed over to Santiam Pass where we met Fly By and Kurt. These two awesome section hikers were in the process of providing trail magic! They were filling a water cache and a large cooler with beer, soda, and snacks. Hurricane and I sincerely thanked these two nice guys for their generosity. Fly By thruhiked the AT last year and plans to thruhike the PCT next year. He's a strong hiker and it sounds like he's done his homework for his PCT thruhike, which I told him is important. Hopefully I can return the favor of trail magic to him someday.
After a somewhat relaxing and enjoyable day, I'm now camped just south of Three Fingered Jack. The wind is blowin' softly and the air is crystal clear...and, perhaps best of all, there were no mosquitoes today :)
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