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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
Begins: Aug 16, 2012
Date: Mon, Sep 24th, 2012
Start: Crescent Lake campground
End: PCT Trailhead at Willamette Pass - 5135 ft
Daily Distance: 15
Trip Distance: 249.3
Hours Hiked: 9
Daily Ascent: 1607
Daily Descent: 1439
Min Elevation: 4801
Max Elevation: 5860
Entry Lat: 43.59694
Entry Lng: -122.0313
Min Temp: 32
Max Temp: 67
People Met: 0
Entry Visits: 876
Journal Visits: 11,053
Guestbook Views: 623
Guestbook Entrys: 13
Crescent Lake to Willamette Pass
Even before we got up, we knew it was cold this morning. We both had long underwear on, then a lightweight down jacket, another lightweight jacket, fleece hat and gloves, all under our insulated quilt, and we were almost warm enough to sleep well. But not quite....both of us woke up several times overnight with cold hands, or to tuck in the edge of the sleeping quilt to stop a draft. We should have made the quilt just a little bit larger, and a couple inches thicker. We did have rain gear we could have put on if we had really needed to, so it really wasn't that critical, just annoying. When we finally got up and started taking things out of the tent and staging them on the picnic table (did I say how nice it was to have a picnic table?), we noticed that the table was covered in frost. Hmmm.....guess it was a bit chilly overnight. We walked over to the bathroom (did I mention how nice it was to have a bathroom?), and then got moving at 6:50am, it was 32 degrees.
8:00am - 35 deg - 2.5 miles
Stopped for our breakfast (homemade trail mix and jerky) after about an hour. The two granola bars we had eaten back at the campground didn't last very long today. We probably burned them up as fast as we could eat them because we were shivering so hard. Now that we've walked a bit, we're starting to warm up although we both still have long underwear, jacket, hat and gloves on....and it's still only 35 degrees. Sheesh.....
10:55am - 60 deg - 7 miles
Stopped for lunch at Diamond View Lake, which is about the halfway point. We got a few pictures of Diamond Peak across the lake but by the time we had finished eating our lunch, smoke from the wildfires elsewhere in the state had blown into the area and Diamond Peak was disappearing in the haze. Glad we got photos when we first arrived.
This area is so dry that the trail is made up of about 3 inches of very fine dust, think talcum powder but tan instead of white. Little clouds of dust spring up with every step and, in the still air, follow you down the trail like Pig Pen from the Charlie Brown cartoon. Everything from the knees down (a bit higher than that actually), both inside and outside our clothing is a uniform tan color. The stuff even works it's way through our shoes and socks and coats our feet with a layer of dirt. The washing machine and the shower will get a workout tonight. The trail today is no more interesting than the last half of yesterday. Endless forest of small lodgepole pine, not much shade, nothing to see here folks, move along.... Good points are the trail is in pretty decent shape, not many downed trees to get over or around and it's quiet. There's nobody else out here today, in fact we will go the entire day without seeing another person until we stopped at the DQ in Oakridge on the way home.
2:00pm - 67 deg - 12 miles
The Oregon Skyline Trail, if you stay on it, drops down right into Shelter Cove Resort at Odell Lake. Since we didn't need to go there, we took a connector trail that curves around the west end of the lake, climbing up and connecting with the PCT a little ways south of Hwy 58. Shortly after starting on this connector trail we cross Trapper Creek on a foot bridge and stop for a quick snack. We are pretty close to the van (and real seats....) but we are both running a bit low on energy. A snack and some water helps us out and we are soon on our way again.
3:30pm - 65 deg - 15 miles
Back at the trailhead, glad to get the packs off and have a cold drink from the cooler we left in the van. Then it was down the hill to Oakridge where they did indeed make a couple of Bacon Double Cheeseburgers for us (minus the cheese on Julie's of course.....have you ever ordered a Bacon Double Cheeseburger minus the cheese?)
The wildfire smoke stays with us all the way home, but it's an uneventful trip down the pass (which is the way we like them...)
Animal sightings: Woodpecker, Squirrels, Chipmunks, Clark's Nutcracker, Dragonflies
Snowplow & Rubber Legs
PS: I also added photos to the previous two entries so be sure and check those out too.
Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2012
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. Join the PCTA to support this trail.
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