Day 65, 7/30, Jude Lake, M-2047, 26mi

A very interesting day with all sorts of random things going on.

The colors in the sunrise were unfortunately being enhanced by a nearby forest fire.

There was a wet crossing of Russell Creek which is fed by glacial runoff from Mt Jefferson (in the background). The creek was moving pretty good but nothing like the Sierras in June 🙂

It turns out that fire was getting pretty close to the PCT. Fortunately, there were personnel on the ground managing the situation.

This was a side-trail that had just been closed off due to fire.

Mt Jefferson is an impressive peak towering over exquisite alpine lakes and meadows.

The wildflowers were kicking into high gear.

There were several large patches of snow that had to be crossed but nothing treacherous.

Let me formally introduce you to Monster from Germany and his 65lb pack Ozzy. As I mentioned yesterday, we briefly met on the AT last year. Monster is one of only a handful of hikers who made it all the way through the Sierra without jumping any sections. Super impressive!

A short snow traverse with Mt. Hood on the horizon. I could also see Mt Adams and Mt St. Helens but there is not enough resolution on this blog to make them out.

We had heard there was Trail Magic at Lake Ollalie, and we were not disappointed. It made a great late afternoon siesta.

Lake Ollalie is stunning!
(Mt. Jefferson in background starting to become obscured by smoke haze).

We were visited by a USFS Ranger informing folks that the section of PCT we had just hiked through this morning would be closed starting tomorrow at 6am….just made it through in time! The closure would require 40 miles of dirt and paved roads to get around the 10 miles of PCT closure. Better to to be lucky than good sometimes!

We were among quite a bit of hiker royalty. I recognized the Ranger from a blog I followed. He hiked the PCT in 2011 with his 11 year old daughter (aka Balls and Sunshine). They went on to finish the Triple Crown by the time Sunshine was 13).

The other royalty hiking through was Halfmile. Halfmile creates all the maps everyone uses while hiking the PCT and makes them available for download free of charge! He has also built a GPS app that’s free with extremely accurate data showing distances and elevations to the thousands of waypoints located on or near the trail. Thanks HalfMile !

The Trail Magic mascot.

A campsite on the banks of Jude Lake was home for the night.

A correction to yesterday’s post…Pretty much everywhere I was referring to Mt. Washington was actually The Fingered Jack. And also, 1500 miles completed ✅

Day 64, 7/29, Near Shale Lake, M-2021, 28mi

The majority of the day was spent hiking through different burn areas (or perhaps all one?). We hiked through ghost forests as far as the eye could see sometimes. The big upside was that it made for wide open views. On the downside there wasn’t mush shade on a hot day.

Smoke on the water over Big Lake at sunrise.

Dead trees and green meadows made for an interesting juxtaposition

This is the backside of Mt Washington that we hiked around.

This is a view of Mt Jefferson with an unusual forest of live trees down below and a giant burn area beyond.

The north side of Mt. Washington.

After 15 miles without water there was a nice pond among the deadfall. It Made for a good lunch stop.

Mt. Washington fading into the distance.

Mt Jefferson getting bigger around each bend of the trail.

There were several small patches of snow to navigate through.

I bumped into Monster, from Germany, who I met on the AT last year.

Home for the night was likely buried in snow two weeks ago.