Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mile 2000. Santiam Pass to Ollalie.

On Thursday we drove in to McKenzie Pass to meet up with Bouncer.  The Pole Creek fire had all of entries south of hwy 242 roped off including the road to Little Lava Lake where we had planned to meet.  The pass was very smoky and the locals were driving up to the observatory to look at the fire.  We wrote out a message to advise Bouncer of our new meeting place and Maks hiked south to leave the note at the turn-off for the lake.  Then he came back to the pass- and not 5 minutes later Bouncer showed up.
We drove into Bend to get a passport card for Canada and then went to Sisters Three Creeks Lodge for some food and a game of pool.  Back up towards the pass - we camped at Cold Springs campground.  Next morning trucks brought the firefighters in to the campground where they crashed on the ground in their sleeping bags- exhausted after being up all night fighting the fire.
Dropped Bouncer off- Flatlander and Flower waving as we went by.
McKenzie Pass

Then we went back to Bend for some REI  shopping.  Read the names of our hiking family in the store's register.  Some skipping going on as nervous hikers worry about getting to Canada in time.
We met Bouncer at the old Santiam wagon road and camped there.  Flatlander and Flower stopped by and shared some snacks and some stories and Gonzo came over and joined us as well.  In time they went on their way.
Flatlander and Flower

Santiam Pass trailhead

section F

Next morning Special Delivery showed up- he had spent the night at the Big Lake youth camp-  City Food was still there and we never did see him come by.  Bouncer had a terrible time trying to get motivated- it was really difficult to see him struggle with what he wanted to do - that is, go home and watch football- and his goal of finishing the trail.  He has done this section more than once so it holds no surprises and it has been burned by fire so the hike is through a dead forest which is pretty depressing.  He hiked the 4 miles to Santiam Pass and we met up again- he hefted his backpack onto his shoulders and set off for  Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson.  He should be at Ollalie Lake on Monday and only an hour from home. Hopefully we can all go in and have a picnic and campout with him this coming weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sisters wilderness September 10

This past weekend saw us meeting up with Bouncer at the North crater trailhead, just outside the northern boundary of Crater Lake National Park.  A quick trip to Diamond Lake Resort for some lunch and then back to the trailhead to set up camp.  Bouncer plans to do two 30 mile stretches  to complete the Mt. Thielson/ Diamond Lake wilderness areas.
I am posting a picture of a water cache  which is across the highway and on the PCT.  The water jugs were all empty.  There was garbage placed there by the hikers- so they expect the trail angels to pick up the trash as well as supply water.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.  20 years ago we did the hike knowing there was no water until Thielsen Creek in 6 miles.  It is a long slog in the Oregon Desert without water-maybe some 20 miles total.  The water caches must be very welcome but they are also very unsightly and not very reliable.  The hikers I spoke to told me that they did not get any water from the cache as all the jugs were empty.  I did see some mushroomers walking the side of the highway with water jugs strapped to their backpacks- from the cache????
water cache

dried out matsutake

mushroom camp- Chemult
Mushroom camps are setting up.  Two in Chemult and one in the Crescent Creek area.  We found 2 very dried out matsutakes.

Next morning we were up bright and early to see Bouncer off on his journey.

Then we were the tourists in beautiful Crater Lake National Park.

We had a busy afternoon trying to locate our rendevouz  spot at Windigo Pass. After a very long dusty trip with turn arounds, we finally found the pass.  There we met City Food for the first time. Later Listener came down the trail.  We found a nice spot to camp in and then Maks set off to hike south and meet Bouncer.  He came in not too much the worse for his 30 miler.  We set up camp and made some food and set out the paper plate invite for any hiker who wanted to join us.  Storytime came in after dark and shared dinner and campsite with us.

Bouncer up early to do the second thirty miler.  We got him off and got breakfast for Storytime.  Then we headed out and back to Chemult and then Pengra Pass in the Odell Lake area.  We met up with old friends Neon and Onna Move as well as Wolverine and Bird and Freebird just as they came off trail to the resort at Odell Lake.  Later at the pass we met Flatlander and Flower.
We walked up the trail and met Bouncer in his last mile.  Then we headed down to Odell Lake and camped in the Forest Service campground next to the resort. 
crossing hwy 58 at Willamette Pass
Next morning it was back to the pass for Bouncer to cross Willamette Pass and enter the Sisters area.
We dropped him off and then back to Odell Lake resort to do laundry.  Here we ran into Storytime and Listener as well as Yeti.
It turned out that Listener has reached the point where she has to leave the trail.  At age 75, her hands go numb in the cold weather and she is unable to use them to put up her tent or make dinner.  So she has called her son in Florida and asked him to arrange an airline flight home.  She has been an inspiration to all of us who have met her.
Yeti needed a ride out to I5 as he had things to deal with at home.  We were going in to Oakridge for supplies so we drove him that far and enjoyed his company very much.
Then we headed back to Charlton Lake to wait for Bouncer.  On the trail we met Neon and Onna Move.  Later on Maks ran into Wolverine and then Bird and Freebird.
The evening was cold- weather is changing.  Made some tacos for dinner and played a game of Yahtzee with the Bouncer.
On Monday morning we said goodbye until next week.
Definitely some changes going on.  The Canadians have caught a ride to Bend- City Food went along as well.  There is a new forest fire in the Sisters area.  There was rain here at home today and the temperatures are quite a bit cooler.  Bouncer will hit Sisters in 3 days.  Almost at mile 2000.