Aug. 16th. Distance 11.2 miles. Ascent 1710 ft. Descent 1098 ft.
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We started trending to earlier starts, waking around 7:30 this morning. Of course, the through hikers had long left – with their goals of 25-40 miles, daily distances I wouldn’t even imagine. I breakfasted on oatmeal, fresh picked huckleberries and an orange, which I washed down with a good strong coffee. With everything packed and loaded, my pack weight didn’t seem too bad – trail routine was returning.
Leaving Lava Spring, we were headed north, with the wall of lava to the east. We transitioned into forest, leaving the lava fields behind, and though it was bit of climb, we were making good time. As the forest thickened, it was reminiscent of the entire hike of 2015. We played a little hiker hopscotch with the folks from Spokane, eventually catching up with them again as they were relaxing near a small lake around mile 2254. As the sun was shining and we were on a leisurely pace, we made our way through the underbrush to the lakes edge and decided to spend a bit of time enjoying the water and having a little lunch.
After a refreshing swim,we fired up the Whisperlite and made some chicken noodle so
up, which always tastes great on the trail! Having dried up and gotten a little R&R under the noonday sun, we packed up again and continued north. The trail turned east and even a little south, and looking north from the ridge we caught our first good view of the mountains in the Goat Rocks wilderness up ahead.
Before long we reached our original camp destination at 2256 and decided to keep on trekking. Eventually we came to a little stream at 2258, where the Spokane group and an older solo hiker had set up camp. We found a nice spot below the trail, where we could modify the creek enough to create a bathing pool. Once again we lucked out -we would be clean and refreshed when we climbed into our sleeping bags.
As we were now fully back in our routine, we had the tents up quickly, and after the usual afternoon break, were ready to prepare some supper. On tonight’s menu, it was 3 cheese mashed potatoes mixed with tuna. As we were eating, a couple of women hiked in. These sisters from Sweden were in their mid 3o’s and were northbound through hikers who had been on the trail since April. Their husbands provided some logistics support, and were planning to meet them at Manning Park in about a month. You meet a wide range of people out trekking on these trails! After chatting, and finishing some delicious hot chocolate, it was time to turn in. Another great day on the trail!