8/3/17 – Big Lake Youth Camp
Miles: 1,980.08 to 1,992.58
Total miles hiked: 1,396.23
+ 0.80 miles to Big Lake Youth Camp
After enjoying two zero days in Bend, where we hanged out with our friend Aaron and his parents, going back to the trail was not easy. Especially since our town days presented some of the usual challenges like the post office loosing one of our packages, or Dave loosing one the buckles from my pack, and of course we did our share of running around to get more food for the next stretch and new shoes.
Large fire is burning in Jefferson Wilderness where our trail is heading next, and that was not exactly a motivator either. 11 miles of PCT was originally closed and a 40 miles detour suggested but the fire doubled since and even more trail is closed with no other option that to get a ride around it.
We walked through lots of burn today. Entire mountain side destroyed by previous fire. I find these areas sad, depressing nearly, and today with temperatures over 100 degrees, these hot exposed sections were extremely challenging.
We also walked through extensive lava field which was awesome. The landscape was unique and with my new boots on, the lava was much easier to walk on. I liked the area the most that offered great view of Mt. Washington. It was a hazy view due to the fire but a pretty one nonetheless.
The best part of today was rather unexpected. We did not plan to stop at Big Lake Youth Camp which is 0.8 miles off trail at all. Our plan was to get to Santiam Pass and hitch out of here but the day was scorching hot and it drained our energy and we met a southbounder who highly recommended it.
The camp is located on relatively large piece of land. It has headquarters with showers and a store, and large dining area, and many cabins for the kids that come here to spend a week to stay. PCT hikers are welcome to get a shower and free dinner (and breakfast), and a tenting area is set for them just outside the perimeter. Laundry is available as well, the kids even fold it for you when it’s washed. It is really a neat place to stop by and I’m glad we did. Today’s dinner theme was Hawaiian and we had veggie burgers with grilled pineapple and other fixings, and a desert of fruit and shaved ice.
Trail angel might be able to pick us up here tomorrow after breakfast and take us around the fire. Hopefully everything works out.