8/4/17 – Getting around Whitewater Fire

Day 103
Miles: 1,992.58  to 1,998.36

Total miles hiked: 1,402.01

The trail angel that was supposed to pick us up today never showed up. We had great breakfast consisting of cinnamon buns and yogurt and fruit, and then we waited till 11:00 a.m. After that it was time to make a move and hike to Santiam Pass to get a hitch.

Breakfast at Big Lake Camp

The hike itself was an easy one, flat sandy trail leading through an older burn. The dead trees, completely stripped of their bark, rose to the sky but unlike in the most recent burns, the forest floor was alive with new vegetation. Berry bushes in the area produced lots of ripe fruit and we made several stops to pick a handful or two.

On the way to Santiam Pass

Once at the highway we didn’t have to wait much. Less than five minutes after our arrival we were sitting in a red Toyota and we were on our way to Olallie Lake. The deal was we would get dropped off where the pavement ends, about 8 miles from the resort. The dirt road was too rough for this low clearance vehicle.

Lucky as we were tonight, we did not even have our backpacks out of the Toyota when an SUV drove by. We yogied a ride for the rest of the way from a very nice family of fishermen who squeezed their kids in the trunk area in order to fit us in.

Fun evening with fellow hikers

Olallie Lake was a pretty one with a view of Mt. Jefferson which was shrouded in smoke when we arrived but later the smoke settled and we could enjoy the beauty of the mountain looming over the lake. 

At the end of the day, trail magic was brought by a former hiker who turned into a trail angel after he sustained an injured and could not continue his journey afoot. RJ grilled some brats for us, and there was water melon and m&m and of course bear. 

Trail magic time

It was nice to hang out with other hikers, many of whom we met before. Chopper was here as well as Orange and Cadyshack and many others and we spend the evening trading trail stories and experiences.
We are past the fire now and hopefully we can put some bigger miles in again as we start our way toward Timberland Lodge tomorrow.