Miles Hiked: 32.5
PCT Mileage: 2385.8
Today I left camp earlier than Trail Diva so I didn’t have to keep up with anyone. I road walked from the campsite back to the trail where it crossed McKenzie Pass. I did this to avoid an extra mile of walking in the terrible lava fields, visit a roadside observatory, and get to use a pit toilet so I didn’t have to dig a hole in the rocks. The Observatory was one of the coolest roadside attractions I’ve ever visited. It was a circular castle completely made out of lava rock with a paved path up to it. It had windows all around it and tiny windows that lined up perfectly with all the surrounding mountain peaks. They had labels of all the mountains on them. You could also walk up to the top of the small hut for a better view. It was pretty at sunrise. Eventually I entered a five miles stretch of the lava rocks. I’m glad I got them done first thing this morning. I was also glad that I was slack packing so my feet didn’t hurt as bad.
After the lava fields Trail Diva caught up to me and we hiked to Big Lake youth camp together to get water. The camp had a really nice section with amenities for PCT hikers. I didn’t need to use any of it, but it would have been awesome if I did! The next stretch was 14 miles without water and it was hot out so I made sure to drink a lot and fill up all my bottles. We met Kurt for lunch at Santiem Pass. I ate a salad I bought at the grocery store last night and some blue cheese. I left so Trail Diva and Kurt could have some alone time. Plus I wanted some time to myself to hike to camp and get there early. On my hike another hiker asked me for water while I was on the phone. I was honestly pissed they didn’t prepare for themselves. I gave them 3/4 of a liter without saying much and just kept going. Now I only had one liter left for myself. Whatever. I’ll live. I don’t know how those other thru hikers didn’t bother to look at their maps and carry more water. I guess it happens but I certainly shouldn’t suffer for it. It was really nice to talk to my brother and dad for quite a while. I had cell phone service all day and totally drained my phone battery without thinking because of it. The last four miles I walked to camp through a burn zone in silence. I filtered water from a gross pond on the way. There were huckleberries everywhere. I camped at Rockpile Lake. Trash Panda and Trail Diva showed up later.