PCT Day 11

Date: Aug. 1 Location: Tolo Springs, 16 miles north of Mt. Thielsen. Days hiked: 11 Days left on first segment: 4 Miles hiked: 176 Avg. Per day. 16.0 Percent of journey completed: 35.3

Not all who wander are lost, says the bumper sticker. True. But we were today, dozens of times. The snow not only slows your hiking, it forces you to constantly be looking for the trail. At times you forget you’re even hiking because you feel like a cross country skier with really short skis.

For the third straight day we picked our way through the forest, looking for tree marks, blazes, cut logs, anything to signify the trail. Alone, I’d be doomed because I’ve had no experience doing this. Fortunately I teamed up with a couple who’s been doing this since Sierra City, Calif., Roadrunner and Cisco, and, together, we worked our way through the final eight miles of snow in this section.

I never knew I could appreciate dirt so much. There’s so much snow up here that PCTers are going to snow-free sections or quitting altogether. We haven’t seen a hiker since leaving Crater Lake three days ago.

Tomorrow I’ll rejoin with brother-in-law Glenn Petersen at Summit Lake and we’ll figure out how far we can get in the final for days of Phase I of II in our attempt to walk the backbone of Oregon’s Cascades. Thanks to all who’ve been encouraging us on this journey.

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