Day 119: Mt. Thielsen

August 11, 2017: Hiked Miles 1845.3 to 1863.4 + .8 to lake (18.9 total)

I could not fall asleep last night for the life of me. I tossed and turned until almost 1:00 in the morning. These real beds I tell ya, they’re just too dang comfy to sleep in.

I told myself I was going to sleep in as long as possible, but by 6:30 we were both wide awake. We lounged in bed for almost an hour which was amazing. Most mornings it’s wake up and go, so having a lazy, relaxing morning was a nice treat. 

We finally pulled ourselves out of bed once we heard Kay banging around in the kitchen and came out to join the world. Waking up to the smell of bacon is possibly one of the best feelings. 

And we decided it was finally time to dig into our giant cinnamon roll. 

Breakfast of champions. 

Between the three of us we were able to eat almost two thirds of it. We packed the rest of it along with the leftover bacon out to the trail with us. 

We packed up and Kay drove us back to the trail. We’re skipping ahead due to the fire closure so she drove us out Highway 138 so we could get back on north of Crater Lake. The drive was pretty, but incredibly windy and being in the back seat didn’t help. I spent the almost two hour ride trying to keep my cinnamon roll down. 

We finally arrived and said goodbye to Kay. We had so much fun with her on our short trip and can’t wait to come see her again on our way back down. 

A couple hikers we know were hitching a few miles back to the resort to pick up packages so Kay was kind enough up give them a ride down. We waved goodbye to all of them and then ran across the highway and started hiking. 

We felt a few raindrops throughout the day but nothing ever materialized. We quickly ran into an awesome water cache. 

People are so awesome!

We spent the next couple hours climbing through the trees and on the way ran into none other than the infamous Trail Bait and his owners. 

We finally emerged from the trees and had a view of Diamond Lake. 

And some neat mountains behind us. 

And then the gorgeous Mt. Thielsen. 

I started feeling like I was in a Lord of the Rings movie again.  

We cruised through some more trees and a rocky area and got some neat views whenever we popped out of the trees. 

And some more views of Mt. Thielsen. 

The sky was clear to the east but still pretty smokey to the west:

We saw a ton of what we thought were mountain lion footprints in the snow.

But we changed our minds when we saw a dog a couple miles down the trail. 

We stopped for lunch when we found a pretty little stream. 

Had another view of the mountain.

And then a cool view after the sky cleared. 

We met another hiker at lunch who had started the trail a couple weeks ago in Seiad Valley. He was really interesting and we had a fun lunch talking to him about how the trail changes your perspective about what’s important in life and reassured him his feet would start feeling better soon enough. Better, not good. They’ll never feel good again. We found out he’s a university professor from Texas. I love how there is literally every kind of person you can think of out here all hiking the trail together. Between the three of us, we sound like the start to a bad joke. A professor, a firefighter, and a blonde walk into a bar… I’ll let you come up with the rest. 

We took a quick lunch since we got a really late start on the day and ran off up the hill afterwards only to get yet some more cool views of our new favorite mountain.  

It just looks so cool!

What do you think this thing looks like?

I say a fish/dolphin. Colton says a hanging deer. 

And here’s some more cool rocks:

And then we made it to the highest point on the PCT for all of Oregon and Washington!

I got a little excited and decided to jam my ribs into the knob sticking out of the pole. 

Colton said if I ever wanted to change my trailname, he’s renaming me Clumsy. Clumsy Zebra?

I can’t believe we won’t go higher than this again on the trail. And we’re only to Oregon!

The rest of the afternoon was all downhill, of course. We cruised through the trees and caught a glimpse of the fireball sun through the trees every so often. 

At one point Colton’s mom texted us to let us know the section we just skipped due to the fire closure just reopened. Oh yay, just our luck. Although we did make quite a few SOBO’s happy with the news.

This section of the trail is pretty dry so we had to hike almost a mile off trail to get water. But it was totally worth it to camp at this beautiful lake. 

Definitely filtering this water. 

Apparently he has his own gang signs now. 

We poured on the deet, set up quickly, filtered our horse-poo lake water, and cooked some dinner in the dark. 

Now I’m staring up at the stars through our tent, listening to owls hooting, crickets chirping, and Colton talking in his sleep. He just rolled over and asked me if my window was rolled up. Huh? Then he pointed at my tent door and said “roll your window up.” I played along, “It is.” He reached over, touched my zipped-up door and passed back out. So caring, even when he’s sleeping. 

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5 thoughts on “Day 119: Mt. Thielsen

  1. I saw dolphin and I keep looking at it and just can’t see a deer hanging. I am glad you saw a dog! I was hiking by myself and saw mountain lion tracks and had no cell service…..I never felt comfortable again and I was only 1/3 of the way done with my hike. Its such a pleasure to wake up open my computer and get to read your blog. Again, great job!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dogs, coyotes, and bears all show claw marks on their tracks. Cats have retractable claws and the tracks rarely show claws. Those big cats like to pad along silently behind you…

    Liked by 1 person

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