Pacific Crest Trail – Day 81 (27 miles)
Waking up I was surprised that my foot had improved from the extreme pain of yesterday. Hopefully, it would be alright all day.
With my sore foot from yesterday, I did not want to overdo things. I stopped often to air my feet and give them a massage. At one point, I iced them in an icy creek for 15 minute. The cut on my left foot was not healing fast, but the pain in my right foot was manageable.
Overall today was one of the best landscapes for a long time. I got out of the trees and walked through meadows as I watched the Middle and North Sister get ever closer.
As I walked up the base of the North Sister, I was greeted with a huge spring shooting crystal clear water right from the base of the mountain. It then proceeded to go right over a waterfall. I couldn’t help but stop here, I rested my feet and soaked in the view.
When I decided to leave, I entered an area with obsidian, black glass formed by cooling lava. It was so interesting seeing the stuff everywhere, and thinking back to the native hunter gatherers and how they would use obsidian for arrow and spear heads.
The landscape changed quickly from meadows and obsidian to lava fields. These wide open, totally barren areas with only rock and the occasional tree that was trying desperately to survive.
The lava fields also created another problem. The porous material meant a lack of water and a 20-mile dry stretch. I loaded up with water at the last lake and pressed on with my umbrella up to not only reduce my sweating but also protect me from getting burnt by the extremely hot sun.
It was slow going walking on fist sized lava rock. However, I eventually got to the highway and the start of the fire closure around Mt Jefferson.
I stick out my thumb to hitch into Bend and the second car pulls over. The guy asks if I’m crazy and if I have a knife. I look confused and obviously that was what he was looking for as he not only offered me a lift but offered a bed for the night.
I accepted and went back to his place. I ate dinner with the family, played a game of risk with his son then headed off to bed.
This was a nice surprise after a long day.