Day 113: It’s Hot And Dry. Again. 

Date: July 31, 2017
Miles: 1998.5 – 2012.3

I spent a few more minutes at the pool this morning, soaking up civilization, before Matthew and I headed for the post office and then caught a ride to the trail. We ended up going to the Santiam Pass trailhead and hiked out from there, stopping to talk to a Forest Service ranger about the Whitewater Fire burning in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness and the subsequent closure of 11 miles of the PCT. He confirmed that we would be able to get off of the trail at its junction with the Woodpecker trail where, lucky for us, Tim was planning to meet us to give us a ride around the closure and to spend a couple days with us. He also let us know that the next few days were going to be hot (107 degrees!!) and very dry, so we may find out that the fire has expanded its boundaries. 

We kept hiking and ran into quite a few day and section hikers enjoying the lakes in the area.

We made our way around the base of Three Fingered Jack, from which it is easy to see how it got its name.

There were a few little snow patches that harbored tiny, angry mosquitos, but the majority of the day was bug free. We didn’t make it incredibly far today since Matthew has a shin splint and my feet felt like painful bricks, so we camped about 13.5 miles out at Rockpile Lake. The water there was comfortably warm so I was able to rinse off the dirt and sweat of the day. Lots of deer joined us for dinner, coming very close as if to show us that they don’t consider us a threat. Two young bucks played in the field nearby as we ate, and others took turns circling our tents and racing through camp as we went to bed.

Smoke from the Whitewater Fire.