Days 114 & 115: Missing Mt. Jefferson

Date: August 1 & 2, 2017
Miles: 2012.3 – 2043.1

Morning at Rockpile Lake was bright and quiet. There were only two other hikers who had camped by its shore, a young man whose trail name was Yay Steve and his father, Steve. 

Walking toward Mt. Jefferson was another highlight of Oregon after the arid beauty of the Sisters. It was hard to keep from stopping repeatedly to photograph it’s craggy peak, which appeared to be much higher than its 10,497 feet.

We weren’t able to get up close and personal with the volcano because the Whitewater Fire had forced a closure of 11 miles of the PCT in Jefferson Park. Instead, we detoured around the closure via the Woodpecker trail and the highways leading to Olallie Lake.

Lucky for us, Tim had driven down from Washington again and was waiting at the Woodpecker trailhead to ferry us around.

Taking a break.

We waited at the trailhead for A-Game, Valley Girl and another hiker, Crush, to show up, and then we hit the road. After a couple hours on the worst forest road I have ever been on (I suppose we could have been alerted to its condition by the sign someone made that said, ‘Fix This Shit’), we made it to Olallie Lake and camped by the side of the road.

The next day, our personal trail angel fixed up pancakes and bacon…

…and we headed back to Woodpecker to pick up Roi, Rodeo and Joe Dirt. By the time they arrived, large flakes of ash were floating around and the trail closure was extended south to Santiam Pass.

We found a campsite on the Olallie Lake reservoir later that afternoon and enjoyed a dip in the water and a relaxing dinner.