Today’s Miles: 10
Total Miles: 374.5
Lemiti Meadows to Warm Springs Camp
It was cold and windy last night; probably the coldest night on the trail so far. I worried about Michelle because she had mentioned her sleeping bag zipper was broken. My tent flapped in the wind all night. I thought I had figured out a better system, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
Our thru-hiker campmate was long gone by the time we rolled out of our tents. It was hard to leave the warmth of the sleeping bag this morning, but when I finally did, I noticed a bunny on the trail leading to the food bags. I held off retrieving them, not wanting to disturb the wildlife, but finally went for it. The rabbit could care less, completely unbothered by our presence, and kept us company all morning.
Since we had an easy day ahead of us, we made a fire to warm up while enjoying breakfast and packing. The camp robber jays enjoyed watching us eat breakfast as well.
Hitting the trail around 9 a.m., we opted to try Cooper Spring half a mile up for water, because Lemiti creek was nearly dry and didn’t look appealing. It was a solid decision, as Cooper spring was far superior.
Michelle pumped water for us, and we both took off layers; the day was already warming up. Another thru-hiker joined us at the spring. He was doing a big section, but not the entire trail.
Michelle and I had another day of easy hiking. I was grateful for her company. We never ran out of things to talk about, and we got along seamlessly. I felt bad these days weren’t overly scenic – definitely lacking the wow factor. We started with such a bang in Jefferson Park, which is an area hard to beat.
I also felt bad I was on day 9 without a shower. She assured me she couldn’t tell, but I think she was just being nice. This was certainly the longest stretch I had ever gone without bathing. I long passed my Burning Man and Country Fair records!
New types of flora, especially wildflowers, started lining the trail. We also endured some more burn sections, and a couple small lava flows.
Stopping for lunch at a rocky outcrop with a view of Mt. Hood, we both started checking in with people. Hadlie wanted to day hike another section with me, possibly Timothy Lake to Frog Lake, so I tried to coordinate that.
We also were communicating with our Carl’s (Michelle’s husband is a Carl too), and figuring out the logistics of the children, where to meet, how to exchange hiking buddies, etc. There were a lot of moving parts at the end of this leg.
We hiked right by a tree (shown below) barely standing. We assumed it was a favorite scratching post for the resident bear.
Next to a logging road, we noticed the activities of carpenter ants. We were pretty mesmerized by their hard work. Check out a little video from the link below.
It was only 3:20 p.m. when we arrived at Warm Springs Camp, but the next legal camping spot on the trail was Timothy Lake, 10 miles up, and we weren’t going to knock that out today, so we had the afternoon to relax.
With camping areas on both sides of the Warm Springs River (more of a creek this time of year), we opted for the northern option. It was a well-established camp, similar to last night, with great sitting logs, and a nice fire ring – but deep in the woods with very little sun and no views.
We were met with a very sweet heart-shaped pinecone greeting. For some reason it really tickled me, and I decided I might do the same in future camps.
We filtered water at the nearby river, and washed a couple clothing items (not in the river of course). I had a feeling someone would join us at some point, but no one did.
It was our last evening with a fire. The following day we would be entering Mt. Hood Wilderness again, with the fire ban in place.
Did you miss the beginning of my Oregon PCT journey? Begin with Day 1: Here