Tag Archives: Klum Landing Campground

PCT Oregon Day 7 – Klum Landing Campground to Brown Mtn. Shelter

Day Seven
Today’s Miles: 13.4
Total Miles: 74
Klum Landing Campground to Brown Mountain Shelter

Motivated to beat the heat, Hadlie was up by 6:30 a.m. ready to break down camp and hit the trail. I was awake an hour earlier, and had plenty of time for my morning yoga and meditation. I retrieved the bear bag hanging in a tree a few campsites over.

Yes, I hang my food bag every night backpacking. It gives me piece of mind that is well worth the extra few minutes in my day. I met several people along the PCT who didn’t bother, but I figure it helps to keep small, and large critters alike, from trying to enter my tent.

Trail Graffiti on a PCT sign

After we ate mashed potato burritos (our favorite backpacking breakfast), and returned the now empty gallon water jug with a thank you note, we left Klum Landing Campground and hiked the roughly .5 miles back to the PCT.

Water was a welcome sight pretty quickly in the day, which made me smile. I have not seen much water along the trail so far; a striking difference from the Portland area hikes with an abundance of rivers, waterfalls and lakes.

It was a fairly easy day of hiking with very little ups and downs, and a lot of forest that provided lovely shade. Another not-so-scenic day with the exception of a pretty view of Mt. Shasta for a bit. The mountain was now far in the distance behind me.

We topped off water at Big Springs, around 8 miles from our day’s destination. I read the water pump at Brown Mountain Shelter was broken, and I didn’t want to take any chances. On the flip side, you never want to carry extra water for no reason. Water is super duper heavy! I almost always err on the side of carrying too much, however.

Big Springs Water
Wildflowers near Big Springs
Entering Rogue River National Forest

A couple miles from the shelter, we passed a man hiking with a child. They were barely off the trail having a snack, and asked us about the water situation at the shelter. Their accent led me to believe they were from Europe, but I couldn’t place the country for sure. They had the appearance of thru-hikers, but I just couldn’t believe anyone would be hiking the entire PCT with a kid. Walking away, I wished I had asked more questions, but they seemed reserved, and I didn’t want to be rude.

Hadlie was done hiking by mile 10, her feet were aching, so the shelter was a welcome sight when we arrived around 4:30 p.m. I felt like I could keep going, which was a fantastic feeling. I’m getting my legs!

The book described the shelter as being an undesirable spot to camp, so I was a little nervous to have this be our destination, but it turned out great. There was plenty of space, the shelter added a fun backdrop (though we didn’t go in except for a quick peek), there was a large picnic table, several benches, and the water pump worked just fine – woohoo!

Hadlie was a little annoyed I made her carry all that extra water for nothing, but I didn’t want a repeat of last night’s water shortage situation. There was no one at the shelter when we first got there, but this changed quickly.

A man arrived just three minutes after us. He was a teacher from Boulder, CO, hiking all of Oregon, and Washington if he had time. It was way too early for him to quit for the day, so we wished each other well, and he was off to hike more miles.

Two minutes later, a man from Belgium arrived. His hiking buddy was behind him, and he planned to wait for him at the shelter so they could hike the remaining 10 miles for the day together. They were averaging 30-mile-days; obviously thru-hikers, and they had their legs!

The two men met on day one in Southern California, and had been hiking together ever since. How magical is that! To meet a complete stranger that you are compatible with, not only physically, but also temperament and personality. Talk about Trail Magic.

While Hadlie and I made a backpacker meal of Mac-n-Cheese, Port (PCT trail name), shared trail stories with us. He had several encounters with animals including bears, rattlesnakes, and one spooky Mountain Lion story. He shared his favorite scenery so far, and how he had to jump around California because of the late snow melt in the Sierras.

Port told us about another man from Belgium travelling with his 11-year old son. We told him we passed them earlier in the day! I was SO excited to hear the scoop on this duo.

Indeed, the two of them were hiking the entire PCT. Port told us he hiked a couple hundred miles with them in California, including the climb up Mt. Whitney – icepicks and all. He said it was pretty nerve-wracking climbing the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States with a child. Wow, I was really impressed. Hadlie decided if an 11-year old can hike 2,650 miles, she can do 31.5 without complaining too much.

His buddy, Woody (PCT Trail name), who was from San Diego, didn’t arrive at the shelter until 6:30 p.m., and they decided to call it a day. They just cowboy camped – no tent – simply on the ground in sleeping bags with their food bag between them. Port told me bears are more scared of us than we are of them, and the bears wouldn’t dare approach a human to get to a food bag. Hmmm….okay.

Hadlie and I got our tent set up, and settled in for the night. I hung my bear bag far away from all of us.

Camp For The Night

Around 7 p.m., Shannon (the woman I met at Callahan’s Lodge) strolled into camp. Yay – I was so excited to hear her familiar voice! Thirty minutes later, another man arrived. It felt like a party (socially distanced of course). I wasn’t too worried about COVID, hanging with these folks who had been living in the woods for months.

This night gave me the misperception my evenings would be full of company. However, having people nearby would actually be very rare moving forward.

Shannon was trying to get to Crater Lake in just a few days to meet her husband, and was planning on spending a couple zero days there. I figured I could catch up to her again, and we loosely planned to find each other at the campground.

That evening, Hadlie listened to a podcast while I wrote in my journal. This was one of the most joyous and memorable evenings on the trail.

Flowers surrounding the shelter

Oregon PCT Day 6 – Hyatt Lake to Klum Landing Campground

Day Six
Today’s Miles: 8.2
Total Miles: 60.6
Hyatt Lake to Klum Landing Campground

The mileage was low today because my daughter joined me, and we wanted to start out slow. The two of us did a pretty epic backpacking trip together last September to celebrate her high school graduation. She didn’t really love that experience, and it took some convincing to have her join me for a few days on my PCT journey this year.

She finally caved wanting to be a part of my big adventure, and I promised her better weather and an easier trail. (It poured down rain on us for an entire day last September, and we had to climb over hundreds of downed trees that crossed the trail – it was a tough introduction to backpacking!) I was happy to have her for the next three days. We would travel 31.5 miles together ending at Fish Lake.

Mama – daughter team tackle the PCT leaving Hyatt Lake

Sleeping in a blackout tent last night on a comfy air mattress, I didn’t wake up until 7 a.m. Those blackout tents really work. Everyone else slept until 9 a.m., so I spent the first couple of hours doing my usual routine, and writing in my journal. The geese were so loud this morning, they blanketed the lake when I first woke up, which was really low this year (as was the case with many of the lakes I passed).

Hyatt Lake and Mt. McLoughlin

Once the whole crew was awake, we packed up. Hadlie and Carl swapped items out of the backpacking pack, while I resupplied our food for the next three days, and took a quick shower. (Yay, the campground showers were open!) But, I didn’t have a towel in my pack yet, so I used a fuzzy sweater to dry off, and I left my soap in the shower…oops.

We went back to our new favorite restaurant, Cocorico for brunch (they served until 11 a.m.), and we were just as satisfied with our meals today as last night. The Grapefruit Brule was a special treat.

Carl dropped Hadlie and I off at the trailhead. My four-year-old was sad saying, “This is a really long hike, mom!” But, he was happy to be going home with his papa.

Hadlie and I hit the trail by 12:30 p.m. I felt bad it wasn’t the prettiest hiking day, but Hadlie didn’t seem to mind that. The heat bothered her more, and it was definitely a hot, dry day. I enjoyed a slew of new conversation that comes with a new hiking partner. You have A LOT of hours to catch up with someone when you are backpacking.

Look at those giant cones! A definite highlight of today.

Our evening destination of Klum Landing Campground, on the shore of Howard Prairie Lake, was technically closed this year due to low water levels, but I figured we could easily just walk in.

The directions in my book took us to the day use area, and it was confusing to find the actual campground. With the help of a very nice couple driving a white pickup truck, we found it up on a hill.

It would be a bit of a trek to get our packs up there, but it was worth it. The pit toilets were open, we had a view of the lake and a picnic table. Walking through the campground, I was struck by how much work goes into prepping them to be open. There were downed branches, and debris from winter storms. I found a new appreciation for all the folks that prepare campgrounds before the summer crowds; a job I simply never considered before.

We were low on water, I made the mistake assuming we could filter water from the lake, but it looked awful. I wasn’t sure we wanted to use it even if we filtered AND boiled. Later I read in my book NOT to drink the water, so I’m glad we didn’t try.

We got our feet wet, because soaking tired feet always sounds so nice, but the water wasn’t all that refreshing, and we sank deep in the mud. The lake was REALLY low as you can see in the photos below. That’s the boat dock!

In all the wandering around we did when we first got there, I lost my water bottle (with precious water in it). I retraced my steps several times, and an hour later Hadlie and I finally found it, phew.

We set up our tent and made dinner. The nice couple we met earlier also stayed in the campground. Shyly, I asked if they had any extra water. They gave us an entire gallon saying, “If you need anything else, just let us know. We are so impressed you are out here backpacking.”

They were friendly, and this was my first experience with, Trail Magic, and The Trail Will Provide. Basically, have faith and everything will work out on the PCT. We would have been fine until we got to the first water source tomorrow, but the gallon of water meant we didn’t have to ration, or stress, and we could treat ourselves to some well-deserved tea.

Hadlie and I sat at the picnic table and journaled for a couple of hours drinking our tea before crawling into the tent. It was a solid first day with my new trail partner.