Mile 1998.4-2030.4 (32.0)
Pat dropped me off at the trailhead at 6:30am. I don’t know if I’ll get to see him next weekend or not. It depends on his work, on whether we find a place to rent in Ashland, on how much time he has to move. I hope he can drive up, but I am trying to mentally prepare for the alternative, wherein I don’t see him until I finish the PCT, reach Canada, and bus back to southern Oregon. I mostly try not to think about it.
Despite the coffee this morning, I plodded along for the first few hours, slow from lack of sleep. It was warm and pleasant out. There were many shimmering lakes decorating the massive burn area. Rockpile Lake was especially lovely, perched high along the ridge, clear water and green trees all around. I wanted to swim, but there was a loud group of ladies behind me who shatter the delicate privacy I seek, so I move on.
I startled a group of deer, two fawns and a doe. They all ran in different directions. The babies were separated from their mom and I was somehow in the middle, so I backed up and gave them some space to regroup. Later, I surprised a lone deer bounding down the trail toward me. 20 feet short, the little deer saw me, paused, then ran off into the forest.
I approached Mt. Jefferson steadily until it’s bulk is squarely in front of me. The trail darted down and around as if ducking from the great mountain. I dropped down into new conifer forests. Small mosquitos came out and drove me forward. Luckily there were only a few and the annoyance was tolerable.
In the evening I passed a number of creeks. The water coursing through Russel Creek was gray and the current was strong. It was deceptively shallow. I got two wet feet none the less. Not long after I set up my tent by Whitewater Creek, washed my dusty legs and feet, and crawled inside for a cozy sleep.