Wild pony and I packed up and set off at 7.
The walking is like being back in the desert. Distance determined by water source. A lot of Oregon is dry, most of the seasonal streams are dry. 10 miles to the next spring. The terrain was nice and any climbing was gentle. But I was struggling today mentally. I think I felt…bored. Sure Oregon is easier than some of the stuff that’s gone before, but there’s nothing to look at, no beautiful view to greet you as you turn the corner because you are mostly in trees all day. There is no achievement in reaching the top of a climb because it just goes gently up and down all day. I wasn’t even inspired to take many photos. Just this one of my main view of the day – a receding Mount Shasta.
4 more miles and Wild Pony and I stopped for some lunch. I am super hungry today and I’ve eaten most of my snacks already. I had the standard tuna and crackers and Cheetos. There were wasps everywhere and eventually they became too much and I packed up and left. No bugs while you are walking, then as soon as you stop they surround you.
4 more miles got me to the second water source at the South Brown Mountain Shelter. There was a register inside and a message from Growler! I pumped out some water and went on my way leaving Wild Pony to pump his water.
I ran into a guy called Rebo who I’ve been just behind for a couple of months now! He posts a lot on Facebook and I felt like I already knew him although we only just met!
10 more miles to the planned camp spot. It had got hot. We walked through seemingly endless fields of lava, a handy path built right through the middle. I was finding it hard to get the motivation to keep on moving. I don’t want to walk any more today. I led on a log for half an hour. Watching the squirrels and birds go about their business, swatting away the wasps and flies with my hat. I stared up at the sky for a while. A butterfly landed on my leg.
I carried on trudging through the lava fields where it seemed to get hotter and hotter and it almost zapped the last of my energy. I did some more sitting in the few shady spots. I had some patchy cell service – I looked up the weather. 102 degrees at 5pm. Ugh.
I eventually got to the camp spot and the water a little later than planned because I stopped so much.
I stood in the creek for a while, the cold water soothing my puffy feet and I washed off all the dirt – the trail was super dusty today. Dana arrived and Farmer and Bumble. We all camped together. I ate a backpackers pantry freeze dried meal – chicken and broccoli with rice noodles and a garlic and soy sauce. Now this is exactly the kind of thing I eat at home and it was really really good. Plus it was a whopping 720 calories!