Wednesday, September 29, 2021

PCT day 8 & 9: Elk Lake Resort and Sisters Wilderness

 Day 8: 30 miles

    Up until this point we had been extremely lucky with the mosquitos! The unrelenting heat waves that have affected our planet this year have also caused a bit of a drought which in turn have affected the breeding ground for mosquitos. I typically wrote notes at the end of each day which is how I remember what we did everyday. This day, I didn’t write very much. I was probably in a mosquito fog and blocked out all other things in order to survive. Here is all I got down:

“Mosquitos and lakes! We swam at dumbbell lake. Camped with Boston Mule. We got out before 6am. Took many breaks. Peters achilles flared up a bit.”

Day 9: 26 miles

    Today we walked 6 miles into Elk Lake Resort! We just kept timing our civilization stops at breakfast time which was fine by me! Elk Lake resort was bustling because a huge road running relay race was happening at the same time. The race is called Cascade Lakes Relay and is a 216 mile relay that happens over 2 days. Today was the dress up day and everyone was walking around the resort in costume. The energy was electric but it also meant there was an abnormally long line for breakfast. Luckily, it didn't take too long to get a table - We settled in for a magnificent feast while staring out at Elk Lake. There were many people sleeping in the grass and on blow up mattresses strewn all over the resort. It was hard to tell who were tired relay runners and who were PCT hikers. 

    It was this day that we finally met Little Foot and her parents. Little foot is a 5 year old who is hiking the entire trail with her parents. She dressed like your classic hiker: long sleeve button up shirt,  khaki hiking pants, a bandana wrapped around her neck, hiking hat, and little Altra shoes. She definitely dressed the part. Other than 300 miles (due to snow) through the sierras, she had hiked every step from Mexico. I couldn’t help but be inspired by this family and the incredible bond and memories they were making together. I’m so curious if she even comprehends that what she is doing is different than how most other kids spend their summer. 

    I had my eye on some ice cream they were serving but I was already so full and I knew we had an entire afternoon of hiking ahead of us. As tempting as it is to eat all the things, I have paid the overeating price before and didn't want to feel sick the rest of the day. Ice cream would have to wait for another day! 

I found this tree quite beautiful :)

    Not long after leaving Elk Lake we saw a hiker talking on his phone on the top of this hill and figured there must be service there. Our shoes were beginning to break down and Peter needed some more chafing lube and insoles, amongst other things. We had the idea to call his Sister Kathleen and ask is she would be able to ship us some items. She had zero heads up that this might happen but she snapped into action at the drop of a hat and got us everything we needed. I believe this entailed driving all over town to collect these said items. To say she is a God sent is an understatement. The bond that Peter has with his family is quite admirable. They truly would do anything for each other and often go well out of their way to help each other out. 

    We entered the Sisters Wilderness and hiked another 20 miles that afternoon. Peter and I had attempted a 50 mile hike through the sisters wilderness many years ago but we had to turn back early due to snowfall. Needless to say it was exciting to be back! We had met another hiker who had warned us that there was a forest ranger ahead and he was checking PCT permits. Luckily we had nothing to worry about because we had a permit. We saw him up ahead and we stopped to pull out our permits. He checked them and then gave us a speal about camping in the area and a little history about the park. It was quite educational…at the time. I asked if he had caught anyone hiking without a permit and he said yes. Moral of his story, make sure you have your permit or you will be escorted out of the park! 

    Our camp spot for the night was near this beautiful waterfall and it couldn’t have been more picturesque. There was only one tentsite here and I was quite shocked it hadn’t been scooped up! Having this space all to ourselves felt quite special. 

Until next time, 

Marathon and Pole Vault

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