Daily Miles: 18
Total Miles: 1992
We decided to get an early start today to make sure we got in early enough to the Big Lake Youth Camp. Our guidebook showed that they served dinner at 5:30, and we also wanted to be able to do laundry and take showers. So, we decided to head out at 6:00am. It is just light enough at 6:00, that you don’t need a headlamp to start hiking.
Gazelle had used Beardoh’s ace bandage for her shin which seemed to help on the big downhill we had in the morning.
In late morning, we came to a big lava field which had a very rocky trail built through it. The lava fields are really cool to go through, since it is so different than what we have walked through up to now. But the rocks are hard on our feet, so we curse the lava fields while also admiring their uniqueness.
In the middle of the lava field was a state two-lane highway. And parked at the trailhead was Coppertone, the Trail Angel that we have encountered around nine times on the trail so far. We all got root beer floats and really enjoyed them, even though it was a bit chilly in the shade. It was a nice treat before heading back out for the final few miles through the lava field.
A lot of the afternoon was spent walking through an area that suffered a big forest fire five or so years ago. These areas are depressing to look at and really hot to walk through in the afternoon, because there is little to no shade.
We got to the Big Lake Youth Camp around 3:30 and were disappointed to learn that there were no meals offered that day. We had all planned to eat there, so we didn’t have any spare food to eat for dinner. So, instead we looked through several boxes of food discarded by other hikers to find something we could have. We found a box of rice with seasoning, and used Gazelle’s stove to cook it up. It was a pretty light dinner, but at least it was something.
When we got to the youth camp and checked out the hiker register, we saw that there was a note for us from our friend, Qball. He isn’t hiking the PCT this year, but just happened to be going through the area. Turns out that we just missed him by 3 or 4 hours. We were bummed to have missed him, but hopefully we will be able to meet up further up the trail.
We all got showers and did laundry at the camp. It is always nice to get clean and to put on clean clothes. We finally headed out towards the trail at 7:45pm. We just went a short distance from the camp and luckily found a great campsite. It is pretty cold out tonight, so we all headed to bed as soon as we got to camp.