Beginning Elevation = 6,400
Ending Elevation = 3,350
Elevation Range = 3,350 – 6,400
Weather: Cloudy, light rain
We survived the night. It never actually became much of a storm at all, just some light rain pattering the tent to fall asleep to. In fact, when I was packing up in the morning, it seemed my tent fly had even dried overnight. I’d decided to sleep a little later thinking that I didn’t want to pack up my wet gear in the rain, but that didn’t end up being necessary.
Snickers left early, hiking by 5:22am and I followed at 5:47am. Schnitzel and Lisa were still inside their tents when I took off. My morning stretch provided a few spots where I could look out a ways, but they would turn out to be some of the only ones for the day…I cruised along at a nice pace and about an hour in to my hike came to Breitenbush Lake Campground. I intended to pass on by, but as I walked past a site that appeared to have some car camping folks, someone yelled out, “Hey…Magic.” I paused, confused only for a few seconds, and then heard a second voice say, “Stevie!”
It was Mr. Warhorse, TW. I walked over and saw a group of hikers chatting amongst one another and with the car campers. After listening in some, I learned these folks set up here specifically to provide some trail magic for us thru-hikers!
It was pretty wonderful, one the best and most unexpected trail magic/kindness from strangers that I’ve experienced on the journey. French pressed coffee and fried eggs with cheese on English muffins! Scrumptious. It was actually two groups of folks from various Oregonian cities (Salem, Eugene, and Portland). Two were a couple that had met on the PCT in 2010 when they’d hiked and had received so much help along the way, they said, that they wanted to pay it forward.TW had camped with these folks the night before as well as about 7 or 8 other hikers. Apparently, dinner the night before was also chefed up for them too. I didn’t stay all that long, but certainly enjoyed the breakfast treat. TW and I left together after many thanks.
A little ways after hiking again, a light rain started. It kept up enough where I got out the new Poncho to try out. It felt a bit odd at first, but seemed to do the trick. And I looked very stylish, no doubt about it…It didn’t rain hard but kept going off and on until we reached Ollalie Lake, where there is a nice little store/”resort” for what I’d guess is mainly fisherfolk. I asked the store owner and she said they stock the lake with Rainbow Trout. I got a muffin and hot coffee. We met Snickers there too and several other hikers who were also enjoying a few treats from the store.The three of us hiked out together and continued together until lunch. The rain continued off and on until around 12:00pm maybe. It was nice and sunny for our break. Perfect for those who had wet stuff to dry it out. I didn’t really have anything wet, but Snickers, TW, and Pony (another hiker who stopped with us) did.
The rest of the day was spent cruising through forests. This was certainly one of the easiest hiking days in terms of terrain. It seemed like the whole day, with only a few exceptions, was spent descending very gradually, which made for a quick pace. We did stop and eat some huckleberries or blueberries, not sure which. They were everywhere! And tasty.The afternoon was a free for all, we didn’t stick together. When I reached the camp site we’d talked about getting to, adjacent to Warm Spring River, I learned that TW decided to keep going further. I didn’t see many great camping options ahead, and after nearly 28 miles already, was spent. Space on the northern side of the river was pretty full of hikers, so I went back across and set up on the south side. Snickers joined as I was setting up my tent. And later two others set up as well. It was a nice calm evening. I even did a nice dip/wash of my feetsies and legs in the icy cold river!