Sunday, July 01, 2018 – 12.60 miles
Early this morning I reached the Mardon skipper preservation area. At the entrance were three women with backpacks, one of whom offered me a Clif bar. I declined, thinking that she was just a PCT hiker trying to get rid of unwanted food. I do still eat Clif bars but sparingly, and I can’t eat the original flavours like ‘chocolate chip’ or the horror of ‘white chocolate macadamia nut’. Their taste is engraved into my brain… I will forget these wistful days long before I forget the taste of white chocolate macadamia nut…
The woman then revealed that she was a day hiker trying to do some trail angeling, so I felt bad for refusing her offer, but not bad enough to force-feed myself that bar. Two more PCT hikers arrived and the man answered her enquiry with ‘I’m never hungry for a Clif bar’. Final score: 0/3. I’m sorry for our ungratefulness.
Water is less plentiful in this area and seasonal sources are drying/dried up. Other than a grotty lake that I did not investigate, I saw no sources until Hyatt Lake Reservoir. I had been feeling tired all day and was considering camping at the reservoir, but the campsites were disgusting with exposed toilet paper and other signs of usage. Climbing up to look at the lake, I saw people paddleboarding with their sunscreeny Deety flesh only inches from the water. I climbed down to look at the water again. I thought it smelled strange but the campfire smoke from the campground could have been confusing my nose. I went to a side stream to check whether that was more appealing and saw discoloured foam building up between the rocks. GIRL BYE. The problem was that the next non-polluted source (eTrails/Yogi’s book flag several as visibly polluted) was a spring in fourteen miles, and even though Hyatt Lake Campground is only 0.3 miles from the PCT, I knew that its water had been turned off because of low snowfall. I realized that the resort 1.4 miles from the PCT must have water though, and immediately my objective became to get there before the closure of the restaurant.
Perking up with that objective, I arrived at 5:30 PM. The resort was hiker-friendly. The waitress confirmed that I could charge my phone and got me water from the kitchen, and the resort owner gave me a ride to the campground after I finished my meal. He told me about how cabins can be classified as RVs, proving that a regulation somewhere needs to be rewritten.
The campground is free because the water is turned off! Whee! I’m sharing the PCT site with Trish and Paul, seasoned adventurers with many trips under their belts. I enjoyed talking to them and learning about local geology from Paul. Trish asked me about hanging my food, and said that the bears in Oregon are terrified of humans because of hunting. I believed her when I saw that the garbage cans here aren’t even bearproof. A determined squirrel could knock those suckers over.