Friday, July 20, 2018 – 15.10 miles
Fantastic hiking today. The trail wound through flowery meadows past a bizarre rock mesa to bizarre South Sister, which looked like a blob of clay with scoops taken out of it.
Then came the Obsidian Limited Entry Area, and views of Middle Sister and a peak that I think was North Sister. I’m hoping to get more views of North Sister tomorrow.
The mosquitoes were annoying in the morning, but overall much improved from before Elk Lake. I saw a beautiful striped mosquito, aedes aegypti, that my mother later identified as dangerous. Now she’s worrying that I’ll get a disease (of course).
Progress was slow today since I was stopping every minute to look around, so I ended up searching for a campsite until late. I came to an established campsite that looked nice until I noticed a cathole only metres from the tent pad. It looked like a case of a ranger cleaning up after someone since the distribution of dirt beside the hole was indicative of a shovel. I then saw nutshells at the edge of the campsite, so it was doubly disqualified.
I ended up camping near the edge of a gorge, which I later realized was the edge of a vast lava flow. My little scenery junkie heart is overflowing with joy.