Tuesday, July 31, 2018 – 13.60 miles
The hike to the Joe Graham Horse Campground trail junction was entirely downhill and I arrived in mid-morning. The campground has potable water, dumpsters and an outhouse.
I followed a series of trail magic signs, expecting another unattended cooler, and was surprised to find a row of camp chairs and a tent filled with sandwich ingredients, cookies, chips, candy and pop. It was like a makeshift restaurant. Europe, is that you?
The trail angel, Connie, had a donation box and religious brochures along with the food. I left a donation but didn’t take a brochure because I was thinking ‘I don’t want to carry it’. One could argue that since I wouldn’t read the brochure, taking one would deprive her of a brochure that someone else might read, but the endgame of that argument is that I’m going to hell. There were lots of brochures. A ton.
After a sandwich, cookie and pop I was back on the PCT. The trail was more interesting today, skirting Timothy Lake and crossing a wide, shallow steam flowing into the lake.
A ‘Little Crater Lake’ was located not far from the PCT but unfortunately I missed taking the side trail at the junction, thinking for some reason that there was another side trail later. The map notes the area as ‘Little Crater Lake geological area’, which sounds interesting.
A SOBO hiker asked me how bad the mosquitoes were up ahead. Don’t ask me, man. My standards are hopelessly skewed after the Diamond Peak Wilderness. I have noticed though that my tolerance for mosquitoes has returned to normal. During the Fish Lake to Elk Lake stretch, I would whip on my headnet in a frenzy if there were even a couple buzzing around my face (a vanguard) but now I can tolerate a few.
I had been considering taking a long day today and hiking to Timberline Lodge in time for the lunch buffet tomorrow, but I’ve got a headache and decided against it. I bushwhacked above the trail to a slopey but campable spot with a view of Mt. Hood through the trees. It looked untouched with a thick coating of pine cones, but I found an old axe buried in a log nearby. I considered hiking down to the trail and trying to scare hikers with it, but that seemed too cruel (albeit apropos with Timberline Lodge nearby).