Taking a well earned day and a half off from the PCT here in Bend, OR, we are having to weigh all our options while off trail. We have covered 590 glorious miles of California and Oregon terrain and amazingly, neither Iron Maiden nor myself have fallen down yet. We’d fallen at least a dozen times by now on the AT. It’s good to reject gravity whenever you can sometimes, especially as your feet slide on some stupid rock going downhill.
Although the relatively gentle slopes that define southern to central Oregon have been welcome, there is a cost. Water sources have been fewer and further apart, and combined with our sweltering summer temps, everyday is a workout. A gazillion mosquitoes also call this their home, some days a good slap across your chest can take out five of them at once. Bug nets are worth a dollar per hole, true sanity savers they are.
We did finally get to visit a unique natural landmark nearby, Crater Lake, a 1900 + foot deep lake fed only by rain and snow. The blueness of the depths parallels Caribbean advertisements.
Challenges remain, of course, we are having to reroute around a two year old burn area that has closed 20 miles of the PCT, adding to our logistical woes. The rarity of roads turns it into a 150 mile ride to the other side.
Fire season is upon us as well now, parts of Northern California and Oregon are burning. The Park Service recently closed parts of the PCT not too far south of us, and the sky of Bend tonight is smelly and hazy with smoke. So we try and stay flexible with our plans and enjoy each day as it comes.
Alliteration of the week : Shadowy silhouetted songbirds scintillate sore senses singing soulful sonorous soliloquies.