August 18th, 2018
Twin Ponds Tr. mm 1781.5 to mm 1748.5
Distance: 33 miles
It was another long day that I got a lot of walking done. The trail didn’t have a whole lot going on other than forest and some lava. I saw a brief view of Mt McLaughlin just as I started out and then more distant views from some lava fields. It is another classic-looking volcano. Unfortunately it was too hazy to get pictures of it.
The lava section was interesting. The trail had been formed by laying down crushed gravel over the rocks and was very smooth and pleasant to walk on. There was forest interspersed in the lava, providing diversity. This went on for 7 miles and the further I went, the more course the gravel got. It started really hurting my feet. I was looking forward to the end of the section by the last. But I do appreciate the all the work that went into making such a nice trail through the lava.
I made it to Brown Mt Shelter for lunch. 18 miles done by 1230. There’s a well pump, which delivered cold, clear water…the first in 22 miles. A number of other hikers arrived to also fill up on water.
I pushed on, eager to be done with my 30 plus miles at a reasonable time. Doing big distances in a day is all about an early start and continuous movement, not about walking fast. Although, I can walk pretty fast when motivated.
It was a big uphill after lunch…just what I didn’t need. Going down, I was feeling sleepy and lazy. There were nice patches of grass that I just wanted to lay in. I passed on an off-trail spring, since I still had water. I made it to Grizzly Stream by 6, which is where I had planned to make it for the night, at a minimum.
Most of the campsites were already snagged, so I grabbed water, rinsed my feet and legs, and kept going. For once it wasn’t NOBOs but rather a group of 5 SOBO guys. I had met a few of them at Mazama but still didn’t really know them. I guess I didn’t feel like being social, plus it was still early and I knew the creek would attract many more campers. I like my space and these vast woods provide plenty of that.
The trail went up (of course) but I trudged on. I thought about trying to beat my record distance, and maybe go 35 miles. But not with the trail climbing for that distance. I also passed a train of about 10 NOBOs. The numbers had been pretty light for the day…just around 40, but they tend to come in packs. They probably think the same about us, since now there are at least 8 SOBOs just behind me.
As I walked, I could hear loud music (Metallica I think) and caught a few glimpses of RVs. There are several campgrounds along the nearby reservoir. My notes indicated that hikers could camp for $20 and have coin showers and such. With the noise coming from that place, no thank you.
At 7 pm, I started hunting for a spot to settle. Trouble was, I was going up a big, slanty hill. I found a clearing with a semi-flat spot. There was a deer and fawn nearby, so I took it as a positive sign to stop. I made it work but was sliding around on the slant all night. It’s the price I pay for solitude I guess.