Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15 August - Day 114 - FIRE! And Silence Falls on the Summer Woods

From Lower Rosary Lake (Mile 1917.3) to Taylor Lake (Mile 1936.5)

Total PCT Miles Hiked Today: 19.2

We'll post this entry out of sequence - then post the earlier journal entries as we can.

Fires have sprung up in Oregon ever more aggressively. Counting all the fires in California (I won't list them here) this could well be the worst fire season for the PCT in memory. Behind us trail closures due to fire have stranded or caused major problems for PCT Hikers. The Chips fire at Belden. The Reading Fire in Lassen National Park. The Fort Complex fire north of the Seiad Valley. More fires just behind us on Mt Thielsen ... Trails we walked two days ago are closed now due to fire. And hot spots keep flaring up not far away. Ahead of us 100 miles (4-5 days hiking) the PCT is closed from a fire near Mt Jefferson. We'll have to reroute. Argh. The sky at sunrise is the rose of ash and smoke.

Morning lakeside logistics after breakfast today. We had some iPhone madness - posting online orders for all the last gear and logistical items we anticipate needing for WA. We are planning a big shop-em-up-&-box-em-up marathon zero day in Cascade Locks where we will put together all of our resupply boxes for the rest of the trip. From then on it will be smooth sailing (we hope) as we stop just long enough to dry off (if it ever rains) and pick up our boxes before we are on our way again.

Strange silences in the forest all day today. Its like the land has turned the corner toward Autumn and everything has started conserving its energy for winter. No bird song. No animals. No bug sound. The air wasn't moving. Just still. Kind of eerie and unsettling. One positive side effect is that there were sharply fewer mozzies (we are looking forward to the day they leave forever - we hear that sometime soon someone hits the off switch).

A beautiful if monotonous hike through mossy green hallways of fir-hemlock forest for most of the day. Then at the end of the hike the forest walls fell down around us when we entered an old burn area and, voilĂ ! the Three Sisters (and perhaps some other volcanic mountains) filling the horizon to the north.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

1 comment:

  1. We've noticed the stillness here in Wisconsin, too. The hermit thrushes are gone from the forests, the red wing blackbirds have already gone south. The sandhill cranes are starting to band together.
    Stay safe and away from those fires.