For three days I hiked alone, after Jim dropped me back off at the trail. I was able to do longer days without having to stay on pace with others which was nice. I also passed through the “Obsidian Falls Limited Entry Area”. This area is highly protected and rightfully so. There are water falls and alpine meadows through the whole 8 mile stretch. At the end of it I even got my permit checked for the first time since I left.
When I made it to bend I was able to catch up with my group and enjoy an additional day of rest.
Hitching out of bend was rather difficult as it is a rather large city by PCT sandards , but after a little while someone who was familiar it the trail drove us the whole 40 miles back.
We resumed our hike mid afternoon at the correctly named “Lava Field Campground”. Hours were spent treking over hot, ankle breaking field of lava rock. Lava as far as the eye could see, distorting the views with the waves of heat it threw into the air. It made for a long slow day. Having heavy packs full of food from town didn’t help either and the moral sank low within the group.
As the first day back on trail continued, we noticed how we passed by a church camp on a gaint lake. We went there and were welcomed most graciously. They took us through the cafeteria line and we camped out on a sandy beach, watching the sunset over the lake. Lt Dan also plays the uke so we had a jam sesh and it cured all our aches and pains from the days hike.
Noel Nelson (pct mile 1992)