Mile reached: 2055.0 (+35.1)
High: Trail magic at Olallie Lake!
Low: “Gandalf” thought that we were a half day behind and didn’t wait at Olallie Lake. So, it might be a hassle to catch him before Cascade Locks.
Since I had only camped a few feet off the trail, I woke up to the thud of feet as “Extra Miles” ran by. She was shortly followed by “Sherlock Holmes”, “Watson”, and then “Dunks”. At least I got on trail before “Skipper” came through, who is always slow to get started in the morning.
Mount Jefferson was beautifully illuminated in the morning sunlight. It being the weekend, there were multiple parties of climbers heading up the PCT. One party of two was looking for the SW ridge route, which I had attempted two years back and couldn’t find it as well. So, I was at least able to recommend that they continue on the PCT and ascend via the south, which they happily decided to do.
The rest of the morning was dominated by a lengthy climb that circled around the mountain. In a few places it was cut by sizeable rivers fed by glaciers up on Jefferson. Strangely, one had a dead horse in the middle of it, which appeared like it might explode. I definitely crossed that river expediently. Near the end of the traverse the trail crossed Jefferson Park, which was quite beautiful, meadows and ponds hiding in the shadow of the volcano.
At the top of the climb I caught up to “Extra Miles” and “Sherlock Holmes”, who were eating lunch. Since I had already eaten, I only spent a few minutes before running down to Olallie Lake. There I encountered some trail magic but also learned that I had missed “Gandalf” by just an hour.
The trail angel, Nate, was surprisingly knowledgeable about where various hikers were. Disappointingly, I learned that the two Australians I had met in Sierra City recently ran into problems in Yosemite. Apparently, a ranger made them hike north all the way out of the park, because they had a northbound permit. Flip flopping due to snow on the Sierra required that they get a new permit.
With all of the food Nate was feeding us it was tempting to spend the night. However, I set out with the rest of the group. Due to all of the weekend backpackers there was a paucity of available sites. So, we ended up squeezing around a spring that already had two Sobos and a swarm of mosquitoes.