Day 76: Ashes To Ashes

Mile reached: 1625.5 (+34.7)

High: I could see Oregon!

Low: The tread of the trail was quite rocky in places making for slow going. Many of these places were also exposed to an intense sun.

Hoping to do a 40, I got started early-ish. Almost immediately, I reached an area that had signal, and the weather forecast included a heat advisory. For the next week or so, it would be 20° above seasonal averages. Ouch.

This turned out to be one of the more physically demanding days on trail. The majority of the forest throughout the day had burned in a series of fires over years, so there was little respite from an oppressive sun. The trail was also significantly rocky with some stretches rivaling the High Sierra. Much to my dismay, I discovered that I had a 20 mile water carry through the middle of the day, but I made it with water to spare!

Ok, there was some water early in the day while still in the Russian Wilderness.
And some more!

A little before lunch, there was a register on the trail, and I signed it right after “Poseidon”. More interestingly, “Gandalf” was only a day ahead! Otherwise, the day was extremely solitary with just a few backpackers out.

Some of the mountains reminded me lot of Idaho.
The trees were bleeding. A sign of the coming Apocalypse?
Dry, burned mountains as far as the eye could see

At the very end of the day I entered the Marble Mountain Wilderness, which was comparatively lush. The mountains themselves seemed out of place. Presumably, the white rock peaks were in fact marble. I pushed on as far as I could but fell short of a 40 mile day. The going was just too slow. But, I did end up in an established campsite perched on a marble cliff that had open views toward the Klamath River basin to the north.

Grass! Anything but ash and rock.
Those mountains on the horizon, that’s Oregon!

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