This was the day we did the horse shuffle for a few days back. I wanted to use BG because she is not as sensitive to rocks as Mercedes and there would be plenty of rock today. Ever since Obsidian Falls the trail has been skirting or crossing lava flows. Starting at Lava Lake trail the trail today was in the lava beds for the next seven miles, slow going, Gary walking slow going. I had been through this portion of the PCT some years back and remembered the Lava beds as being a couple of miles of atrocious rocky trail, I didn’t remember the lava in the trees, that are now burnt. The part I remember wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered while the part I didn’t remember was worse. We did get through the lava and got back on good dirt trail.
Most of the trail around Mt. Washington has been burnt, finding the elusive unmarked trail to George Lake as the way is pretty clear without all the trees obscuring the route. One part of the mountainside that escaped unscathed is on the west side and has the meadow with the clear view of the mountain.
In due time I met up with Janis at Santiam Pass, where we intended to spend the evening before riding on to the Pamelia Creek Trailhead. The PCT has been closed at Mt. Jefferson due to forest fire. We saw a forest ranger pull up in his pickup to update the forest fire information board at Santiam Pass. He informed us that it was the Forest Service’s intention to strictly enforce the limited entry rule at Pamelia forcing the hikers to exit the wilderness on the Woodpecker trail. Unfortunately for us the road to Woodpecker is no place for a horse trailer. Janis and I opted to pull up stakes and move to the Triangle Lake HC near Olallie Lake, our next destination after Pamelia.
Trail data: mileposts; 1977-1999, miles ridden; 26, trail time; 9:33, average speed; 2.7, minimum elevation; 4706, maximum elevation; 6111, total ascent; 3679, total descent; 3577
Total miles: 1612