We spent two hours sticking our thumbs out to Highway 58 before Devin, a local resident, offered to drive us all the way to the trailhead.
It was a 58 mile ride getting us to the PCT around 1:00pm. The air was cool but the sunshine and clear skies lifted our spirits and improved the way I looked at the trail and forest around me. I guess the third time's a charm!
Out here I am more aware of how connected I feel to nature and my environment. My feelings are as fleeting, or as long lasting, as the weather around me.
When it's rainy and gray, I find it challenging to keep my mind in a positive place. But, as soon as the sky clears, so does my mind. It's as though Mother Nature is a puppeteer pulling the strings that manipulate my moods. Sunshine, rain, blue skies, clouds...they are all feelings manifested in nature. I now read weather reports like an emotional horoscope.
As we climbed higher the snow began to reveal itself.
Eventually the snow covered the trail and we became pioneers with no tracks to follow but our own.
Well...I suppose we weren't entirely alone out there...
By 6:30 the sun started to set, creating a gorgeous array of pinks and blues right below a nearly full moon.
Our feet were wet and cold from the snow and we set up camp at the next flat spot we found.
This morning I was happy to see more blue skies and a beautiful rising sun. The temperature stayed cool all day but the sunshine made for perfect hiking weather.
I took a mid morning coffee break at Summit Lake staring out at Diamond Peak.
Shortly after that we climbed up to a ridge that gave the most amazing views of snowy mountains, green trees, and beautiful lakes all around.
After 15 miles I found Cosmo beside a mile marker that he had made. We added up our PCT miles and today we hit 2000!
The rest of the day remained scenic as we hiked into the Mt. Thielsen Wilderness.
Oregon has been redeeming itself these past few days. The weather has held up and with sunshine and clear visibility we have enjoyed the ridge-line hikes and breathtaking panoramic views of Diamond Peak, Mt. Thielsen, and the surrounding mountain lakes.
This afternoon we reached the highest point in Oregon.
As we neared the end of our day the trail abruptly brought us to Highway 158 where we caught a ride with a couple from Florida to Diamond Lake Resort.