August 14, 2017
Maidu Lake Junction – Summit Lake (1863.44-1886.85)
The chill of autumn was in the air this morning, and while I love fall (it’s my favourite season), that’s kind of freaky considering it’s still mid-August and we’re still in the middle of Oregon. I have no clue if summer is actually coming to an end or if it’s just a freak cold snap, but it was god damn cold this morning. I had my gloves and my puffy on and was still a bit chilled. We had to walk three quarters of a mile down a side trail first thing in the morning to collect water at Maidu Lake, which was kind of annoying and caused us to lose a lot of time this morning. The lake was beautiful though, mist rising off its surface.
Things started to warm up as we started hiking, but it stayed fairly cool for a while. For some reason, I was just not in the mood for hiking today. My brain really just wanted to do something else. I had a craving to plan something, to research for something, to make a list or a schedule or just something that involved the active use of my mind. For a brief moment, I even found myself wishing I had homework to do. Bleh. After our breakfast break, I listened to a podcast from my favourite yoga teacher, that unexpectedly contained a few small guided meditations, and that really helped me to center myself and enjoy the moment I was in at least a little bit more.
In stark contrast to yesterday, for whatever reason, the miles did not come easy to me today. Maybe I was worn out from the big miles the day before. Maybe the conditions were just a bit off, and I was spoiled by the near perfect conditions of yesterday. The uphills were a bit steeper, the air was (eventually) a bit warmer, and my mood just wasn’t there. Yesterday I was totally in the mood to crush miles, and I felt like I could hike forever, but today my heart just wasn’t in it. Just one of those days, I guess.
The morning was spent hiking mostly through forest, but we got some pretty cool views of some epic rock formations in the afternoon. After struggling up the big climb of the day, we had several miles of descent to camp, and I finally was able to really get moving. The mosquitoes started to get pretty bad near the end of the day, the worst we’ve had so far in Oregon. Usually they don’t bother you too much as long as you keep moving, but I couldn’t escape them even while hiking for the last few miles of the day.
At last, we arrived at the shore of Summit Lake and set up camp. The lake is totally gorgeous. It’s big and lined with conifers, and has an epic view of Diamond Peak rising up in the distance. The mosquitoes are fucking terrible though. I couldn’t wait to get into the tent and my quilt, and I couldn’t seem to get my dinner down fast enough. But I am now cozy in bed, after wishing for this moment several times throughout the day. Tomorrow there’s just 18 miles in to Shelter Cove Resort, where we’ll hopefully get a hot meal and some internet. It seems the whole state of Oregon is currently on fire, and our plans keep changing as new fires emerge. Today we learned of some new fires burning in the Three Sisters Wilderness, so it looks like we might have to skip yet another section. We’ll figure that out tomorrow.