August 16, 2017
Summit Lake – Shelter Cove Resort (1886.85-1903.68)
I was in the mood for hiking again today. It’s funny how much that kind of thing changes day to day, for seemingly no real reason. Today was beautiful. The air was chilled again this morning and smelt of fall. The world was shrouded in mist when we started hiking, making for some eerily beautiful lake and forest views. After a few miles, we entered the Diamond Peak Wilderness, which was totally gorgeous. We wound through open areas with amazing views of the snowy Diamond Peak. I’ve really been enjoying Oregon so far. While a lot of it is forest, it feels somehow nicer than the forest of Northern California, and the views when you do come out of the trees are stunning. I’m a bit sad that we’ll be missing a lot of the most scenic Oregon sections due to fires, but what can you do?
We stopped for a nice, somewhat long lunch break by a little creek, and after that there were only 7 downhill miles to Shelter Cove. I was booking it, excited to get to the resort, but couldn’t resist stopping for a swim break at the beautiful Hidden Lake. It turned out to be super shallow with a very squishy bottom, so it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as I’d been anticipating, but it still felt really nice to rinse off my layer of grime. I haven’t showered in a week, so I really needed it. After our swim, we finished the last few miles of the day quickly, and soon reached the road we would walk on for a little over a mile to the resort.
The porch of the resort store and restaurant was crowded with hikers. Some we’d been seeing on trail the past couple of days, some we hadn’t seen in a while, and some were new. We picked up our resupply boxes (very exciting, because my food supply had been running sadly low these past couple of days), grabbed some beers and ordered a pizza. We totally got convinced by the server to order a large pizza when the medium would have probably been the perfect amount, and it was waaaay too much. It was freaking delicious though.
At this point, the stresses of town began to pile up once more. For a while now, we’ve been looking forward to taking a zero in Bend, where we’ve been planning to treat ourselves to a hotel room. Well, we forgot to factor a major event into our planning. The eclipse. A small section of Oregon falls within the zone of totality for the solar eclipse that is happening in a few days, and the state is expecting major overcrowding for the event (somewhere in the vicinity of 1 million visitors). Of course, this means that every type of accommodation is either fully booked up or charging outrageous rates for their remaining rooms. The cheapest of roadside hotels were going for almost 200 dollars a night, and even the hostel was charging 100 dollars a bed. We’d been planning to treat ourselves a bit, but those prices just aren’t in our budget. This immediately threw a wrench in what had otherwise been a pretty great day. I’m sure everything will work out in the end, somehow, but we’d just really been ready for a bit of a break. I’m not sure why we even look forward to relaxing in towns at this point, because something always seems to go awry, making it more stressful than anything else.
Anyway, our plan is to hike 2 days from here to Elk Lake Resort, hitch from there to Bend, and hopefully stay at least one night before hitching further north to skip past the fire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. Of course, everything could change at any moment, which is still something I’m getting used to dealing with. At this point, with all the skipping, we’ll probably be getting to Washington in like a week, which is pretty exciting. I’m trying to just let the trail take me where it will without fighting it or stressing about it, and even though it’s hard, I’m just going to trust that everything will work out in the end.