Day 108: Above Summit Lake (Mile 1624.5)-Grider Creek (Mile 1650); 25.5 miles
The Marble Mountain Wilderness featured hillsides of wildflower-filled meadows topped by peaks of jagged rock.
We certainly didn’t object to a morning jaunt through that! Neither did the local cows, which at one point blocked the trail. We clacked our trekking poles together and hollered at the cows. They reluctantly lumbered off the trail and up the hill, cowbells clanking madly.
Day 104: Deadfall Lake (Mile 1542.5)-Above Scott Mountain Campground (Mile 1567.5); 25 miles
After saying our goodbyes to friends and family, we hit the trail. We soon came upon a hillside covered in dark purple flowers. A large flock of hummingbirds was enjoying the flowers’ nectar and chasing each other through the blossoms. When they needed a rest, they would perch on the flower stalks, which didn’t even bow under their weight.
We paused to watch for a few minutes. We had never seen so many hummingbirds in one place before, and they were beautifully playful.
After a mix of forest and open vista walking, we reached a spring, where we cooked lunch with the clear, cold water. Parmesan pasta was on the menu, but with an awesome twist: North Star’s aunt Jan forages for mushrooms, and had sent us dried morels. We rehydrated those and added them to the pasta. The flavor was wonderful.
After lunch we walked along a curving ridge, and eventually almost circled back on ourselves! This part of the PCT wandered all over the place, including, for some portions, to the south. It felt as if California didn’t want to let us cross into Oregon.
Still, we made good progress, and were rewarded with a very sweet sunset in the forest.
Hello! I’m Becky, Chri- er, Shutterbug’s sister and special guest blogger. North Star and Shutterbug were generous enough to slow down their breakneck hiking pace for a bit so that North Star’s friend Karin and I could join them on the trail and get a little taste of their ongoing adventure. I suggested I might write a post about it, and they were game, so here it is.
Half of Day 101: Castella (Mile 1506.5)-Tributary to Sulphur Creek (Mile 1512.5); 6 miles
Karin and I chose to meet Shutterbug and North Star at Castle Crags State Park. We woke up early and drove to the trail head, waiting just a few minutes before our intrepid hikers emerged from the wilderness right on schedule. They were a bit skinnier and dirtier than I’d remembered them, but as cheerful and energetic as always. It was great to see them again! Not so great to smell them. (Just kidding! They smelled fine.)