Day 108-111: California Complete, Oregon Awaits

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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.

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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 104-107: Newts, Snow Hats, and a Flock of Hummingbirds

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.

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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.

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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.