PCT Day 117 A Long Day

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  12th August 2015
Mileage 34.8 (56km)

Charlton Lake (1931.2) to Sisters Bushcamp (1966)

It’s 9pm. I’m laying in my tent typing this blog post while stealing occasional views outside at this great big volcanic area known as ‘the sisters’. There’s a huge 10000ft volcano only a couple of miles away. If it were to blow its top tonight, I think I’d be in a spot of bother. It’s dark but not yet dark enough for the stars to make an appearance. They won’t be far away. This is as fine a campsite as I have stayed on this whole hike. I am alone. It is silent, except for the occasional jet flying overhead and the hoot of a nearby owl. My tent is tucked up next to some trees on one side and an open field on the other. It is the open field that is affording me the stunning views of the volcanoes. I’m waiting for the full darkness to arrive when I might get lucky and see some of the early meteor action as earth passes through the Perseids Meteor Shower. It reaches its peak tomorrow, but I might see some action tonight.

The day’s hiking was without the large views that this trail is known for. Today it was the lakes and the trees that provided the highlights. Until I rounded a bend in the late afternoon and caught a glimpse of numerous volcanic mountains. In recent days I’ve heard that many hikers are sick of Oregon. The long green tunnel, they call it. So far I’m loving Oregon. The diversity, the volcanoes and lava fields, the lakes and the trees. 

It’s now 9.40pm, I’ve just found out that it looks like the PCT will close at Crater Lake, I was only there a couple of days ago. Looks like the fire in that area is bad!

10pm. I’ve spent the last 20 minutes looking at the stars and witnessed several meteors burn as they entered the atmosphere. Shades or red, green or bright white. For now, it’s good night, it’s been a long day. 



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  1. I know I’m a few years behind but I’ve been reading all your blogs. I want to get the triple crown someday and plan to do these hikes once my daughter is old enough to join me. I live in Oregon and am so glad you see the positive in it. I love it here! Thank you for all your amazing blogs and pictures 🙂

  2. Wow, so little snow left on South Sister this year! Been following your blog since the very beginning, enjoying all the visual! Thanks for keeping it up through the whole trail! Helps keep me motivated to continue planning for my hike next year.

  3. A couple years ago I got caught in that burn north of Charleton in a close lightning storm. That was pretty exciting! Also last year me and my buddy did the 360 trail around the 3 Sisters and summited South Sister. A great section of the trail. That would be great to be there for the meteor showers…enjoy! -GoalTech

  4. What a beautiful journey you are on! Thank you so much for sharing it with friends (and strangers, haha!) as well as the amazing photographs. Each day, I look forward to checking your blog and reading your posts. Glad you made it through Crater Lake before they closed the trail.

    I have been wondering about something. I know that hiking enthusiasts of all ages are enjoying the trail, but it seems like in so many of the pictures I see, there are groups of people hiking together or meeting up to camp together at night that must be in their 20s or 30s. I’m sure most people are friendly to everyone on the trail, but I was wondering about those like me who are more “seasoned” in life. If I was to finally cross an item off my bucket list and be able to hike a section of the PCT for part of a summer (I’m a teacher and can’t miss work to thru-hike), I can’t imagine that there would be many women like me ~ single hiker (hubby has a bad knee) in her late 40s with grown children. Would I probably end up hiking and camping alone, or would I find a group to fit in with? I don’t think a fun group of hikers in their 20s would enjoy the companionship of a “boring, old lady” like myself!

    1. Most people hike the trip solo and meet likeminded people on the trail to hike with for hours, days or months. The most common age group is certainly the 20-30 age bracket but they are very accomodating to us older hikers. There are many section hikers on the trail. Consider the PCT as 26-30 section hikes. You will be fine. There are some amazing people on the trail as I hope you will see soon.

  5. Yes, amazing photos! The tree trunk doing a 360 is a wonder. You seem so present in each moment, finding the beauty in any given small section of the trail… Instead of bitching about parts you may not especially care for. Thanks for sharing your journey. Tis a great gift to those of us who cannot do the trail. Wishing you continued safe travels.

  6. I’ve read quite a few trail blogs in the past. You have some of the best photos I’ve seen. If a picture paints a thousand words, you’ve painted several million. They’re stunning.

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