We woke up above the fog that permeated the Diamond Lake area. Other hikers behind and below us in elevation had a wet morning from the fog dripping from the trees.
Mount Thielsen was in the clouds yesterday, and today the scene opened up its splendor to us.
We walked into two south bounders and we exchanged information about the potential opportunites to come. We heard that Highway 242 at McKenzie pass was closed because it was being repaved.
We would see and spend time with "Ice Axe" and "Day Late" till the end of the trail in northern Washington State. "Ice Axe" lives in the Santa Cruz area where I spent about five years of my life. He was one of the most cheerful and enthusiastic souls that we met on the trail. He truly found heaven on earth by finding his way through the wilderness that is within.
You can see how perspective changes by looking at Mount Thielsen which was now a days journey behind us. Crater Lake and the remnants of Mount Mazama are seen on the right side of the photo.
Diamond Peak just ahead appeared to be another volcano that lost its head in a fit of anger.
We were now to descend to the cool waters of Summit Lake. Did we mention that we often would not bathe or take a shower for weeks at a time. I wore the same clothes for four and half months. One really gets comfortable with all aspects of one's being.
Climbing up towards Diamond Peak we get a good look at Summit Lake behind us and the faint outline of Mount Thielsen.
Here at Diamond Peak we decided we were going to shift gears and make it to Willamette Pass before dark so we could order a pizza at the ski resort which is only open on the weekends. "Day Late", who we first met in the High Sierra's, would be our dinner companion.
Just as the restuarant and resort was about to close, Chuck Norris, Billy Goat, and the PCT Van arrived to give us a ride to Shelter Cove Campground where Road Runner and his wife Peggy had reserved a spot for thru-hikers. We enjoyed the wonderful meals they cooked in appreciation of our common Love for the long distance trek. They fed us well and we had wonderful conversations about those who had the lust to hike as a vocation.
Chuck Norris even had a hiker box in his van for us to re-supply from where the goodies come from those who have sent too much food ahead for them selves.
This region was a mecca for front and back country fisherman.
The clouds, however, arrived again to obscure our views of the towering Three Sisters where many weekend warriors became intimate with her volcanic soils. Huckleberries were now a staple to our diet as well as the blue tongues and fingers that accompanied such feasts of delicious delight.