a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 1983.7 to 1999.0. Bend to Pond camp.
As organized the day before, Lawrence, the Uber driver picks us up at 9am. We load all our gear into the back of his car and off we are again towards the trailhead at McKenzie Road. It is a lovely, sunny day today and Lawrence tells us lots of things about Bend, the forest and wildfires and about the volcanoes around here. 30 very interesting minutes later we arrive at the trailhead, which is directly located on a big black lava field. Now this is not where we left the trail, as we hitched from Shelter Cove to Bend directly instead of hiking to the McKenzie Road trailhead near Bend. Considering that we are late in the season we decided to skip around 70 miles and start hiking at this trailhead instead going back to Shelter Cove.
We say goodbye to Lawrence and ask him how much we owe him when he tells us that we don't have to pay him for the drive out here. He is amazing! We don't know what to say, especially since the drive took about an hour! Thank you Lawrence!!!
We then start our hike into the lava fields. I've always been looking forward to seeing the volcanoes in Oregon - and walking on actual lava! - since we started planning this trip. Now that we are actually here it feels exciting! But after hiking on these sharp lava rocks for 30 minutes our feet start hurting badly and we only wish to end this fakir-like walk over glowing coal. And thankfully our wish is soon granted and the lava field ends.
In the afternoon the once blue sky turns greyish, since there is a lot of smoke coming from yet another wildfire. Later we pass several bow hunters. It is kind of creepy to know that they are out here as well and you always hope they don't shoot you by mistake. But most of them are very polite and greet us. The last two hunters we pass shortly before we reach our designated camping spot next to a lake even give us some fresh water.
When we reach the lake there are other hikers camped there as well and all the spots seem taken. We start talking to this Australian woman when we realize that we've met her before! At Casa de Luna in SoCal, around mid-June. How nice! We have a little chat with her, then pitch our tent next to the lake. The wind is howling and the night is cool, but we are cozy inside our tent and after dinner go to bed early.