Im aiming for Fish Lake this morning , ive packed up and waved a cheery goodbye to ‘Brown Hut’ . The trail angel Hannah wants to do some hiking and has offered to meet us and bring some supplys up to the trail and hike a day or two with me .
Its an easy start to the day , the first few miles reveal a diffrent terrain , im now starting to encounter lava feilds , this landscape is all volcanic . The rocks are light , but super abbrasive , and have a bit of a reputation amongst hikers on the PCT for being shoe shredders . I watch my step .
Ive enjoyed these forest sections hugely , the wild song is always present , and my morning is well and truly made when a pair of young does spring up meters from me . They spring across the pathway and dissolve into the rich green mystery . I expect Pan to be casualy playing a flute behind a tree , its pure magic . Too in the moment to take a photo , i pinch myself and wake up in the present again . I spend the next hour negotiating fallen trees across the path , clambering and sometimes balancing on huge roots and fallen trunks . What is this power ? How does it revolve ?
Later I come out of the woods to another Lava feild , the contrasting colours are sharp and bold . Reds and blacks of the path make me feel that I am ‘on the good red road’ of the First Nations . They say the ‘red road’ symbolises the blood that we all have in common , the veins that run through us are its pathways , and the human heart its destination . Its a beautiful way . Practises like :’Sun Dancing’ ,swet lodges and shamanic drumming offer windows to nature connection at its most pure. I can begin to see why this landscape was so reveared by those who were here before me . If i had a drum , then i would play it this morning , of course , i dont , so i sing instead , songs of celebration , songs of shared tradition , songs . ( thats why they call me jukebox)
Its a trail warden , she is tidying the trail for the coming season of PCT hikers , she is impressed how far up the trail i am , suggesting that i am ‘hauling ass’ (to go quickly) . I tell her i have skipped a section and am hoping to do the whole of Oregon to finish my adventure in style at The Bridge of the Gods , on the Washington border . She smiles , and then does that backward whistle , you know,that same one the mechanic does when you take your car in . I know i should be looking for a place to sit down to accept this next bit of news.”The path up ahead is between 10/4″ she explains .Of course i think inches , but she means feet . Stumped. Gus pulls up.She retells Gus the facts .
Later I photograph a tiny toad and wonder what we will do now . Snow ahead ,snow behind , a bit like an Ice cream sandwich , but in reverse . I click at the toad , he seems unimpressed .
Another hundred yards and two Turkey Vultures are hunting low in the trees .They circle and disapear, leaving me silent , with the path and with now .
Gus is already in the camp store when i arrive at fish lake . He is blown out as he has posted a lot of food ahead . The camp manager confirms that going further up the trail would be dangerous . We rummage the Hiker boxes and cheer up when we are rewarded with some Hiker gold . ( i get a Marathon and a bag of noodles ) .
Later Hannah calls us and agrees to pick us up tommorow morning. We look at the possibilitys of a short hike south from Ashland .Just a hundred miles ( it would mean another patch for me ) . I phone Big Toe . We laugh and sing a while and talk rubbish a while . He is heading up for a hike in Canad tommorow . I tell him of our situtaion ,( the reverse ice cream sandwich thing) he nods ( on the phone ) and says sagely ‘yep , shit year for snow on the PCT !’ .
Maybe i will goto the coast for a while .