Day 108: Sisters and Presidents

Memories from August 6

I started today from a side trail to Elk Lake Resort as I hadn’t cared to make it all the way back to the PCT in the dark in case it would be hard to find a campsite.The trail was easy and pleasant, passing through mixed types of trees, small meadows, dry fields, and an occasional lake. One trail sign told me I was in the Sister’s Mirror Lake Area but none of the small lakes seemed to reflect a mountain as would be befitting the name given that the Sisters are a trio of mountains in the area. Part of what made today interesting was the diversity of environments through which I walked. In one area, obsidian flakes littered the ground and layers of obsidian ran through exposed rock. Towards afternoon, I crossed some sections of volcanic rock which were sometimes desolate and other times speckled with dry, white tree corpses beset near the ground with new growth. This lead up to a view of the Presidential Range which was the best view I’ve had in Oregon.
Shortly before crossing a highway, I ran across trail magic and so got a spaghetti dinner and met some southbound hikers. I wanted to keep moving and so hiked out at dusk so pancakes wouldn’t tempt me the next morning. Unfortunately, the only place I could find to camp was on the trail as dark fell while I was in a field of large pumice shards.

I assume this is one of the sisters for which this area is named. I’m not sure I clearly identified all three.

The rock on the left is littered with obsidian.

Obsidian stream doesn’t seem to contain much obsidian.

Old lava fields make for tough walking. I’d been warned that they would be hot late in the day and was relieved to find them cool (by which I mean the surrounding air temperature).

The Presidential Range. From left to right: Washington, Jefferson, and Adams.

By sunset.

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