Day 146 – Panther Creek Road to Blue Lake – 24 miles

IMG_1207Very clammy and damp this morning – our shirts were still damp with yesterday’s sweat.  The forest around us looked like a real rainforest, with massive trees cloaked in green moss and ferns everywhere. We started the day with a 10-mile climb I could have sworn that our map showed a flat section in there somewhere but we sure didn’t pass one.  We hiked into the Wind River experimental forest.  Experimenting with the limits of hiker endurance, maybe. When we finally leveled off the trail crossed an exposed ridge and we got a great look at Mt. Adams, much closer than it was yesterday morning. Because of the humidity and exertion of the climb we went through our water faster than normal and stopped early for lunch. We climbed less during the afternoon, but it still felt like we were always working our way up another hill. We skirted some lava beds – on good trail and not rock, thankfully – and entered the Indian Heaven Wilderness. The trail was mostly viewless except for a southern-facing ridge that gave us a glimpse of Mt. Hood.  Had it shrunk since yesterday? Maybe, or maybe it’s just wishful thinking.  With all the climbing (and a longer than normal lunch break) we didn’t quite make all the miles we’d hoped, but the lake we camped at sounded like a better water source than the one a few more miles up.


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