Miles: 21.3
Camping: PCT mile 1980.40

I woke up in our stealth camp foggily recalling the events of last night. My first thought was regret (which it always is after a night of heavier than usual drinking), and I began beating myself up for the choice to drink over my limit last night. It was my first hangover of the trip and I didn’t know how it would bode for the day. I was already 7 miles from where I’d intended to be so I got on the trail quickly. From past experience I know that exercise is the best way to fight a hangover. I just never thought I’d be dealing with it on the PCT; but alas, time cannot be turned back and I must pay the price. I began sweating immediately as I climbed back up the trail which immediately climbed up a mountain. It was 5 straight miles of uphill, and I paid my dues painfully. I felt the alcohol leave my system through my sweat and decided a nap by the next lake would be in order. As I approached the lake, blueberries began appearing all over the place. I ate them by the handfull and then plopped down amid some trees by the lake after 7 miles. I spread out my ground cloth and lay in the sun letting it’s rays heal my head as I slept ever so lightly. I heard people walk past, wondering if my friends were among them, but not ready to keep going.

When I finally felt ready to get moving 2 hours had passed me by! I must have slept more than I thought and I felt much better. I drank a bunch of water and ate some food, then began heading off into the day. I came to terms with the delay on the day and made the best of what was left of it. I came out into wide open meadows with amazing views and huge gusts of wind. I got tossed around the trail, and marveled at the giant mountains and fields of lava. Eventually someone was walking up behind me but it wasn’t any of my friends that I’d been with last night. It looked like it might be Goldmine, but it turned out to be Doc! I haven’t seen him since I got off trail at Drakesbad for my feet. We chatted a bit and then he soared past me, and I ambled on. We were soon coming into an area that is full of obsidian. There was a restriction on where we could venture, and we were to stay only on the trail for 2 miles. There were chunks of obsidian everywhere on the trail, sparkling in the sun. I picked up a small piece and rubbed the smooth, black, glassy material between my fingers. Giant fields of obsidian made up the rocks, making the landscape sparkle, and a waterfall cadcaded down an obsidian cliff. I stopped to collect water and Doc was there, concerned about dark clouds on the horizon. He was going to set up camp soon but I felt like I had to keep going.

I kept an eye on the sky which didn’t seem threatening to me, and kept walking. The wind was picking up and the sun was beginning to set, casting an amber glow through the trees all around me. The tree line seemed to be disappearing as I ventured closer to the lava fields, so I conceded to the day and set up camp before I lost cover. I would have to hike a little over 21 miles tomorrow to get to my next resupply at Big Lake Youth Camp but rest will be good for tomorrow’s progress. The wind is whipping everything around me and I’m ready to drift away into slumber. Tomorrow is another new day and Oregon is quickly passing…mile 2000 tomorrow!

Elk Lake by morning
South Sister
Obsidian falls