I woke up 30 seconds before my alarm went off. As I set off, it was noticeably colder than normal, due to the sun hiding behind the mountain and since the trail went through meadows for the first 5 miles of the day.
It was a beautiful morning! The trail wound its way through patches of forest and then out into meadows. I saw many people still in their camps as I passed by. It took a good while for the sun to rise up over the Sister Mountains. Around 10 am, I hit lava rocks. The trail went through miles of volcanic rock and it was a cool change in scenery and I enjoyed it. It was completely exposed and so it was warm hiking.
I stopped to finish writing up yesterday’s blog and after about 20 minutes I tried to send it, but something happened and I lost the entire day’s blog. Something to redo tomorrow.
Around 2:40 I made it to the road, where I was going to hitch into a town called Sisters. I walked up the road a 100 yards or so to an observatory, where it was supposed to be easy to get a hitch into town. It was. Before even a single car had passed me, a lady who was there with her kids offered me a ride in the back of her pickup truck. There was another hiker also getting a ride with me. So in the back of the pickup, we rode together down to Sisters. He had been out for a section hike of the PCT and had just finished, now he was headed home. He had thru hiked the trail in 2011, which was another heavy snow year. We talked about the Sierras all the way into town.
Once in town, they dropped me off at the grocery store. I did a quick resupply, then walked across the street to Subway, where I got an early dinner since it was 4:30 pm. Afterwards, I walked across the town to a gear store to see if it was a Darn Tough exchange. Unfortunately, it was not, so I walked to the road where I could hitch back up to the trail. As soon as I got to a good spot to hitch, there was a car coming by and I stuck out my thumb. A lady pulled over and gave me a ride back out to the trail head.
On the way to the trail, we talked about the massive fire that had come through the area in 2017, which I noticed as we drove through much of the burned area. I had missed seeing signs of the fire on the way down to town. She told me that she was in the middle of renovating her home at the time, and had to evacuate. The fire had burned within one mile of her home.
I got back to the trail at 5:45 pm and hiked for five more miles, three of those miles through lava rock. I reach the first camp site from the road at 7:50 pm. It was a windy spot covered in fine black dirt. I set up my bivy and tarp, even though I did not really need it, and hit the sack.