In usual fassion ChiliBin was up and out of camp before Happy and I had a chance to get moving. It was a beautiful morning, Happy and I pressed on through the green forest until we were spit out onto the lava fields. It reminicent of Mordor.
It may of looked bleak to some eyes, but I thought it was beautiful! Being able to look oer the stretching landscape and explore in the laspse of an active volcanic site was pretty sweet! The rocks were sharp, black, and full of holes making them low in desity and light to the touch. We trekked on taking in the landscape and marveled at the trees that dared to grow here.
We turned a corner and met Baram who was from south Korea. After a quick chat we found out that he had hiked the AT and PCT, but re-started the tripple crown (AT, PCT, CDT) carrying a banner in memory of his classmates who died in a shipwreck just ooff the coast. We bid him good luck and trudged on.
The bright green leaves of the trees shown in great contrast to the black and red rocks surrounding them. We pressed though the final miles of the lava fields before coming to the road where Coppertone a trail Angel waited on us with cookies and rootbeer floats! I was stoked!
This is where ChiliBin and Happy departed my company. They planned to hitch into bend to get their resupply and some good beer as Happy knew a friend in town. I gave them both a big hug, said goodbye to Coppertone and headed out back into the lava fields alone. I hiked up a large hill through the percarious lava rocks. One wrong step would send you home with a broken ankle.
Finally the lava field let up and I hiked into an area that was once a forest but had been burned in recent years. It was trying to regrow but its a slow process out here. Finally I decended through the burn and found the turnoff for Big Lake Youth Camp.
I hiked in finding a ton of kids all running around and a good group of hikers all hanging out in the hiker hut. I charged up electronics, washed some clothes, took a shower, resupplied food and hung out with TwoPacks while we all waited for dinner. I came in a scarfed down the Potatow soup and fresh roles like a starving kid who hasnt seen food in a week. It was so good!
KNowing I couldnt stay forever I pressed on. I had 5 more miles until the 2000 mile marker and I was determined to get there before the day was done. I hiked on quickly as light was fading through the white ghosts of the dead trees. On and on I went until finally I broke out my headlamp as I entered a thicker part of the wood. Turn after turn I hiked faster until finally at 9:45pm I found the 2000 mile marker! I made it! Just 650 miles left to Canada. I started realizing how far I had come and how close the end of my journey was. I found a nice flat sandy pad and set up my tent. Fly off I could see the stars in the night twinckling overhead, along with Mars and Jupiter shinning bright. An awesome day indeed!
Reccomendations: St Fancis Pub in Bend. Must go to the broom closet!