Mile: 1973.7 to 1995.1 (21.4)
Up and at it, we have 8 miles to our meet up with Tom and Allison. There are several miles of lava to walk in which makes for tough sledding. The lava underfoot ranges from golf ball to grapefruit size and doesn't stay put. Hiking pace slows to a crawl. Still, we make it to the road by 10am and are greeted warmly.
Lunch is an all out affair, Tom and Allison brought many of our favorites including roast beef and avocado for sandwiches. They are both birders and Tom is a PCT section hiker so the conversation comes easily. Within a very short time we've made new friends. We eat and eat and can barely waddle when it's time to leave. But leave we must as we have another appointment for the end of the day - dinner at the Big Lake Youth Camp. It was beyond kind and generous of Tom and Allison to drive up to the pass to meet with us. We can't thank them enough for the incredible food and wonderful conversation.
In case we hadn't had enough lava fun on our way in to the pass, there is 3 more steep uphill miles leaving. Finally we are back on dirt but enter a burn along the south flank of Mt. Washington. We climb and reach our high point as we circle the big mountain on the west side. Then it's all downhill to the camp. We are slightly pressed for time with much to do at this stop so we hustle the remaining miles.
Big Lake is a Seventh Day Adventist camp for teens that welcomes PCT hikers with open arms. They feed, provide showers and laundry, and have a special open air building for hikers to hang out in. And it's all done for donations. We happen to be there on carnival night and it's a festive atmosphere. The kids are having a great time and dinner is marvelous. They don't allow hikers to camp on the property so we pack up with an hour of remaining light and meander a ways down the trail. We had a great time at the camp and thank them for their generosity.