Mile: 1858.3 to 1875.8 plus 0 to 5.4 on the Oregon Skyline Trail Alternate (22.9)
We camped last night at the Oregon/Washington high point at 7560 feet. From here it must be all down hill to Canada, right? Not exactly. There is still 792 miles remaining with 150,000 feet each of ascent and descent. That's 5 trips up and down Mt Everest - from sea level.
Pushing through our latest waterless stretch and monotonous forest walking this morning we finally reached a spring at lunch. It only required a half mile each way and 300 foot elevation off-trail diversion to reach. What a pain. There were a good number of hikers hanging out at the junction when the subject of the upcoming trail alternate came up. All who were familiar told us to take the Oregon Skyline Trail alternate. It has more water opportunities and gets us to our next resupply at Shelter Cove a half day sooner. The sooner we can get out of this waterless forest the better for us so we jumped on board. The trail itself is dry and dusty and the lakes are just ponds ringed with trees, nothing to write home about. We'll be at Shelter Cove by early afternoon for some resupply chores. The word is that the trail improves greatly as we continue to move north from there. We sure hope so.
We had a total of 12 bird species today including a nighthawk at dusk. A couple days ago we only managed 8. On the Last Man Standing count, it's been tough to hear anything singing but a Red Crossbill yesterday gave it a brief go with full song and I'm giving him credit. And this little dude was along the trail.