Mile: 1760.8 to 1784.3 (23.5)
up/down: 2600/1850 feet
We didn't sleep in the cabin but camped close by. It was nice having well water to rely on as we broke camp. The walking couldn't have been easier as we cruised through a beautiful old growth forest with giant trees. We were just enjoying the walk when bam! we ran into a volcano. In the big scheme of things Brown Mountain is an insignificant volcano but when you drop it in the middle of the trail the potential for difficult walking in the numerous lava fields was there. But the trail builders did their job so many years ago and constructed a trail that was for the most part easy walking. There were still plenty of tricky places to trip you up if concentration wavered but most of it was well done. Tons of dirt and small lava stones were moved to fill in the lava talus slopes. It took a few hours but we made it around the volcano and crossed Hwy 140 to reach a creek in time for lunch.
Mt. McLoughlin, our afternoon project
Next up was climbing the flank and moving past a much larger volcano, Mt. McLoughlin. This time we had a different obstacle set to work - down trees - and dozens of them. Winter must have been tough in these parts and the trail has yet this season to hear the buzz of a trail crew saw. It was tough sledding for a while. From what we hear this is just a taste of things to come in the next 40 miles to Crater Lake as one section was counted with over a thousand down trees. Oh boy.
We passed the 2/3 mark today at 1767 miles. In our last man standing contest it was a peenting Common Nighthawk at dusk who gets the honor today.