Distance: 50 miles
Time Hiking: 24 hours
Trailhead: Lava Lake
Being the notoriously late morning riser that I am, I rolled out of bed half past 8am on the eve before my longest solo backpacking trip of my life. Supplies still scattered on my bedroom floor, I quickly got up!… then made myself some nice green tea and proceeded to lay back in bed to watch a few YouTube videos and check the good old Facebook once more….
I was on the road by 10am, music blasting and good vibes flowing deep. 3 hours later, I suited up and went off into the wild.
Starting at Lava Lake Trailhead and going clockwise, I walked 12 miles the first day, through the Pole Creek burned area and camped a few miles before Green Lake.
Day 2 I pushed it hard and knocked out 25 miles. Though quite the opposite of complimentary, there’s nothing like listening to Ice Cube, Dre, Snoop and maybe even a little Jazzy Jeff while speed walking through the mountains! (I think the new movie Straight Outta Compton is on my mind too much :p) Right before the Obsidian restricted zone, I found a campsite next to a couple super rad thru hikers traveling the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail. We chatted about gear, favorite backpacking foods and beer, etc. Of course, I also steered the conversation to the meaning of life, philosophy and existence…just little light topics before bed.
Day 3 was all clear skies, obsidian, pumice and ash. Mid morning, I crossed over the Opie Dilldock Pass. It is a beautiful volcanic, alpine area, with strong winds and fantastic views of Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt Hood all in the same lens space.
I walked the last 2 miles in bare feet, loving the free feeling of earth and wind against my tired skin. Finally seeing my big red truck after what felt like an eternity gave me a sense of accomplishment and rush of endorphins that is rivaled by nothing else.