Friday July 24th: Tolo Camp/Six Horse Spring mile 1869.6 to Nip Tuck Lakes 2.2 miles on the OST, approx 8 miles
I slept like baby jesus in the manger. A few of us lingered in our tents a bit longer again this morning but we left camp at 9:45am. Way after all the thru-hikers had silently cleared out by 6am. I hope we start getting out of camp faster as I tend to get anxious as the cool morning fades away.
We made it pretty quickly to the old Cascade Lakes Road 60 junction, where we would turn off onto the OST for more water sources over the high and dry PCT. Since we are section hiking I did not feel bad about this choice but if I was thru-hiking I’m not sure how I would feel about an alternate route… As we rested near the dirt road Hiddy Ho repaid me for losing her spork by breaking my trowel in the hard dirt here. We all laughed our asses off and I snapped a picture of the culprit in her clearly remorseful moment.
After we caught our breath I handed out some Reese’s pieces while we got our shit together and rested in the shade. An older thru-hiker came by and chatted with us for a bit, he was curious about our large group and asked if we were a church group (there are 6 of us for reference). We all laughed super hard again, being mistaken for a church group is especially hilarious to the queerest mo-fo’s out here. We delightfully told him we were just a group of friends out for a section hike together.
We then headed 3/4 mile down the dusty road to meet up with the Old Skyline Trail or OST, although now it has been renamed to Oldenberg Lake Trail 45. Typing OST is shorter so that is how I refer to it in here bc I am lazy. It also used to be part of the original PCT before it was rerouted higher up to stay true to the crest of the hills. The guide book suggested this route rather than the PCT as it has a lot more lakes and no snow but does have more mosquito’s possibly because of this. Will this be a choice? Only time will tell.
The beginning of the OST from the trail head is not awesome at first as it goes through some “Oregon desert” aka Lodge Pole forest. It is dusty and hot as you know what.
These lodge pole trees grow straight up, have little to no foliage, and seem to not allow other trees in the territory. Luckily there was very little uphill here. So much flatttttt, yesssss.
We made it quickly to Nip Tuck Lakes at 3pm, which is one lake during the winter months and splits into two during the summer with great camping in between the lakes in some trees.
It is nice to have a shorter day and lots of time in camp to wash some things out and let them dry in the sun. The lakes here are shallow and subsequently warm. I immediately got in to wade around and saw lots of paw prints in the mud around the edge of either dogs or maybe coyotes, deer hooves, and horse’s.
Unfortunately the warm shallow water is also very nice for leeches and there were some little brown dudes cruising around for snacks that I noticed after I had been walking around in the muck for a while. I escaped before we became non-consensual lovers.
My dinner was the bomb dizzle, it is called Bandito scramble and I wrapped it up in tortillas, YUM. Freeze dried food is pretty darn delicious as long as you keep it varied. We all had certain ones we did not want to ever eat again but mostly I really enjoyed the Alpine Aire ones I had. Also I LOVE having cleanish clothes that smell like Dr Bronner’s Peppermint IT IS THE BEST.
After a bit of exploring and washing we sat down to chat about the next days plans. We have been getting packed up and out of camp pretty late so we decided to get up at 6am to hopefully get going earlier in the day when it is less hot. Especially since we have more Oregon desert tomorrow and 13 miles to haul our tired butts through.
It will be 7 miles to Cresent Lake where there is a horse camp with picnic tables and spigots (OH LUXURY!!!) and then another 6 miles to Diamond View Lake, our campsite for the night. Soon we are all in our tents and I am trying my hardest so stay awake for some stars.