From the Ashes, PCT Day 8

Wednesday July 29th 2015: Charlton lake 1923 to Stormy Lake 1932.8, approx. 10 miles.

It was hard to leave wonderful Charlton Lake and it’s awesome campsite.  There was a touch of drama yesterday afternoon when we got to camp but we talked it out and things felt less tense this morning. Buggy shared some really nice words she wrote last night before we hiked out and it put a good spin on the start of the day too.  Plus we made it out of camp at 8:45am!  We are really improving on that front.  We started through forest similar to what we headed through yesterday with occasional dry ponds, which meant less harassing by blood suckers, hooray!  We also passed several lakes today as well.142

We soon entered a large burn area from a fire that had happened a few years ago.  Part of it is depressing to see this devastation but the other part feels like a renewal. There are new small trees pushing up and lots of pretty fireweed flowers with purple blooms and you can see so much around you.

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EA, Hiddy Ho, and Mariposa were jamming along ahead of me and 2 Cans was taking her time with Buggy behind me, which left me in this great cushion in the middle.  I had all this time to just walk my own pace, stop to take pictures, and really take in everything around me.  I was in such a good space here and felt really wonderful, thankful, and alive.  It was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip.

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Through the burn we could see hints of where we were headed, the Three Sisters towering above everything with dots of snow on them.  After a short descent, I was back in the tree lined trail and shade where I met up with everyone for a short break and talk of our next meeting point.  We split up into small groups and met up again for lunch at Irish Lake which has a tiny island with a single tree on it.  We filtered water here and I took care of my first and only blister on my little toe.  I had gotten careless and did not change my socks soon enough, lesson learned from that mistake.

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Hiddy Ho cameling up

We all headed out again in different pairs and I got some alone time with 2 Cans.  We have known each other since high school so it has been really great to maintain our friendship and do amazing trips like this together.  We entered Sisters Wilderness today as well!

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We finally made it to Stormy Lake and found a campsite up away from the lake on the North rim.  I was feeling super drained as I did not hydrate well enough and the weather has been really hot in the high 80’s/low 90’s.  I made a promise to myself to hydrate better the next day and worry less about the weight of the water I would carry as a result.  I have gotten more confident out here, which feels great, but it is important to not forget the little important things like drinking enough water.

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Stormy Lake is pretty and has an awesome sandy shore we have been able to lay out on after washing up.  We saw some frogs and a mud puppy along the shore as well.  We also read some short stories out loud to each other from Buggy’s book by Cheryl Strayed from a relationship advice column she writes.

My dinner was especially delicious tonight, it was a turkey and mashed potatoes situation, definitely buying that one again!  After dinner we took turns with EA’s binoculars and watched a small woodpecker go after several bugs in a rotten tree for a while. We are getting up at 5:30am tomorrow to try to beat some of this heat as it is just supposed to get hotter the next few days.

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