Day 4: The Search for Water

PCT Mile 1785 – 1809

Miles Hiked = 24

It was another beautiful morning in Southern Oregon. As I mentioned in the Day 3 post, last night I camped at Christi’s Spring with Rex, a hiker I met on Day 2. Rex and I decided to hike together today, so we were up early and hiking by 6:15am.

The first few miles were in the forest.

Unlike Northern California last year, there have been very few wild flowers along the trail but today I did pass a few, so here’s the Flower of the Day.

Dwarf Fireweed
Dwarf Fireweed

I noticed that this flower was especially common in burn areas. Dwarf Fireweed is a pioneer plant and one of the first to appear in areas that have been disturbed. It’s probably the most common wildflower that I’ve seen along the trail this year.

Later in the morning, the trail rose up and out of the forest and I enjoyed some views of the distant mountains.

Later I enjoyed a view of the first alpine lake that I could see from the trail this year. If you look closely you can see Klamath Lake in the distance to the east. I believe there’s been a fire near Klamath Lake, thus the haze and smoke.

The trail was generally a smooth dirt path so we hiked at a good pace of about three miles per hour. As we continued northward the views got even better.

Mt. McLaughlin

There still was smoke in the distance towards the northwest. I’ve heard there are several fires in that direction but was not aware of their status or level of containment. I hope to learn more tomorrow in Crater Lake National Park.

Smoke in the Distance

A little later I had a great view of Mt. McLaughlin to the south, one of the most impressive volcanos in Southern Oregon. I hiked passed the left (east) side of it yesterday.

Mt. McLaughlin

Finally, after about six lhours of hiking and sixteen trail-miles, Rex and I reached a stream and were able to collect three liters of water – enough to get us through the rest of the afternoon and evening. We stopped and took a rest, drank a bunch of water and ate lunch. We had another eight miles to the next water source – our last until reaching Mazama Village in Crater Lake NP tomorrow – twenty miles away!!!

As we hiked along we entered a burn zone

A tree had fallen and was blocking our path, so I held it up and Rex passed underneath

Late in the afternoon, we reach our last water source – a stagnant lily pond! Rex took his shoes off and waded out into the water and collected water for both of us.

It’s a good thing I have a great water filter!

These 0.1 micron filters (0.0001mm) filter out 99.999% of protozoa and bacteria – things like giardia. Normally a filter is all I use when I collect water from streams and springs along the trail but with “suspect” water like this, I’ll also treat it with a Potable Aqua (Iodine) tablet also. Treating water, in addition to filtering, will also kill any bacteria, protozoa and viruses and is a good back-up emergency water treatment system.

Here’s the difference between filtered stream water and filtered and treated pond water.

I know you’re saying, he’s crazy to drink that yellow water but trust me you would drink it also if that was your only option!

Thanks for following!

4 thoughts on “Day 4: The Search for Water

  1. Great photos. I didn’t realize there were so many burn areas. Good to double treat your water….out on the trail is no place to get a nasty parasite! Soon Sydney will be hiking with you! Exciting! Great way to celebrate finishing her Master’s degree. She is 35ish years younger than you and she has been training in the mountains consistently. Are you worried that she will “leave you in the dust?” Ha!


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