Wow today was long and exhausting. It was a 23 mile day though I didn't mean for it. I slept pretty well last night and started hiking by six. I noticed since I wasn't in the trees, it's light earlier so I would've left even earlier than that. The bugs were still pretty bad so I decided to wear my bug pants for the first time! They were awesome. I should've used them before but the thought of stopping in the middle of a swarm to put on the pants sounds terrible. I would prob trap a ton in the pants as I was get them on. But I wore them for most of the morning bc they were pretty bad until I reached the lava stuff. I did pass by tons of blooming wildflowers and lupine that were so fragrant though. I loved it!
I took my normal 2 hr lunch and the rest of the afternoon was all exposed lava walk. I don't know why or how but it felt SO exhausting just walking in that sand and rock. I was so tired that it felt like forever to get to my last water source. It was at lava lake camp but this place was super deserted looking and creepy. I didn't want to camp there. I ended up talking to a son and father team and asked to see his guthooks. Mine has been crashing for the last two days and doesn't even open now. It sucks but I need wifi to redownload the app. I ended up following them out back to mckenzie pass to get back on the Pct. They were both carrying stuffed animals on their packs so I asked what the meaning was. He told me it was for his grandson and his son's son that they lost earlier this year. He teared up and as did I.
I camped by a dirt road w some other hikers. First time camping w others in awhile! I've def missed it. Man, the highway looked so insane as we walked by. It looked like mars or something. As soon as we got back on the trail, it was all rock. Taking each step very carefully. These rocks were pretty big. I can see why this section is super tough and all exposed. I plan to wake early tomorrow and see how far I can go before the sun. Still debating if I should go into big lake or not. I know I prob overdid it today on mileage but I just wanna get to sisters so bad. I want to rest for a few days. My feet are feeling it finally. Tomorrow will be around 17 miles. A tough 17 miles including some bigger climbs than we've done all section which is why I wanted to get back at least on trail tonight. I'm so ready for a shower/laundry.