Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 123: Middle Sister's Shoulder to Highway 242

With Middle Sister immediately to the east, the sun did not reach our camp in the morning. We packed up with stiff, cold fingers, and hiked out wearing all of our warm clothes and gear. The frozen ground crunched beneath our feet as we passed snowfields that had dampened the trail with snowmelt the day before.

Passing into the Obsidian Limited Entry Area, we began to see more frequent deposits of obsidian near the trail. Then a wall of cascading water appeared before us: Obsidian Falls. We climbed to the top of the waterfall and felt the first rays of sunlight. The ground around us glittered with thousands of pieces of obsidian reflecting the sun.

Crunching down the trail, we sometimes found ourselves walking on a bed of obsidian.  Large obsidian boulders and deposits of smaller obsidian pieces lined the trail. The heavy, sweet scent of fragrant lupine hung in the air as we passed several lupine filled meadows.

We climbed steeply up a trail with a bed of deep red lava rock pebbles, some as large as baseballs. The rocks rolled backward as we climbed. Large red and black lava rock boulders and rock formations lined the trail as we climbed toward what looked like a large cinder cone. Although the trail reentered the forest, the last mile of trail passed through an open lava field. The trail itself consisted of red lava rock gravel and larger chunks. Progress was slow.

We eventually reached McKenzie Pass and headed into Bend to resupply, planning to return to the trail the next morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment