August 27, 2017
Mile 1925 to Elk Lake Resort
Elk Lake Resort to ~Mile 1953 (road walking)
Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike: Day 114
Made it to Elk Lake, it is smoky as shit and I’m in a terrible mood. I just got here; Sam and Al are inside at the bar. I have one freaking massive headache and what feels like four new blisters that I haven’t yet pulled my shoes off to look at, but here we are at the beginning of the 146-mile road walk. I’ve been thinking about adventure and living a great story, and a 150-mile road walk is, well, it’s definitely a better story than getting a ride around the fire.
I almost fainted a few times at Elk Lake due to the air quality. I would sit at the bar stool, start to feel lightheaded, then I couldn’t hear anything, thought I was going to throw up, so I ran to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. As soon as I got in the bathroom, I started feeling better. After that happened three times, I realized: the bathroom was air conditioned. The air was clean in there. My brain was threatening to pass out because I wasn’t getting enough oxygen.
Somehow, we managed to walk 3 miles out of Elk Lake to a trailhead. It’s raining ash and extremely smoky. The trailhead we’re camping at is for Mirror Lakes, and we’re a 29-mile road walk outside of Bend. I’m cowboy camping with Alex and Sam, they are both trying to tell scary stories. Something to distract from the ridiculous task we are undertaking and make it fun.
The folks we met earlier today compared pictures of the Sierra when they did it (they flipped), and it’s almost completely snow-free. It makes me happy that we got to see it in all its snowy glory. And then here we are in Oregon, walking on a highway for the next 150 miles.