Hiking and Camping at Mount Jefferson Wilderness + PCT

Posted: August 9, 2012 in Adventures, Comedy and Art, Health & Nutrition, Parks, Product Reviews, SB Tips, Survival Bros Challenges, Uncategorized
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(Survival Bros)
We did it. My dad and I drove from Redmond OR into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, and backpacked to Pamelia Lake. Here’s what I know.

The hike in was unforgettable. The trail ran along a creek most of the way. We got there late afternoon, but the thick forest sheltered us from the Sun. The trail to the lake is perfect. A little rocky, but easy. There’s campsites all along Pamelia Lake. We scouted around and found flat ground near the water. There weren’t mosquitos earlier, but they are buzzing now. Where’s all the dragonflies to regulate?

I’d take a picture of our loaner two-person tent, but it doesn’t look right. It must be missing some rods. I have to get a one-person tent. How am I supposed to get a good nights rest with an old man snoring in my face?

There’s several water sources within earshot. I’m going to fill up the bottles, and my hydration pack later. My Dad’s been boiling his water, and using an Aquamira filter attached to his hydration pack, courtesy of Survival Bros. I don’t want to wait for my water to cool down, so I’m using Aquamira tablets, or drinking it straight from the source. I packed in aloe vera juice, coconut water, and yerba mate too.

Tomorrow we go hard, and pack light as we trek 16 miles in a big loop. We’ll take Hunt’s Creek Trail up to The Pacific Crest Trail. I’m wearing Nike ACG boots VS my Vibrams, because we will be plowing through some snow fields. That’s where a few people got lost just yesterday. It’s not well marked, and the hiker’s footprints melt. However, we have the map I’m holding, an internal compass, and a good gut feeling.

There’s all sorts of wildlife here. Ducks, snakes, beatles, bears, frogs, and birds. There’s millions of skinny trees reaching. They are so thick, it’s mind boggling. Pamelia Lake is a gem. You’re missing a ferocious sunset, as pictured below. This is one of the nicest lakes I’ve ever stayed at. It’s certainly the most private. Minus the bugs. My friends.

My advice, make sure to travel in front of people with gas! My dad has been blowing up the trail. Sorry, butt payback is gonna be brutal. Really, you can’t avoid my dad’s gas. The wind are always changing.

The forecast for tomorrow calls for more odor. We just split a freeze dried Mountain House Beef Stew. Dad described it as kinda chewy. True. Still, nothing satisfies like a warm meal. In the morning we carb load on granola and oatmeal.

There’s an ounce of daylight left. My bed is made. I like my new regular sized, Kelty self-inflating sleeping mat. It’s good when your in a small area for a short time. I can’t wait to take my boots off and lay down. We just found out were NOT in a designated camping site, but it’s too late to move tonight. Maybe we’ll relocate tomorrow.

(Day 2 on lake)
We just got back to camp on Pamelia Lake. We left around 8:30 am, and it’s now almost 6:30. What a day! Both my Dad and I set personal bests, going 16 plus miles on foot. I set the pace. When we took breaks I stretched, so I don’t think I will be very sore in the morning.

Approximately 300 people backpack the full Pacific Crest Trail each year. Most brave enough to attempt the feat give up. This hike is no joke. We did just a small part, but I got a great sense of what it would take to go all the way. We met three hikers set on going the distance. They were friendly, and took the time to answer my dads million questions, and compare maps. Props to anyone hard enough to do the full PCT, from Mexico to Canada. It takes months, not counting all the preparations.

To get from the lake to PCT we took Hunt’s Creek Trail. It was overgrown, and wet. The climb was intense, but we took breaks to grub, fill up our water containers, and explore. I ate mostly fruit bars, nuts, seeds, and turkey jerky. Thank God for Starbucks instant coffee.

I took lots of great photos today. We passed maybe a dozen lakes around Mount Jefferson. On the way I got caught in countless spider webs. I ended up with a fair amount of bites, maybe 25, but I didn’t have to resort to Deet thankfully. I’d defiantly hike the PCT again. I can’t wait to show the bros this spot. I want to party up where all the crystal clear lakes are. Nobody’s around! There is still patches of snow in some areas, but I used it to cool off. I kept rubbing the icy snow into my hair, and even laid on it once. Dad thought I was crazy. Duh.

I just jumped in Pamelia Lake for the first time! Refreshing. It’s so cold though. I would have skinny dipped, but we have a neighbor tonight. Now I’m laying down after making another Mountain House meal. This time I toured Italy, and scarfed lasagna with meat. It was way better than the beef stew.

Dad wants to build a fire tonight. Sounds like a lot of work, and it’s still warm outside, but it’s been a few months since I’ve built one. I’m game. We may hike more of the PCT tomorrow, but this is our last night on the lake. I’m also planning on mountain biking the nearby McKenzie River Trail. It’s one of Oregon’s finest. Another update from our road trip coming pronto! Peace peeps.

Cameron McKirdy

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