Day 9: Down, Swim, Up

Wednesday July 1, 19.9mi/32.0km

Ridge above Kelsey Creek (150.9/6490ft) to Abbott Lake trail jct (170.8/4840ft) (CA)

I slept great in my hidden little camp spot, and woke up when the rising sun came thru the trees. I packed up and was treated to this spectacular view from the trail.
Looking east:Looking south along the trail:

I could see Black Marble mountain up close now, I had been approaching it all afternoon yesterday.

There was even still some snow on the trail!

And some incredibly white rocks too.

Just before I left the PCT, I came across a cabin. I remember hiding from the rain on the porch of a similar cabin back in 2015, I think this was the same cabin.

At the junction, I left the PCT and hiked down towards Big Elk Lake.

I entered a burned forest, so of course the trail was hard to follow. But I saw these cool hollowed out trees.No keebler elves in that one!

I eventually made my way all the way down to Wooley Creek and had lunch.

I really wanted a swim, so I continued on a couple miles to where the trail crosses the river. I saw all sorts of interesting wildlife down here in this low, wet valley.

I went for a swim, rinsed my hiking clothes, and got some sun on a rock. I crossed the creek, carrying my shoes to keep them dry. I accidentally dropped one, and learned that (unfortunately) they float. It took off rapidly downstream, and I swam after it! I nabbed it quickly, close one! The rest of the day was uneventful, just a re-climb of the 4000 feet I had just descended this morning.

The trail was much nicer, and almost no poison oak! As I got higher, the views opened up again too.

The view from the ridgeline on top.

I descended down to the North Fork Salmon River and setup camp at 7pm. Long day!


  1. Hey! Recon . . . Margaret Holman here. Met you and gave ride from Santiam to Bend REI awhile back. Delighted to read the accounts of your maxi hiking! You are headed toward Mt. Ashland on which I was Snow Ranger for the Ashland Ranger District. Red Buttes, too, here you come!!


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