Ponds and Shelter Cove
Beginning Elevation = 5,550
Ending Elevation = 4,800 (off PCT)
Elevation Range = 4,800 – 7,050
Weather: Sunny, high 70’s
It was another 4:45am wake up/5:30am hike-start morning. And a beautiful morning it was! Hokey Pete. I pretended to be a photographer. My surroundings made it easy enough…
We left our beauty of a campsite and followed the trail along the side of the lake. Most of the time we could just see it through the trees and it looked like a wall of golden orangish yellow light. I couldn’t resist the temptation to go down and see the lake again…
We followed the lake for a mile maybe and then the trail turned away and began going up gradually. This was when the ponds started too, which were nice and quaint.
We did go up to some really nice and unexpected views.
Up at the 7,000 feet elevation range we found a lovely little creek where we had our breakfast stop. It was nice. We laid out some stuff to dry and had a nice chat with a gentleman from Eugene, Oregon. I got to learn about his city, which he was very fond of, and about his hobby, birding!
After breakfast, the trail continued rather gently and then we began the decent down, which would be the trend for the rest of the hike. We’d also see more and more lakes and ponds. I began feeling like this was what I’d pictured Oregon to be like. Not to say I haven’t liked what I’ve seen thus far in Oregon, it’s all been beautiful!
We took a short lunch break, our shortest ever in the history of lunch breaks, and then around 1:53pm or so we reached a turnoff from the PCT to head to Shelter Cove Resort. It was another mile downhill, over some train tracks, ending with a road walk. We arrived with smiles on our faces, ready for some civilization comforts!
This place was really nice, it reminded me a lot of the nice campgrounds in northern Michigan. Located on Odell Lake I believe, which when I saw the bathymetric map shows to be nearly 200 feet deep and is quite large. This explained the downriggers and large spoons hanging on the walls.
The place also had a tent set up for PCT hikers. There was a charging station, some picnic tables, and the usual hiker boxes. If you don’t remember, these are containers where hikers leave stuff behind that they no longer want/need that they feel other hikers might want/need. We got our stuff charging and chatted with others. There are so many hikers around us all of a sudden. We must have entered into “the bubble” again.
More food and Monica were at the campground as well and so we reconnected with them. They’d taken an alternate route off the PCT, so we got to hear what that was like. Monica had also received a brand new pack from the company that made hers (and mine…I have the same one), Granite Gear, since hers had some holes. She was planning to throw out the old one, but it didn’t look that bad to me, so she said I could take it. Not sure how exactly I’ll ship it home, but I’ll figure it out. It won’t work for me being a women’s “short” size, but since my family has become pretty gungho for backpacking, I thought someone would like it!
The rest of our Shelter Cove experience was spent setting up our tents in a designated PCT hiker area, receiving a resupply package and going through it, laundry and showers, and of course enjoying some hot food and fellowship with fellow hikers. We were excited to bump into our friend Cool Hands who we’d hiked with back in Southern California as well as new buddy, Scott from Wisconsin! I had a great evening hanging out on the deck 😊