The Three Sisters
Beginning Elevation = 6,450
Ending Elevation = 5,300
Elevation Range = 5,300 – 6,900
Weather: Mostly sunny, low 80’s
Last night I’d suggested the idea of pushing our start time so as to not have to pack up my wet gear in the dark. I did a 5:30am wake up and had some extra time to hang out on the rock outcrop looking out at what I believe are Mount Bachelor, Broken Top Mountain, and the South Sister.
Our squad of three took off around 7:00am. We had a nice downhill section to get us warmed up and in the groove, which leveled off near Sisters Mirror Lake…
Very pretty, very calm, very quiet. It seemed appropriatetly named. Further ahead, we popped out to a spectacular meadow with views of what I believe is the South Sister that were blowing me away.
We kept getting closer…
Up there in the categories of favorite trail sections. There are a lot that are in this category. It wasn’t all that long of a section though and soon we were back in the woods. A difference I noticed however was that it seemed lush and green with flowers! The purple lupine and Indian paintbrush have returned!
We had a later breakfast in a grassy patch surrounded by the purple flowers. A highlight of break was viewing a video TW had taken of a melon falling from atop a wind turbine only to see it explode on impact when hitting the ground.
More phenomenal sites were viewed post-breakfast.
We had a nice lunch where we laid out some stuff to dry. I also had a bit of service and called Big Agnes to check in about my tent repair. I’d seen an email they sent saying they planned to ship a new one and so arranged it with them to ship to my next town stop. They’re doing it all free of charge! Go Big Agnes!
After lunch, we entered into the Limited Entry Obsidian area. Super cool. First, there were just small pieces of the black glass scattered within the trail.
Then, we came to some boulders of it…
And for a while it was everywhere. I was loving it. It’s the rock identifiers favorite, or at least it was mine, because it’s so easily distinguishable from others with its conchoidal fractures and smooth surfaces and shinyness. I had to refresh my knowledge of how it forms, but the basic idea is that its formed when lava cools especially rapid.
This area had some nice water flowing through too…
And really just had some cool stuff…
I think the Obsidian section was about 1.8 miles long. About twenty minutes after leaving it, we entered into something quite different than anything we’d experienced yet…an expansive rugged field of volcanic rock. I’d gone through some before, but this seemed to be more jagged and abrasive and just so starkly volcanic looking.
I don’t know if it’s a thing or not, but it almost looks like you can see the flow path of this lava in this next picture, which is what we climbed right up and through…
I was a big fan of this area, hence all the pictures!
We did see quite a lot of other folks out on the trail today. Probably one of the sections of trail with the most traffic that I’ve experienced. Day hikers, week-long hikers, a boy scout troop, and then all the usual PCT’ers on top of that. We slugged our way to what was called Lava Camp Lake Campground. It was just what we needed after a long hot day…a flat spot for our tents, a little pond for a water source, and even a pit toilet and picnic table! We were joined by a southbound hiker at camp and had a nice meal together all at the table.