PCNST—Sky Laces to Diamond Lake
July 19-27, 1975
This trip was the second leg of our journey, along the Pacific Crest Nat'l. Scenic Trail, from southern Oregon to the Columbia River.
Starting at 10 a.m. Sat. in Eugene with lunch in Chemult, a car shuttle from Diamond Lake to trailhead, at Lost Creek, we began the hike at 6 p.m., going three miles to Red Lake on old Skyline trail (mosquito population umpteen jillion).
Sunday hike started at 8:30 a.m.—one mile to new PCNST, seven miles to trail to Hemlock Lake, one mile to lake. On this trip everyone was allowed to hike their own pace, with four teen-age boys usually ahead with time to fish while the rest of us struggled into camp. On this day, however, four teen-agers got lost first thing—had to use map and compass to find PCNST, giving leader confidence in their ability. Hemlock Lake was a beauty with light mosquito population, good swimming and fishing (1 fish caught).
Monday was a big day with another nine mile hike with Ranger Springs as our destination. We made it after a long snow traverse on both sides of the 7300 ft. saddle on Devils Peak. Merle experimented, on this trip, with a 2-wheel bike trailer with a modified handle for pushing or pulling. After two full days of pushing, pulling, lifting, and glissading it down Devils Peak (by Colin), the decision was made to abandon it along a side trail to be picked up later from the Seven-mile road out of Ft. Klamath.
Tuesday was somewhat easier hiking but was a longer (11 mile) trip, with Stuart Falls the destination. The Falls is on the old skyline trail near the south border of Crater Lake Nat'l. Park. At a stream crossing, near the Falls, Mary’s leg had a fight with a log and Merle used his first aid equipment to patch it up. Lois had had enough of this heavy pack nonsense, by this time, so it was decided that Mary and Lois would go out to Hwy. 62 on Wednesday. Our built-in lay-over day was used at this ideal camp-site, on Wednesday, while Lois, Mary, Wes and Merle hiked to the road. We were lucky to find a couple, who had stopped at a turn-out picnic area, who were willing to take Lois and Mary to Diamond Lake where Lois had her car parked. Numerous individual hikes were made that day by other members of our party, including a loop trip on the section of the PCNST that we missed (by going to the Falls), by Clara and Charlotte. Colin climbed Bald Top and most of us had an evening rock stroll to the top of the Falls.
One week before we left Eugene I wrote to Crater Lake Nat'l. Park to inquire about effect of park closure on PCNST hikers. No word was received before trip so we had stopped for a talk with ranger at park road entrance on way to trailhead. He gave us the O.K. to go through as long as we stayed on trail, away from rim area. (Arriving homes after trip, a letter informed me that trail was closed.)
Thursday was our day to enter Crater Lake Nat'l. Park. We met a ranger, along the trail, who reassured us about water along the trail, and conversations with a hiker going south gave us a good idea for a campsite on Little Castle Creek, 11 miles from Stuart Falls (beautiful site).
On Friday our main goal was the eight mile walk to Red Cone Springs. This was last water to Diamond Lake. We were there by 1 p.m. so we spent a lazy afternoon soaking up spring water and had 4 p.m. supper, then an evening four mile hike to camp-site (dry camp) among jackpine near edge of Pumice Desert. It was a cool trip across the Pumice at 7 a.m. Sat.
For some mysterious reason, members of this leader’s trips get hungry for hamburgers and always look for a short-cut on the last day. So we took the old trail to Diamond Lake, had swim, clothes change, food at Coffee shop, and long car shuttle by drivers (bike trailer pick-up by Merle and Wes). Party returned to Eugene Sunday morning.
Total walking mileage was 63 plus side trips by individuals.
Mary Bridgeman, Jeff Calavan, Grant DeBauw, Clara Emlen, Kristine Erickson, Colin & Stuart Macdonald, Charlotte Mills, Lois Schreiner, Pete Stasney, Merle Traudt, Mark Woods, and Wes Prouty, (leader).