Not to let 6-legged monsters keep me from PCT plans, I went back to Waldo Lake area to complete the section planned earlier but denied by the swarm.

The swarm was gone and those left were easily outrun, though resting without a breezy spot was problematic and my head bug net was worn at least 30% of hike.

At Charlton Lake, the PCT is less than 50 yards from the car … so park in COLD weather and head out. (This was the first COLD morning hiking that i can remember – > 6 weeks). I was expecting a hike through ponds, lakes, bugs and trees … while that could have been true, a fire changed much.

This burn was around 4 m from the Charlton TH and there were a couple of areas that were mighty hot as it was a blast zone – nothing left – nothing. These pics do not capture the magnitude or this burn nor the life surfacing. The hill with all the trees reminded of my playing ‘pick up sticks’. Sun exposure was high during the 2x time through this section.

The other highlights of this section were the lakes, but some (if not all) were nothing but monster birthing pits reminding me of The Two Towers underground factories. Regardless, they were tolerable today as long as moving and the lakes were great …

For the trip, this was my favorite tree …

Summary: This started as a ‘checkbox’ hike for me to get more new miles on PCT, and to finish an earlier abandoned plan. The burn section was stunning for both the rebirth of the ecosystem and the power demonstrated years ago in the fire. Views of Sisters are bonus. A dry section save the lakes as I only saw one seasonal creek that was emergency only quality – i drank over 2l of water over the 20m and returned empty. I find it hard to recommend this hike as a destination hike but certainly not a section to be shuttled over either.

Stats (GaiaGPS)

Gear TypeFor this Hike
PackGregory Citro 30
ShoesTopo Terraventure 2 Trailrunners
Top LayersBaselayer LS + REI Sahara LS
Bottom LayerREI Sahara convertible pants
SocksDual layer: REI poly liners + REI lightweight Merino wool
Comment: experimented with bandaids + duct-tape to protect bad toe – worked great
WaterBladder 1.25 L – 1L bladder + 750ml bottle consumed all and was without for last 3m
Supporting toolsBlack Diamond Alpine Carbon Trekking poles

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