In order to prevent being sucked in longer, we made an early morning escape from camp with breakfast while hiking. After 5 flat miles we reached Santiam Pass and our last chance for town for a while. Since we were well stocked, we trudged on and entered a burned out section from a 2003 fire. Burned sections are typically hot, exposed, and dusty – this one was no exception.
The morning cool helped offset the burn exposure and we soon were back in trees on the slopes of Three Fingered Jack. As we rounded the northern ridge we descended down with views of Mt. Jefferson ahead. The rest of the afternoon was spent walking along a ridgetop with near constant panoramas of Jefferson and the surrounding area.
Rather than dry camp on the PCT in this water starved section, we took an alternate route down a valley. It was definitely the right choice as the trail crossed beautiful meadows and went along gorgeous lakes. The trails were lined with blueberries and a gold colored berry that was shaped like a blackberry. We made camp at the bottom of the valley next to Pamela Lake. Tomorrow should see us to Ollalie Lake Resort which is our next resupply point.