Ok. We took the alternative route from Windigo Pass to Horse Camp. The camp hosts there are amazing. They were so kind to us. Lots of people recommended the alternative route just to meet the camp hosts.
It was a nice 22.9 or so mile day for July 30. Apple health thinks we walked 26 miles. It seems to either over or underestimate by about 10-15% on mileage and a lot more on elevation.
For reference Windigo Pass is mile 1878.3. Horse Camp was 10.9 miles from Windigo as measured by GOS tracking. Mile 1848 was the water cache. Maidu Lake Junction at 1866 is where we tented the night before yesterday and water was a 1.9 round trip on that day.
12 from Maidu to Windigo and then +10.9 to Horse Camp was our day yesterday.
Today it was 10-11 miles by Whitefish Creek trail. The PCT camping area is a bit far from the lodge. We covered that trail at close to three miles per hour. 2.83 mph —close enough to three.
Retuning to the fire.
While at Horse Camp we went down to see the lake. As we were at the lake, Win noticed a smoke plume towards the official PCT route that looked like a bomb exploding —that was the fire starting.
I should note that the Horse Camp route is the original PCT route.
This morning we were hiking by 5:33 am to beat the heat if not the mosquitoes. We took the Whitefish Creek Trail from Horse Camp to Shelter Cove which is Mile 1906.6. We got to Shelter Cove around 9:00 am.
At that point we started meeting people we knew—some of which had been evacuated off the trail because of the fire. Lifesaver and her mother ran up and stated hugging on us. They were behind us on the trail, got evacuated and then did not see us with the other evacuated hikers.
They had really been worried.
Going south from here the trail is closed. The camp here has had a lot of forest rangers putting up warnings and talking to people and dropping off evacuated hikers.
Going north the Forest Service and the PTCA are sorting it out and trying to figure out what is safe. After the weather breaks tomorrow they will have a much better idea. The real issue is that until the weather breaks they won’t know where the next lightning strike fire will start or where the fire is spreading.
Helicopter traffic going on now as they monitor it all.
By going the alternative route that goes NE from Windigo Pass to Horse Camp instead of NW into the barrens we missed the fire instead of being caught in it.
Today we will rest and at some point do laundry and showers. Tomorrow a zero. We’ve already had our hamburgers and picked up our resupply box which we will sort out tomorrow as well.
Shelter Cove is overrun with evacuated hikers and forest service workers. One very surprised trail magic provider—four times as many hikers as he expected. Us. Camp hosts who met with the Forest Service to plan for today and tomorrow (they closed down the camp store for the meeting).
We are taking a nap. Glad we set up our tent early. The PCT campground is flooded with hikers.
But it is good to be able to tell everyone that we are safe and were never in danger.