We discovered a travesty this morning: We hadn’t drank our wine.
We’d bought a bottle of boxed wine (Oregon apparently doesn’t sell liquor at grocery stores and liquor stores are closed on Sundays, otherwise we would have just filled our nearly empty flask with whiskey) under the assumption that I’d carry it the flat 20 miles to camp from La Pine and we’d drink it. Now, unless we were going to drink 500mL of wine at 7:30 in the morning, I was stuck carrying it for the day.
Morning was foggy. Our tent was soaked. Our bikes were soaked. Our bags were soaked. Everything had that musty, I-haven’t-been-washed-in-days smell. But we had rehydrated cardboard and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, so that was good.
We made it all of 30 minutes of flat, paved pedaling before we split the happy, I mean caffeine, pill. It’s like the quarter you put in the video game. Swallow the yellow pill, go all day.
After a tolerable amount of gravel grinding where we dreamed up the perfect set up for a hiking/bikepacking rig, we hit trail. Actually, we first stumbled upon a camp in the woods, long abandoned, complete with toilet seat on a bucket. It was slightly creepy.
Completely mellow, rideable trail took us to Waldo Lake where the camp host told us, very authoritatively, that there were no streams running in and out of Oregon’s second largest, and one of the most pure, lakes. We had to laugh when we found at least 3 inlets and outlets to the lake over the course of the day.
Our plan was to ride to the edge of the Wilderness Boundary and climb up to the Waldo fire lookout via foot. As soon as we started down the trail, it was over grown, brushy, and soaking wet from the night’s rain. We persevered for well over a mile before we had the brains to cut our losses.
‘I don’t get it,’ I said, ‘I thought I chose our hikes from the ‘Best of Oregon’ list.’
‘You didn’t choose that one, I did.’ Scott admitted.
I felt much better.
We got back to the lake and spent our allotted hiking time wading/sitting/trying to harness our inner Cat Morrison and jump right in at the shore of our own private beach.
We continued cruising the lovely lake shore singletrack to the south camp ground where the host seemed much friendlier that the one at the north campground. We filled up on water, climbed out of the depression the lake sat in, and ripped down the other side. Anytime you stumble across world-class single track is a plus. This was world-class.
We ran into some other bikepackers a the base and started up the 1,000 foot climb to Mt Fuji. We made camp between two lakes hoping to minimize the buggage.
The mosquitos swarmed. We drank wine. Now, laying in the tent, all is good in the world.