Pass-to-Pass 2014: Day 5

About 400′ farther down the trail I passed Stormy Lake, which is where we left the trail to get to McFarland Lake in 1979:


Only 1500′ feet after Stormy Lake, I ran across this fragment of tree jammed into the ground right at the edge of the trail:


In this case the top of a tree fell base first from about 50′ up. It looks like it was smacked by another falling hemlock, knocking this tree top out of the canopy. When the tree top hit the ground, ragged end first, the weight of the top drove this fragment into the ground and the the remainder of the top fell away, back toward the trunk it used to crown. The upper tip of this fragment is about 7′ off the ground. I was impressed to find another dramatic instance of tree failure so close to the last:


And then only 500′ father down the trail this crossed my path, quite literally. This tree is easily 4′ in diameter and a good 10-12′ above the trail. The chaos at the base included the impressively snapped trunk, as well as a partially upended root ball. As I previously mentioned, these things happen all the time in the wilderness, but to see three extra-large and extra-dramatic examples so near the trail and so near each other is unusual:


A little ways past all that I spotted this white blaze. If you read about blazes, people say that the PCT has white blazes, yellow blazes, or blue blazes, depending on who is writing. Usually white blazes are associated with the Appalachian Trail in the east. My experience is that on the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon you see whatever blaze was popular when a given section of trail was blazed. In this section they are mostly cut into the trees, but there are a variety of blazes. This was the first white one I saw:


I took this picture of the trail near Jezebel Lake. It just struck me as picturesque:


I passed this boulder next to the trail with a small fir growing out of a crack. Life is persistent and will eke out an existence in places you don’t expect:


After goofing off all day I finally reached Brahma Lake at about 4pm:


I looped around the south end of the lake and found a nice spot right at the water’s edge on the west side (across the lake from the trail):


I had a restful evening and a good night’s sleep:


On this day I hiked 5.78 miles, only 4.5 of which were on the PCT. Here is my KMZ file with my route for the day and all the picture locations. Please feel free to download the file and view it in Google Earth.


  1. What a nice peaceful day that was. I appreciated all the details and your commentary on the trees and their destruction. Nature can be brutal and beautiful all at the same time. Great job Tim.

  2. Tim , We so enjoy the pics and the trail story. Really well done! xo Shari and Tommy

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