I wake up at 6:30 and pack up and head out pretty quickly. I skip hot breakfast and head out, eager to get down to Olallie Lake and do nothing in particular. I descend through the woods towards Trooper Spring, where I fill my gallon-sized ziplock bag some dirty laundry and water from the spring. I swish it all around, dump the water out away from the spring, and repeat a few times, then attach everything to the outside of my pack to dry in the sun.
I follow the trail through diverse forest — sometimes thick and dark, with tall green trees, and sometimes with lots of sky, dead white trees and smaller young ones. There’s an old burn section that’s been salvage logged, full of fireweed — that’s where I see my first glimpse of the summit of Mount Jefferson, and a sliver of its side.
More forest walking, and then a dirt road and a little handwritten sign in the woods inviting hikers to the Ollalie Lake Resort store. I turn left and arrive at the lake and the store — and there’s a beautiful view of Jefferson on the other side of the lake.
I buy a beer and a carton of chocolate milk at the store and sit on the porch making conversation with friendly visitors, including a five-year-old boy who’s very excited about having caught two fish in the lake today. After an hour or so, J. arrives with a new fuel canister for me and my new size 10 shoes. I try them on and am a little astonished to discover that they actually fit pretty much perfectly.
I pass the afternoon reading, mostly, admiring the view, and chatting a little with other hikers. J. goes for a run up a nearby big butte. I snack on fruit and cook dinner and pitch my tent in the “day use” area where the resort staff generously allow hikers to camp. The sun sets and Mount Jefferson glows over the lake for a few minutes. J. pitches his tent near mine and cooks dinner on his car camping stove. Everything gets quiet after dark. We sleep.