Six hikers escaped the approaching heat dome over Ashland with a drive south to the PCT hike out to Bull Lake. Our weather ranged from 69 when we started up the Fen Trail (at 6,000') to the low 80s on our 3 PM return.
The Fen (a Bog with water running through) goes up 600' for an overview of Kangaroo Lake then continues to connect with the PCT. There's a wide variety of wildflowers in the Fen and on the PCT out to Bull Lake.(Some are pictured below.) As we neared the Kangaroo Lake lookout white blossomed Bear Grass sprang up on both sides of the trail. I've learned via Google that Bear Grass or Indian Basket Grass were very useful to the Native American cultures. Their mounds of long grass blades could be used to make strong rope because of their inner fibers. And the long stock was used to make durable baskets. Also, when the stocks dried in the off season, they were ideal for starting a fire by rolling the stock back and forth in your hands against a wooden base.
Monday was a great day for meeting Thru Hikers! We said "Good Morning" to 6 pairs we met along the PCT.
On a clear day, with some smoke coming from east of Sacramento and Yosemite, we had views of the Trinity Alps and the Marble Mountains in the distance and Robbers Meadow with its lake well down below the trail.
There was shade on the trail from intermittent forests. And on one grassy hillside by a creek running down, there were hundreds of flowering Cobra Lilies or California Pitcher Plants (a carnivorous plant found only in Northern Cal and Southern Oregon).
We made the overlook of Bull Lake by noon and everyone was game to take the half mile rocky trail down to the lake for lunch. It was quiet and calm in the shade of Jeffrie Pines down near the lake.
Our added mile out and back from the lake gave us 9 miles total for the day with 1,200'+ of gain. Our high elevation was 7,088'.
When we got back to the cars we took a short walk out through the campgrounds to view the calm and scenic Kangaroo Lake. Another glacier carved Granite basin. Families come here to camp, swim and fish.
We returned to hot Ashland by 5 PM, happy with our hike on the PCT.