An elite group headed out on a day that was forecast to top out at 110 degrees in Ashland. Vicki arrived from the other direction in her trusty old pickup truck. The forest road up had seen zero maintenance in the last few years but we got there after avoiding bumps and troughs in the road. FYI total driving time was 1 hour 35 minutes. It took a half hour to do the last 10 miles.
It was about 80 degrees when we started out at 4,550 feet elevation. To avoid overheating we stopped in the shade several times until we cooled off. I decided not to continue on to Lilypad Lake as it was getting hotter and there is no shade between Echo lake and Lilypad lake. We found some nice shade at Echo Lake Overlook and a breeze came up, so we enjoyed a half hour lunch break at 5,850 feet and headed back fresh and ready to go.
The temp crept up to over 90 and we again stopped in the shade several times to cool off. The views were splendid as usual. The woods were full of tall fireweed.
We met some 40 PCT hikers and I doled out a gallon of cold water to some hikers before we left the TH. The amazing thing was one hiker had done some 1,300 miles with a prosthesis. All the hikers were cheerful and friendly but most were pigpens after the last few days.
As I drove down the I5 to Ashland the temperature hit 116 with the heat from the pavement.