On Monday I came upon two women from Canada: Happy Feet (trail name), age 61, from just outside Manning Provential Park; and Gravity, much younger (30 perhaps) from Victoria, BC.
This morning I left camp at 4:37 am. About 6:30, I came upon the camp of Happy Feet of Gravity. We hiked together about five miles. Happy Feet has a strained or torn ligaments in one ankle. One Tough Gal!
It's looking like I'll be ahead of them now (they are doing smaller mileages in part due to the ankle). I offered to Trail Angel for them in Washington.
Between Callahans were two coolers with pop. I had one each direction. I also had a Sprite at the truck stop in Ellensburg. In short order, I have had my yearly quota of pop.
When I was cooking and dehydrating dinners, I found spaghetti sauce and Alfredo sauce in the pantry. I added the Alfredo sauce to some cooked hamburger meat and dried it. I added dehydrated veggies and whole wheat elbow macaroni. The Alfredo was ok, but not as flavorful as I was hoping. After hiking 21 miles, I ate the whole dinner.
Last night I had red chile stew with Spanish rice and dehydrated refried beans. Oh my! Better than any Mexican restaurant I've eaten in both Washington and Oregon. And by a long shot.
Maybe it's how tired I am physically, but I am having extremely intense dreams. A dream wakes me up and then I have a hard time going back to sleep.
Tues 7/9 1728 to Forest Service Gravel Road at 1746 21 miles
A light drizzle started around 2:00 pm. By 3:00 pm I was pooped. No campsite behind or ahead of me, so my tent was pitched in the middle of the gravel road.
About six miles ahead, I have a 2000 foot vertical climb, then easier going the rest of the way to Fish Lake.
On the trail at 5:26 am (I slept in a little). I handled the uphill much better for today. The high point is elevation 6162 feet. At mile 1755.2 is a wonderful spring. The sign said, "This spring has not been tested for drinking safety." I've worked on a lot of spring developments. Unless the spring box has fallen in, there is no way the water could be contaminated. Spring is flowing at least five gallons/minute. It took five seconds perhaps to fill a quart bottle capturing only a portion of the flow, so I am not treating or filtering the water.
Due to a combination of I felt better and the trail was mostly easy, I had twenty-two miles in by 3:00 pm. Plenty of time to do 25 or 30 miles. I was thinking two more miles today, but it will be on the side of a hill with no campsites. (This turned out to be correct.)
I saw two deer and a blue or ruffled grouse today.
Earlier in this blog I wrote about my son giving me three goals:
- Goal 1: Just get on the trail and get started. Realized on 7/06
- Goal 2: If you have to crawl, hit the 100 mile mark. Realized 7/10 with 100 miles done.
- Goal 3 will have to come later
Days 1-3--no uphill gear and I was SLOW. And so I tended to hike with no water to drink nor food to eat. Tuesday, July 9 and especially, July 10, my pace has been faster. So I eat and drink more frequently. In part maybe because I feel better, but the trail is flat for big stretches.
Today I hiked about a mile through a lava field. There will be MILES of lava fields to come. Black rocks are basalt. Red are cinder cones.
This afternoon I caught up with a hiker named Brian. I'm guessing he's in his mid-thirties. He started on Saturday, same day as I did. He didn't hike to California border though. Recently the company he worked for folded. So he came out west to hike the PCT. About an Hour after I set up camp, Brian showed up looking very bushed. I went over to his camp to suggest that we have dinner together and share stories. Brian was already in bed. Time: 5:15 pm. At 6:40 pm, Brian popped out of his tent. Turns out he's from New Jersey, but has lived in California and other places for work.
Thur 7/11 Left camp at 4:38 am. The hike to Fish Lake Trail (5.3 miles) was mostly lava/basalt rock. Made it to Fish Lake at 7:10 am. Not a soul at the resort. I'm waiting to get my resupply box, shower, and maybe do laundry. While I waited, I had breakfast and filled up with water. I did get my resupply box (thanks, Becky), had a shower, and washed out my shirt and socks.
From 6:30 am when I left the PCT for Fish Lake until 11:00 am, I was off the PCT for 4.5 hours. I had seven miles in by 7:00 am. In the afternoon, I hiked another 14 miles.
I'm sitting on the deck just above the lake. I just talked with Becky. It was good hearing her voice.
Next stop for this caravan is Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park.
Fri 7/12 Yesterday it was basalt or lava fields. Today it was slate rocks, since I hiked Slate Peak.
Yesterday I came onto a hiker in a head net. I thought the mosquito population was supposed to be quite low. But by evening the mosquitoes were much worse. This morning I rushed breaking camp. I hoped I could walk away from the problem. I couldn't and an hour later, I stopped to take drastic measures. The rascals were veracious and persistent especially with the back of my neck and into my hair. I finally hit my high bar. I itched EVERYWHERE. I put on the head net and Deet over any exposed skin. I hate using Deet, and I hate the head net. But I was being eaten alive.
The hiking today was interesting, but it was also hard. First, there was a lot of blow-down (trees and snags--dead trees--blown across the trail.) With blow-down, you are stepping over, going around, or swinging under. Blow-down slows you down. Second was the rock. Some parts of the trail are a jumbled mess of rock. You need to be careful with every step. Third, and much less of a problem but it exacerbated the situation, were uphill sections of trail.
This was "set up" day here. I hiked to position myself for going to Mazama. I am only twelve miles away.