Wednesday, August 7, 2019

PCT Oregon to Washington part 2

Sunday 7/7  Started PCT mile 1699.54 - to California border and back - 1691.4 =7.8 miles times 2 = 15.6 miles.  Then 1699.54 to 1703.6

Some patches of snow at 6800 to 7000 feet on North and Northeast aspects.
6000 feet of elevation and below - mostly Douglas Fir.  6000 to 7000 feet mix of true fir forest and open park
Parks can be bear grass or shrub-forb-grass.  Parks have balsamroot, lupine, buckwheat, needlegrass, sedges
I've done as much as I can the last two days and still haven't hit a 20 mile day.  I felt a little bit better today.  Still no uphill gear.

Monday 7/8 Saturday got to start at 9:00 am
                    Sunday left camp at 5:06 am
                    Monday started hiking at 4:23 am - can't get much earlier.  Had to use the headlamp for the first fifteen to twenty minutes.

  • Left camp at 4:23.  Made it to Callahans about 9:15. Hiked to PCT mile 1725
  • Shower and laundry and I feel like a million bucks
  • Left Callahans at 11:45 am
  • The PCT does the unexpected.  Now that I am going NOBO (north bound), the trail took me south, then east and finally north.  That's just what trails do
  • I put in 30 minutes extra (up to 1 1/2 miles extra today.  Coming onto Pilot Rock trail was a sign.  I didn't look at the sign, I just assumed this was where the trail turned North.  WRONG! Bucko!! I know you were almost at the twenty mile mark.  For goodness, gracious sakes alive, spend five seconds looking at the sign and save yourself a big frustration.  Today I laughed.  Another day . . . 
  • Yesterday I saw two solo hikers--young women and quite pretty in both instances.  The first solo gal asked the best way to get to Ashland.  We talked a few minutes, then parted in opposite directions.  She was wearing tights and very easy on the eyes.  I wanted to turn back for one more look, but I didn't out of respect for her and for Becky.  Later, I thought these two gals would need to spend two minutes at the max trying to get a ride into town.  And then I wondered why there weren't two to three guys hiking with those gals?
Today, I nailed my first twenty-mile-day.  We'll see if I can sustain that pace.

Nights I sleep okay for a few hours, then I wake up with my right hip aching and throbbing.  It takes awhile to find the right position so I can sleep again.  I have Ibuprofen, but I won't use it until I get desperate.  I know of hikers who use it every day and every night.  I refuse to do so because when I really need pain control, I want to have it work.  I had a grandmother who got hooked on medicine and I really want to stay off that road.

Three Goals
About a week before starting my PCT hike here at the Mexican border, my son, Garrett, called.  He was in panic mode.  He had been reading hikers' blogs and a lot of hikers were concerned about snow in the Sierras and so quit their hikes before it even started.  Garrett said, "I've got three goals for you, Dad."

  • First goal--just get on the trail and get started.  I am back on the trail, so goal #1 has been realized.  I will write about the other two goals if and when I achieve them. 
Condolences to the Billingsley Family.  I saw in a text from Becky that Dave Billingsley died.  Dave was a rancher in the Palisades.  He was strong in his faith and was a nice man.  I am sorry I was not able to attend the service. 

Callahan's Lodge to the Rescue:  Monday, a little after 9:00 am, I arrived at Callahan's for a resupply.  The box was there (thanks, Becky!) I asked about showers and laundry and I was handed a towel, robe, wash cloth, and directed where to go.  The place was connected to their shop.  Pretty basic room--toilet, sink, washer, dryer, shower.  And I could have had a meal (3-star restaurant) In two and a half hours, I showered, did laundry, charged my phone, got maps, water, and food for the next section.

In towns you can find yourself forever walking to the laundromat, the grocery store, a restaurant, camp, a hostel or motel.  And the clock is ticking away, eating up time.  I absolutely prefer self-contained units where everything is in one place.  You can get everything done and get back on the trail the same day.  The analogy is in car racing--carefully organized pit stop, or Bubba and the boys. 

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