Saturday, August 24, 2019

WA/OR PCT Part 7

Mon 7-22 Day 17

Left miserable, dirty camp about 5:15 am.  Big climb (about 3000 feet).  Russell Creek crossing was a little dicey.  No way to cross without getting my feet wet.  Oregon PCT may be relatively flat, but dog-gonit, most of the day was slow going with gnarly rocks and tree roots.  And in places, big steps to take.  Also quite a bit of snow.  Jefferson Park is very scenic.  At 3:30 pm I finally hit the 20 mile mark. At Ollalie Lake, a Trail Angel was offering to cook a hamburger.  I really wanted the hamburger but passed to see if I could pull 25 miles.  I did, about 5:45 pm

I did the math.  If I didn't pick up the pace, I would not make Cascade Locks in time on Friday to get my resupply boxes, which also includes new shoes.  The lava rock has done a number to the shoes I've been wearing. 

I have encountered the same thing three times now.  I'm hiking along when suddenly, I am in the middle of a swarm of butterflies.  They are orange, black, and white.

I've run into a young woman from Kentucky.  She lives in Utah now and really loves the west.  Her trail name is Scrappy.  I bet you can guess how she got her name.

7/22: PCT mile 2029.5 - Lemiti Creek PCT mile 2054.6 =25 miles  Tomorrow I'll pass the 400 mile mark. 

Tues 7/23 Day 18 Lemiti Creek  PCT mile 2054.6 to PCT mile 2082.5 = 28 miles.

A lot of today was easier hiking.  Not gnarly, not very steep most of the time.  Also today, no unsigned intersections.

I have grown weary of pushing my body to hike more miles than I am in shape for.  I am 14-15 miles from my next resupply (Timberline Lodge) and 62 miles from Cascade Locks, which I must arrive by 4:00 pm Friday.  Two days in a row I have missed out on "Trail Magic" so I could push the miles.

Realistically I am in shape for 20-22 miles a day.  Nine of the last ten days I've done 25-28 miles.  I need to push for the next two days so Friday is easy and getting to Cascade Locks by 4:00 pm is a snap. 

My general goal of 1000 miles in 50 days is a no-brainer.  That would have put me home by August 25.  But when I look at getting home before Garrett comes (he was supposed to have come to Washington to work for a month around August 18) or even in time for our anniversary (August 15)--the miles have to be around 25 daily and no wiggle room.  In Cascade Locks, I'll call Becky and give her an alternative plan that looks promising, but has more logistics

My "Hiker Hunger" is kicking in.  I eat a good supper between 6:00 and 7:00 pm, but by 8:00 to 10:00 pm I am digging into my food sack for Fritos or a granola bar.  Here's tonight's example:

  1. Wheat Thins with peanut butter
  2. Roast Beef dinner 
  3. I polished off all the Fritos and Wheat Thins
  4. I just ate a Snickers bar, Kirkland Nut Bar, and a Nature Valley Oat and Honey bar
Wed. 7/24 PCT mile 2082.5 to Trail side stream PCT mile 2106.7 = 24 miles

Hiking was not bad early.  Had a first view of Mt Hood.  Then as I got closer to Mt Hood, the hiking was harder -- uphill in loose sand. A hiker going south said "Timberline Lodge is just around the bend."  She was correct, but way wrong at the same time. When I saw the Lodge, it was on the other side of a big canyon and it was another mile hiking on the contour of the hill. 
I ate at the lodge--very good, but quite expensive.  For that much money, Becky and I both get a meal.  

When I resumed hiking (12:30), it was okay, BUT there are MANY trails, mostly unsigned.  Difficult to stay on the PCT.  Other PCT hikers had the same issues, but they are using Guthook's app. 

Thurs. 7/25 PCT mile 2106.7 - Indian Spring Campground PCT mile 2125.1 =18.8 miles. 
Hiking went well in the morning and awful in the afternoon.  The past three years, I've done 2500 miles.  Today is the ONLY time after a break that I went the wrong direction.  Hiking along a ridge with almost unvaried tree canopy and underbrush.  I came onto "Squeaky" and found I was going south, not north.  So not as many miles today as I wanted, but I did get in a few "Bonus Miles." All you can do is grin and bear it. 

Six hikers are here--2 from England going south, 2 from Germany going north, Squeaky and me also going north.  

It was nice having people to talk to this evening.  But I should be another three miles up the trail. 

Fri 7/26

Left camp before 5:00 am.  My goal is to get to Cascade Locks before 5:00 pm to get my resupply box.  At Wahtum Lake, an unsigned junction, a lower trail is going around the lake and an upper trail.  Generally, the lower trail is just for access.  Not this time -- the lower trail was the PCT

Then there was a steep, gnarly down-hill section.  I'll take uphill over steep downhill any times.  My knees were screaming at me.  Last few miles were not bad.  Arrived at Cascade Locks at 1:00 pm
Maybe it's the let down after finally arriving but I felt awful.  Town food, shower, resupply boxes, laundry were good but I still felt awful.  I had full intentions of ending my hike at Cascade Locks.  

Sat 7/27  Walking to Bridge of the Gods to take photos of "Entering Washington" sign to show I had officially completed Oregon.  Leaving motel with a considerable limp.  Before reaching the bridge, I said, "Hey, I feel ok!"

I am moving on to Washington.  Plan is to take it one section at a time and to be a little more kind and gentle on Kevin.  

See you up the trail, amigos!

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