Thursday, September 5, 2019

OR/WA PCT Part 8

Sat 7/27  Last night and this morning early, I had every intention of ending my hike at Cascade Locks.  I felt awful.  My body was beat up.  On my way to take a photo of entering Washington, I thought, "I don't feel too bad. Let's get back on trail."

I hiked 19 miles from Bridge of the Gods (PCT mile 2144.4) to Rock Creek (PCT mile 2163.6)  I camped at Rock Creek with Northbounders, Southbounders, people who flipped past the Sierras.  I have no clue how many are camped here, but I'll guess a dozen anyway.  I had a sweet campsite away from everyone (both he and the other campers were pleased by this).

After feeling bad enough to end the trip, I am thrilled to still be in the game and moving up the trail.  Today hills, peaks above some elevation were in a cloud, mist or rain soaked the vegetation and made for cool but sloppy conditions.

Sun 7/28

The past three years with some 2,500 miles I have almost always been the first on the trail.  Not today.  Two hikers, Metric Ton, and someone else, came by my tent at 4:15 am.  Lazy me didn't hit the trail until 4:56 am.

Today's hiking started with a big climb.  My fresh legs did ok.  Then there was a fairly flat five mile section to Panther Creek. Folks at campground really pushed for me going to the campground to get to the water-spigots.  To get water, you have to pump like the dickens, water came out in a seemingly random pattern.  It would have been great with a partner--one to hold the bottle and the other to pump.  No way I could pump AND hold the bottle.  Highly inefficient as only 10% or less of the water ended in the bottle.

After getting water I started the second big climb.  Around 3:00 pm, I arrived as a road crossing, and then a water cache.  I wish I had known about the cache as I would have carried less water up the hill.  A couple -- Happy Bear and Lupine -- are staying here too.  Perhaps others as well.  My campsite is tucked away from the cache.  At an earlier cache I got an apple.  The apple was wonderful, bruises and all.

Started at Rock Creek PCT mile 2163.6, ended 2184.6 = 21 miles

Mon 7/29

Left camp at 4:55 am.  First 4.4 miles was finishing the climb I started yesterday afternoon.  After the climb the hiking was pretty easy.  At mile 2199 I came to a sign for Indian Racetrack.  I did not go because years ago, Harold and I did this section, and we went to the racetrack.  Just a grassy meadow.  No Grandstand, no loudspeaker, no cheering fans.  Very quiet and unassuming.  In its prime I'm sure the Indian Racetrack was grand and exciting.

Sometimes the Heart Wins

On a hike like this my head and my body are in lock-step--more miles, just one more mile.  Today my heart won.  Approaching Bear Lake was a young couple debating whether or not to camp at Bear Lake.  Time was 2:48 pm--plenty of time to hike 5 or 10 more miles.  But my heart said, "We've been pushing.  Bear Lake is gorgeous.  It would be a shame to push on." I'm camping at Bear Lake.  I just won't get to Trout Lake as early tomorrow.


Southbounders start at the Canadian Border and hike south.  In most years there are only a few hearty southbounders.  NOT this year.  Because snowpack in Sierras and low snowpack in Northern Washington convinced a lot of hikers to go SOBO.

Southbounders are shooting for 2650 miles.  I'm only trying to do 1000 miles.  Funny thing--today I crossed 500 trail miles from California border, the southbounders still in Washington are at 400-450 miles.  My trip will be much shorter, but I've done more miles. Seems weird.

Started PCT mile 2184.6 -- ended Bear Lake 2205.7 + 21 miles.

What is Kevin eating? 

Long distance hikes are a calorie-deficit situation.  You are burning 5,000 to 8,000 calories.  You can't carry enough Trail Food, so you supplement with Town Food when you can.

What Kevin ate at Cascade Locks:

  • At the Ale House--salad, jalapeno hamburger, fries, Lager beer and ice water
  • At Gourmet Hot Dog and Ice Cream Shop--Reuben dog with sauerkraut, Reuben meat and cheese.  Also huckleberry ice cream in a waffle cone. 
  • Saturday morning = Breakfast burrito
  • At Trout Lake - I understand hikers get very slow service.  My resupply is at Trout Lake Grocery, so I'll get food there. 
  • My body knows it gets fed at 6:30 am
    • 6:30 Sunrise Energy Bar from Costco--oats and seeds
    • 7:30 Nuts
    • 8:30 Main Breakfast--oats, multigrain muesli or Grape Nuts with raisins, craisins and milk powder (a mix of whole and non-fat mixed)  Main breakfast goes in a freezer bag.  Add water, stir, and eat
Dinners in a freezer bag
  • Mexican--meat dish dehydrated (carne adovado, green chile, red chile) and Spanish rice (I cooked and dehydrated) and dehydrated refried beans (Pinto, of course).  Also add a packet of olive oil
  • Non Mexican--have done roast beef, spaghetti sauce and hamburger, pulled pork, Texas BBQ Brisket, alfredo with ground turkey.  To non-Mexican meals, add dehydrated  veggies (from Karen's Naturals), pasta (Whole wheat macaroni)
Pour hot water into freezer bag, stir, wait 15-20 minutes. Add Fritos to Mexican dinners; eat non-Mexican with Wheat Thins.


Peanut Butter with Wheat Thins or Wheat Thins with dry Italian Salami and Gouda cheese (encased in wax)

Between Breakfast and Dinner

Variety of granola/energy bars
Nature Valley--Oat n Honey, Protein Bars
Pure Protein bars
Clif bars
Kirkland nut bars
Kind Dark Chocolate and Cherry
Pro Bars (1 per section)

Lunch stop: Wheat Thins with peanut butter or salami and cheese

Tues 7/30

Left Bear Lake 4:57 am, hiking in a cloud.  Good hiking, the miles rolled by pretty fast.  There was a 1,000 -  2,000 foot climb that went ok.  I was at Forest Road by 1:15 pm or so

More to come soon.

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