PCT Day 91, SoBo Flip Day 10

July 12

Mile 2242.8 to mile 2229.4, Trout Lake! 13.4 PCT miles, no off -trail miles!
PCT mileage: 780.5
Running total: 883.6
I woke up anxious about the river crossing, but that anxiety disappeared the second Matthew delivered my food bag to the tent- no, it wasn’t Matt’s kind gesture that cured my anxiety and no, I didn’t indulge in comfort food to make me feel better, I just found a stronger feeling that overcame my anxiety: disgust. On my Ursack food bag sat 5 tiny mouse turds. Yes, mouse turds. On my food bag. (Thankfully I store my food in an odor proof bag, which sits in a granite-gear bag, which sits in the bear-proof{so I have to imagine mouse proof!} Ursack-bag…) But still, I was grossed out and angry at nature. I declared, “WE ARE SO GOING INTO TOWN AND DOING LAUNDRY TODAY!!!” Matt didn’t fight it, but instead he pointed out that that might mean spending the night in Trout Lake, vs our original plan of just making a quick resupply stop. I didn’t care- I needed to escape nature, at least for the day!!
Matt went to assess the creek. His report: “it definitely went down a bit, but not by much.” Cool.
While Matt went off into the bushes, I saw a man across the creek prepare to cross it. I don’t think I have ever gotten out of the tent that fast- I NEEDED to see where and how he crossed it. Turns out the water went down enough overnight and the rapids slowed, so he was able to cross easily upstream of the now semi-present log bridge. This made me feel better.

By the time we were packed and moving, it was around 0715. The creek crossing wasn’t scary, but it totally sucked: the water was so cold it burned my legs and my eyes teared up in response. While Matt has sandals that are suitable for river crossing, I only have my sneakers. They were wet and uncomfortable for the rest of the day, and I had to stop at least twice to try and get tiny river rocks out of my shoes.

Sidenote: we passed those boys I had yelled at the night before- they appeared to be with just their dads. I feel bad, but my first thought: no wonder they were left unsupervised. I’m just SO thankful that nobody fell in. Ugh.

We had less than 14 miles to get to the road access to Trout Lake, but it seemed to take forever!!

Mt. Adams

Mt. Rainier

Creepy zombie hand crawling out of the dirt?
Mt. St. Helens!

Mt. Hood!

We had decided we wanted to spend the night in Trout Lake, and a NoBo couple we met really talked up staying at the Trout Lake Abbey Bed and Breakfast. It’s a spiritual retreat center with stunning views, super cool monks, and a delicious vegetarian breakfast- we were sold! We planned to call when we got to town.

Stolen from Matt!

Trout Lake is another super hiker-friendly town- there is a list of trail angels that we are encouraged to call to get a ride from the trail to town. Two miles out from the trailhead we got service so started making calls. A man named Pat offered to come get us at 1:45- score! We overestimated how long it would take for us to get to the trailhead, so we were there by 1:20 and waited patiently for Pat. We didn’t wait alone….

I had a tough time getting him off my shoe 😦
Pat was a kind older gentleman who retired to Trout Lake with his wife Sue after they bought an RV and traveled across the US AND to the Baja peninsula. So badass!!
Pat dropped us off in the downtown of Trout Lake, which consisted of a general store, a cafe/auto repair/gas station/espresso shop, a community center, a doctor’s office, and an antique store. It was pretty neat!

We bought and enjoyed beverages on the porch of the general store before heading over to the cafe for lunch. I called the Abbey, but unfortunately they were out of private rooms for the night- they did have open beds in their hostel, but I said I would call back.

Some days I crave fried garbage, other days fresh veggies. Today I needed nutrition!

We called a few other hotels and cabins, but all were full. I tried calling the Abbey back, but there was no answer. I continued to call about 3727274 times- I just wanted a bed, laundry, and a bathroom with a sink!! (Matt found out the next day that they don’t answer their phone on Friday afternoons- grrr!! Why didn’t the lady tell me that?!??)

Grumpy and defeated, and full from a sympathy ice cream cone, we headed back to the general store. I was full of crank and self-pity when we ran into Shotgun. I gave him my sob story, which some other hikers overheard. One hiker, Spinal, tried offering suggestions for places to stay, but I told him I called them all and they were full. I was being a super Debbie Downer.
A while later Spinal called over to me- a guy he was sitting with, Shai, had an extra two beds in his room above the general store (the store has three rooms that they rent out for $25/night!) and Shai was willing to let Matt and I crash there. Omg yes please!! I immediately became a different, happier person.
The general store lets people camp in their yard!

We did laundry with Shotgun, chatted with Shai from Israel and Baba and Randy, an older couple most recently from Reno, and microwaved Amy’s frozen entrees for dinner. It ended up being a really, really nice night. Shai was super nice and Baba and Randy are just totally rad- they are in their 60’s, just got married two years before, have children of their own, and are truly badass kicking PCT butt!!
A little after hiker midnight Matthew and I went upstairs to crash- it felt amazing to be able to pee without fear of mosquitos attacking, to wash my hands before brushing my teeth, and to fall into a bed I didn’t have to blow up.
Back to the trial tomorrow! (Ha, I’m leaving that mistake…)

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