PCT Day 92, SoBo Flip Day 11

July 13
Mile 2229.4, Trout Lake, to mile 2214, 15.4 miles, no off-trail miles!
PCT miles: 795.9

Running total: 899

I woke up around 7 and while Matt was already awake, he was letting me sleep in…what?!?? Shai was also awake, both dudes heavily distracted by their phones. I took the opportunity to fall back asleep.
When I awoke closer to 8, Shai was gone- a sign we should get moving as well. Matt and I walked over to the cafe, where I downed a breakfast burrito and Matt had the Mt. Adams Special: eggs, bacon, and a huckleberry pancake- the pancake and burrito were delish! Pat ended up poking his head inside the cafe and asked if we had a ride back to the trail- he offered to take us whenever we were ready! Score!

We chased our breakfast down with tea, a huckleberry scone, and a “summer berry” cake from the espresso shop- all enjoyed outside of the general store.

Around 10 we headed inside to our room to pack- checkout was at 11, and there was a trail to hike! We packed and moved out of the room just a few moments after 11- not bad!

Curious about this little “main street” of Trout Lake, Matt and I took a short walk across the street and found the Community Center, which was having their weekly Saturday Market and serving TACOS and BURRITOS!! Our favs! Matt picked up three tacos for lunch and I bought another breakfast burrito (eggs, rice, and beans) to pack out for lunch. Hiker hunger apparently has it limits- I couldn’t eat another thing just yet, but I also couldn’t turn down homemade burritos! Also, J/K, I did eat another thing: I took a few bites of a homemade huckleberry cinnamon roll- you know, gotta support the locals!

While back at the general store we met a man named All-star. Pat had given him a ride to Trout Lake and suggested he find Jaws and me to coordinate a ride back to the trail- done!

A local wanted in on our picture!
All-star was very chatty and hilarious! In talking about breakfast on trail he said, “Here’s what I do: I eat two packets of pop-tarts( 4 pastries), drink 2-3 cups of coffee, then smoke a cigar- not only do I have to shit right away, but then that keeps me going until 10am!”
He also told us a story of getting bit by an animal while he was in his tent on the AT- he said he tells people since he didn’t see it, it might have been a bear. “Quite a small bear, yes, but it’s possible it was a bear!” (Everything is made funnier ’cause he has a British accent!) When I asked if he was afraid of rabies he said, “In the UK we don’t have rabies so I didn’t know to be afraid of it!” He ended up going to a doctor a few days later and was prescribed antibiotics.
Wait, speaking of animals in tents, Spinal told us that he had left a food wrapper in his pants pocket the other night and a mouse chewed through their tent and chewed a hole in his pants pocket! (Thankfully he wasn’t wearing them…) – all of these stories confirm why Matt and I take the time to hang our food now!
Anyways, All-star chatted the entire ride back to the trailhead, giving us some good suggestions for resupply and zero days throughout Oregon. Pat brought his wife Sue along for the ride, which I thought was adorable- I adore them!! Pat wouldn’t accept money from us for gas- he said we gave him too much the day before! When Matt had handed him the $20, Pat looked at the bill, looked at Matt and said, “don’t you have anything smaller??” Omg love him!
Pat pulled over on our way to the trail so we could snap a picture of this view.

The monks from the Abbey leave trail magic!

We were back on trail by 1:22- nearly 24 hours after leaving the trail!! As we started the hike, my legs felt like cement and I was huffin and puffin!

“Matt, is this steeper than the last section?”
“No.”
“Matt, are you sure this isn’t the steepest section we have had to climb yet?”
“Yes…this is considerably less steep than what we have already done.”
“Oh…okay. But Matt, I’m dying over here!”
Wait. Fuck. Dying. Food poisoning. Eggs. Burrito. Dead.
“Matt, how long can eggs stay out for before going bad?”
“I don’t know.”
“But Matt, is my burrito still okay to eat?”
“Yes.”
“Matt, like, are you sure you’re sure?
“Yes. Just eat it at our first break.”
Silence for 32 seconds.
“Matt, how much longer do you think?”
“I mean, I wouldn’t save it for dinner.”
“Matt, I’m freaking out about this burrito!”
“Do you want to eat it now?”
“Yes.”
I housed that burrito in record time ’cause, you know, the faster it’s eaten the safer it is, eh?
Sidenote: the water bottle holder on my shoulder strap makes an excellent burrito holder as well!
Halfway through I asked, “Matt, are you sure it’s okay to eat?”
“Well, it doesn’t matter now!”
(Slight panic but consumption nearly complete)
With like three bites left:
“Matt, would you have eaten this burrito?”
“Umm…” (Omg. No. I’m dead. He thinks I’m dead. These next few days are gonna suck!) “I probably would have eaten it a little later, too.”
Phew.
“Okay!”
The anxiety continued for a few more minutes then disappeared, but almost instantly after eating that burrito I felt like the hiking got easier- I’m pretty sure the improvement was NOT from the energy from the food consumption but instead the fact that after eating that 2.2lb brick and following that up by chugging a liter of water, my pack was nearly 4.5lbs lighter and I was floating!
After that first 30 minutes of torture, the afternoon and early evening flew by! Before I knew it we knocked out over 15 miles!
The pinecones got smaller!!!
A trail marker, duh!

We ended up passing Tanner, the kid we had met at the lake on our Flip Day 1! So cool! We caught up with him for a bit before carrying on.

Tanner, like everyone else, had warned us that the Indian Heaven Wilderness, where we were headed towards, was the WORST with mosquitos- Matt and I had hoped to blow through it the next day, but we ended up camping RIGHT inside the border of it!

The mosquitos were in fact hell, so we raced to put up the tent and ate oatmeal for dinner in the tent- we aren’t comfortable actually cooking in our tent, so cold food it was!

We hid in the tent until we thought the mosquito witching hour was over, then raced outside to brush our teeth, pee, and hang our food- this was actually a pretty good method to escape the worst of the attacks!
We went to bed with the crazy idea that we would hike 25-26 miles the next day…

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