PCT Day 113, Double Flip and a Flop, Day 32

August 3

Mile 1839.2 to mile 1861.8, 22.6 PCT miles, no off trail miles!
Pct miles: 1071.2
Running total: 1184.1
And yet another morning I struggled to wake up early…one of these days we will get that early start!!
So, kind of a funny story- last night Matt woke up to pee and woke me up to look at the stars- now, I have camped a lot and have been in very remote places before but I have NEVER seen so many stars in my life! It was truly incredible. I contemplated taking out my camera and setting up the tripod, but since I was still half-asleep I decided to be lazy and stick with my phone. I was shocked that the picture came out so well- I photographed a perfect constellation! I snapped two more, less perfect pics and went back to bed. I woke up in the morning SO excited to show Matthew my masterpiece but discovered that the screen was just black- I totally had dreamt that I took the perfect star picture!!
(A few nights later I looked back at the pictures again- there are some faint stars! No constellations, but I also wasn’t totally crazy!)
We were packed and moving by 0735 in ultimate 9/10 mosquito-hell- I ended up hiking the first few miles in my mosquito-pants and we flew, walking about 18-19 minute miles.

After leaving Crater Lake the next reliable water source is 25 miles away, but there is an amazing trail angel in the area that stocks a few separate water caches along the trail, greatly improving the water carry to only 7-9 miles! We had camped near the first water cache (9miles from Crater Lake), then planned to take our second breakfast at the second cache, another 9 miles up the trail.

When we reached the cache we met and chatted with a really lovely lady!! She was doing most of the Oregon section with her son (who had hiked most of the PCT back in 2017) and daughter (who just found out she was pregnant right before leaving on the hike! I couldn’t imagine doing this preggars!!!) Like me, this lady has been very much enjoying meeting some like-minded, adventurous people who aren’t afraid to live out their dreams- she said {more or less} “We meet all of these people who aren’t quite mad or crazy, but just a little different- off, maybe- and it’s so inspiring.” Yes!!
This lady is actually a nurse who just a few years ago decided to go back to school for anthropology. We talked about the stress of nursing and my own career change ideas (hospice nursing, second grade teacher, flight attendant, or my ultimate dream job, a Trader Joe’s employee) & when we said goodbye she came over to me, hugged me, and I’m pretty sure with tears in her eyes told me, “you don’t have to be a nurse.” It was a cool moment- I don’t know if I’m quite ready to give up my nursing career just yet, but having somebody tell me that was pretty refreshing.

After another nearly 2 hour lunch (where again Matt was stalked by yellow jackets…), we finally started hiking again with a gradual climb of 1300feet over 4 miles or so.

We took an “unscheduled” quick break to admire the peak of Mt. Thielson, where we chatted with a few day-hikers, then we started a gradual descent. On our way down we passed a man backpacking with his grandson? son? & he offered us a cliff bar- it just melted my heart! MOST people on trail (Matt & I excluded) would rather go hungry than eat another Cliff Bar- I thought it was precious that he offered us one! I havent had too many on trail, but we kindly declined since we were full from our recent resupply.

At one point we came across a guy we had met that morning totally passed out on the side of the trail- like, head on the trail, feet going off-trail down the side of the slope. He was laying on his sleeping pad so we figured he had planned this little nap session, but it had concerned me since he had told me earlier that he hasn’t been feeling well lately- he has had stomach issues for a few days and has been feeling overall exhausted. I stopped to make sure he was breathing before walking on, not wanting to disrupt his nap.
Steps later we ran into SoBo Patrick!! We had met him first at a cabin in Washington, and then again a week or so later after he had gotten giardia and had to leave trail for a few days- we had assumed he was already through Oregon since he was crushing the miles since day one! Turns out he developed some ankle problems & again just returned to trail after taking some time off- he unfortunately doesn’t know if he will make it to Mexico but does hope to hobble through the rest of Oregon- what a bummer!! {It was SO crazy that we ran into him, though, ’cause when that sleeping beauty dude told me about his stomach issues, I had thought of Patrick!}
The mosquitos were out in full-force so our “hello/how have you been” was quick before we continued on down to Thielson Creek. The creek was beautiful and had no bugs!!! We enjoyed our lunch and the fresh, freezing cold water from the creek.

Thielson Creek

The sleeping beauty dude eventually joined us- he explained that he had had an allergic reaction to his pork jerky & took a Benadryl- when we passed him he had been taking a break to wait for the Benadryl to kick in! He ended up taking a nap by the creek, too, ’cause then the Benadryl made him sleepy!! Poor dude!
After the creek we started a gradual climb to the highest point of the PCT in Oregon and Washington AND WE RAN INTO WATERCOLOR! We had been in touch with her so we knew we would be passing her today, but it was still super exciting!! We spent a nice chunk of time catching up with her and her fellow SoBo friend Jo.
We then continued up to that highest point & busted out the last few miles to camp. We were shocked that we were the only ones at such a beautiful site until we started to get mauled by the mosquitos. Them bitches suck, man! They were maybe a 7/10, so we ate our dinner outside with an incredible view.

I didn’t need to eat with my winter gloves on, so that’s a good sign!

Happiness is: an overall great day of hiking, despite some terrible mosquito sections (and new bites on my butt…) and again running into old friends!! 🙂

One thought on “PCT Day 113, Double Flip and a Flop, Day 32

  1. Certainly love the “Happiness is…running into old friends”! I’m stunned by the pics of snow. How high are you, anyway?? Oregon certainly looks beautiful, but you need a new weapon against those fucking mosquitos! Flamethrowers are probably out, but maybe you could start smoking cigars?

    Like

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