Sunday, October 4, 2015

Freakin' Canada!

9/30: (ZERO) Again, I shouldn't have written about this zero before it happened. My intention was to take the Chelan ferry down to Chelan and get a ride that same day up to Winthrop. I was hoping to find someone heading to Winthrop on the ferry and I did....but they were going a couple days later. Instead, someone else offered to let me stay in the extra room of the cabin at the resort they were staying at! So I stayed with them in Chelan and it was awesome! Shower, salmon for dinner, watching the sunrise from the dock, etc!

10/1: (15.5 miles) The nice trail angels that let me stay with them last night were also kind enough to drive me to Pateros, WA. Then it was hitching from there. It took me about an hour and someone finally picked me up on their way home. Fortunately he was able to take me about 28 miles towards Winthrop. Unfortunately, it was still 6 miles to the nearest town. After another half hour, someone picked me up and drove me those 6 miles into Twisp. ~20 minutes of hitching later someone drove me into Winthrop where I was able to pick up my box of food and get lunch from the grocery store. Then I hitched for another half hour just to get driven to the other end of town, but someone picked me up immediately after that, taking me to Mazama, WA (the closest town to the trail). I was trying to hitch into Hart's Pass (the nearest road access to the US/Canada border) so that I could be done with the PCT soon. After about an hour and a half of hitching (everyone was friendly and waving, but no one was offering to drive me any distance whatsoever) I finally got a ride up to the pass. Starting at around 4:30pm, I hiked just over 15 miles today of classic Washington before camping late (just about 10pm). Fortunately, this would be my last night sleeping on the PCT!

10/2: (25.5 miles) Got going as early as I could stand with the cold (8am) and pushed hard today! I hiked quickly and it was difficult because of the long hill immediately out of camp. But after that the hills were either gradual or flat and I was able to get going pretty quickly. So quickly, in fact, that by the time I stopped for lunch at 1pm, I was only 2.8 miles from the border! I had gone 14 miles! I had "freeze-dried" (or "powdered") cheesecake for lunch that another hiker had given me and it was ehh...pretty good. Then I hiked quickly to the border. I got there and I was the only one around (I had seen other hikers coming back from the border, through) so I did some selfies with the monuments and hiked on into CANADA! A couple hundred feet into Canada I realized that I never signed a trail register at the border, so I went back to look for it. I searched all around and couldn't find it. The perfectionist in me decided to try to fix the off-kilter top half of the metal monument (check out my pictures) and it fell off! Apparently the top comes off and the trail register was inside! Sneaky, sneaky. I signed it, replaced it, and heaved the very heavy top half of the monument back into place (leaving it slightly off-kilter on purpose so that the next person would find it). Then I hiked on into Canada (it was about 2:45pm). I passed a couple hikers that were camping just past the border, but I pressed on and over the last long, slippery, and annoying hill (and down the other side) before I finally got to the road (and then to Manning Park Lodge). Unfortunately, they were fully booked but they had hostel rooms available. All along, "hostel" has meant "bunkhouse" but this actually meant "your own room with your own bed, it's just super tiny and not decorated or anything" which was fine by me! All night long as I was drifting in and out of sleep I had these dreams that I was still hiking. Oh boy, this might take a while to "decompress".

Thursday, October 1, 2015

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen- the homestretch

[This last section was probably the most annoying section. It is the longest section on the PCT (5 full days between towns), full of steep up and downs, bushes encroaching on the trail that you have to constantly force your way through, and plenty of logs across the trail to climb over or even crawl under. Wasn't exactly my idea of "fun"]

9/25: (16.9 miles) I packed up my stuff at the Dinsmore's this morning and Mr. Dinsmore took us to Skykomish to get breakfast. After fully stuffing our faces, I went over to use the library's WiFi because the restaurant's and the Dinsmore's WiFis were atrociously slow (rule of thumb- the library always has good WiFi). I hung around with the other couple hikers at the restaurant until about noon when I decided to finally pull myself out of the vortex. The Skykomish deli has a sign for hitching that reads "PCT HIKER NEEDS RIDE TO STEVEN'S PASS" in nice, big, readable letters. They call it a magical sign and boy, were they right! I hauled out the sign and my pack near the highway and by the time I had set down my pack to get ready to hold up the sign, a car pulled up offering a ride. Easiest hitch ever! I quickly ran back in to return the sign, then hopped in the car. Up at the pass, the fog was as dense as could be (we could hardly see where to turn left for the trailhead). Fortunately it was easy-going for the first bit of hiking. Then Washington's familiar ups and downs. When I was about 12 miles in, I was walking up a switchback when a black bear ran across the trail about 50 feet in front of me! 1st bear in about 1800 miles! By the time I was within 2 miles of my planned camp spot, it had been dark for a while and I had been walking by headlamp. But the headlamp wasn't doing me much good with the dense fog, so I stopped early. Got my cooking water from a rain puddle (desperate times) and set up camp in the drizzling rain.

9/26: (23.7 miles) Today I had to make up that extra 1.3 miles that I missed yesterday. Uphills and downhills were abundant! Today was mostly overcast but at one point the sun came out. It was around 1pm and I started to stop for lunch. About 25min into my lunch, some rain picked up (with a bit of snow mixed in) and I had to quickly pack up everything I had set out to dry and dash out of there. So today wasn't the best. I did make up the extra 1.3 miles but I was still camping at a high elevation and it was quite cold.

9/27: (22 miles) Today I will dub the "Day of Slipping and Falling". As I mentioned above, I was at high elevation and it was very cold. In fact, so cold that even after the sun had been out for at least half an hour, my tent was still covered in stiff sheets of ice. I tried to wait for it to thaw out but eventually I had to get going so I just did my best to roll it up (inevitably rolling some ice up in it). This of course made my hands freezing and every minute or so I had to stop to warm up my hands. At around 9:50am I was finally packed up and ready to hike. So far there has been plenty of mud on the trails due to the rain on the first day and this makes for some creative hiking where I have to walk on the side of the trail, hop across rocks, etc. Today was further complicated with the trail being literally frozen (in places the whole trail was just a big sheet of ice). So I inevitably slipped and fell on that a couple times. Also, a couple times I had to cross logs over creeks or climb over logs that had fallen across the trail. Turns out that wet logs are very slimy and slippery as well (so that accounts for a couple more falls right there). And, at one other point, I was walking along a ridge line and the ground under my left foot gave way and I nearly fell off the trail (but caught myself and instead fell on the trail). Finally, I took a shortcut (0.5 miles cutting off 1.5 miles) on the old PCT where a bridge used to be but got washed out. Crossing the river there was fine but the trail to the old bridge was washed out too and I did somewhat of a "controlled fall" and slid down the dirt embankment. Needless to say, I was not happy that I was hiking the PCT at this point.

9/28: (20.9 miles) So that number reads "20.9" but if you mark my start and end points today, you'd see that I hiked about 27 miles today. Shortcuts are awesome. Today got going slow and within the first half hour of my hiking I wanted to be done. I was able to convince myself to push on and finally got to the downhill section. Today's big mission is basically a TON of downhill and a TON of uphill, then camp on the other side of that hill. But I noticed there was a junction where the old PCT used to go again (and again it was because a bridge got washed out and they built a newer one downstream). But this time, if I took the shortcut, I would spend 1 mile cutting off about 6 miles! Definitely taking it. So I forded a creek (took off my socks and shoes and all that) and had lunch on the other side. Fortunately the old PCT was easy to follow because it was still very worn (and I think some other people have had the same idea as me because some parts looked well-worn recently). I got through to the other side and the river where the bridge used to be actually seemed like a pretty dangerous ford (there weren't any obvious spots to cross and there was lots of water moving fast). But after about 20 minutes of hunting, I finally found a log to walk across (didn't slip and fall this time) and made it across to the PCT! Then from there on out I was able to put in ~3 mph up the hill and down the other side. Camping tonight was freaky. I was with two other tents in this wooded area and at around 9:30pm we heard big sounds right outside. There were at least 3 creatures and they sounded big. They were tromping all around our tents, breaking twigs underfoot, etc. One sounded like a bear trying to get someone's food in a bear canister. My food was in my tent with me and I was entirely freaked out. But in the morning one of the other hikers informed me that they were a group of stupid deer that where just walking around our campsite. < 100 miles to Canada!

9/29: (14.5 miles) I BOOKED IT today. I heard that the shuttle into Stehekin has changed to the Fall schedule so that the last bus runs at 3pm (turns out this was wrong), so I wanted to make it there by then. I hiked about 3.5 mph the whole morning, leaving at 8am and arriving just before 1pm. It averaged out to ~3.1 mph because I had to stop to eat or filter water a couple times. When I got to the ranger station I found out I had just missed the latest bus (the 12:45pm) by minutes. I was frustrated, but not too bad because I had planned on the 3pm anyway. But the nearby Stehekin Ranch picked me up in a shuttle and dropped me off at their place (only 2 miles away) where I could wait for the bus and use their molasses-ly slow WiFi. The bus came a couple hours later and I took it all the way down to Stehekin (it's about a 15min ride, but the bus stops at the famous bakery so that we can get some goodies). I hung around Stehekin for a while (hotel room was $135! so I camped for free), ate at the restaurant (very overpriced: $18 for an "ok" burger), and then set up camp.

9/30: (ZERO) Today the plan is to take the ferry from Stehekin down to Chelan (down the 54 mile-long Chelan lake), enjoy the ferry ride, then get a ride up to Winthrop from Chelan (Winthrop is the last town stop in Washington). I'll stay at the hostel in Winthrop and then get a ride to Hart's Pass (the last road access to the PCT before Canada) tomorrow (which will leave about 2 days of hiking to Manning Park, Canada). I'm skipping ~2 days of hiking between Stehekin and Hart's Pass because at this point I pretty much just want to be done with the PCT. If I was in California right now (and maybe Oregon), I'd probably just quit. But this closer to the border, I gotta finish it off. Here we go!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

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Monday, September 28, 2015

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

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Friday, September 25, 2015

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Cause I struggle with forward motion..."

9/21: (11.7 miles) Today I hiked out of Snoqualmie Pass. It was hard to get going and I was really getting vortexed! I finally got out of there around 2:30pm and started hiking around 3pm. Lots and lots of uphill ahead of me. I got going way too late and had to stop early. I was intending to do about 15 miles today but it was already dark and around 8pm before I found a good spot to camp. Because I was on top of a mountain, it was pretty chilly. Was really, really tired and didn't even want to cook dinner, so I just ate a spoonful of Nutella and went to sleep.

9/22: (24.6 miles) When I woke up today, it was so cold that the light mist had frozen my tent into stiff sheets of ice. But fortunately it warmed up soon. Today I had to make up for yesterday's "missed" miles. I hiked up lots of loose rock, then down the other side. Plenty of beautiful views today! Lunch was down in the valley before the next big uphill. The uphill was large and intimidating but I had podcasts on my side! Unfortunately, I only had two podcasts left (16 GB phone) and ran out before I reached the top of the hill. And I still had the next downhill ahead of me. So I hiked down the next big downhill as quickly as I could until I couldn't see where I was stepping. Then I put on my jacket and headlamp and kept hiking. Lots of nostalgic Relient K accompanied me down that hill (see this post's title). Camped near the Waptus River today.

9/23: (19.8 miles) Ah, an easy day. But, unfortunately, I didn't feel like hiking at all. My first break happened within the first 45 min of hiking and my second break was hardly an hour after that. I was eventually able to push myself to hike the rest of the way today. Slow going the whole day and I kept wanting to take a break (but there was no reason, nor time to do so). I made it to camp after dark at a wonderful campsite next to Deception Lake. Nice, soft grass everywhere. So appealing that I actually sat there for a moment, then went barefoot in order to set up my tent. Unfortunately, a nice water source and nice, soft grass comes with a price: mice. Lots of mice all around my tent and some crawled into my tent only to scurry around panicked for a few minutes because they didn't know their way out. Freaking annoying.

9/24: (7.1 miles) Ah, the day of shortcuts. Immediately from my campsite I took a shortcut that was a little steeper than the PCT (and definitely more rocky and treacherous on the downhill), but it cut off about 2 miles. Then, about a mile later, I took the wonderful shortcut to the highway. It was 5 miles of steep downhill (cutting off 9 miles of PCT-ness), but I hiked it with a couple of other hikers and we talked the whole way. We got a ride from a nice couple we met on the way down and they drove us into Skykomish. Here in Skykomish we got burgers and milkshakes at the Cascadia Inn & Cafe where the famous trail angel Mr. Dinsmore (of the Dinsmore's Hiker Haven) happened to be eating at the time. The waitress tipped us off and he's giving us a ride back to his place momentarily. Bed, shower, and laundry tonight!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

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Monday, September 21, 2015

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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night...


9/17: (25.8 miles) Today I got picked up from the Packwood Inn quite early (7am) by a friend of the guy who picked me up from the trail and dropped me off here the day before. I had originally planned ~20 miles for this day, but it started raining/drizzling/snowing all day and (as I always do when hiking in weather like this)- I didn't want to take breaks. So I ended up hiking without stopping at ~3.2mph. About 12pm I was looking for a place for lunch (I usually have lunch around 1:30pm) and I found a nice big dry spot (it had been raining, but not too bad). I sat down and realized I had gone nearly 14 miles already! Way ahead of schedule! And the sun was peaking through a couple clouds at that point. So with the added Vitamin D (what I'd like to just dub "visible motivation"), I decided to add ~6 miles to today's total so that I can stay at the Mike Urich cabin tomorrow night (this is the only backcountry shelter on the PCT in Washington). I grabbed an extra Snickers bar from my food for lunch and kept hiking- basically only stopping once until Dewey Lake. I had to set up my tent in some light rain, but I made it!

9/18: (26.7 miles) It was a lot nicer today! When I got out of my tent around 8am, the sun was already dissipating some of the clouds. I left just before 9 and hiked up the next hill and 3.2 miles from my camping spot to Chinook Pass and highway 410. This is the entrance to Mt. Rainier park (which we've been skirting in and out of the border of for the last 10 miles or so). Just after the highway there were some pit toilets at a parking lot (which I took full advantage of). Then it was another long hiking of ups and downs (welcome to WA)- this time on lots of loose rock. The key to hiking for a long time while shrugging it off like it was nothing (what some might call "getting in the zone") is podcasts: lots of podcasts. The day was pretty nice and sunny till around 5 or 6pm when it started sprinkling. But by 7pm I had made a new distance record and was indoors! Mice inside the cabin too (that's pretty much a guarantee in a backcountry shelter) but I still slept reasonably well.


9/19: (19.1 miles) You know, I thought it'd be easier to get up earlier this morning because I wouldn't be freezing cold (causing me to spend an extra hour or two just laying in my sleeping bag). But it was still hard. This was definitely a vortex. But I started hiking just before 8:30am (which is probably an "early record" for all of WA). Today was a fairly nice day of overcast with a sprinkle of sunbeams. Water was scarce today so we had to do some larger water carries (2L at one point and 3L at another), but fortunately most of the day was downhill. As in the style of the PNW, it sprinkled on and off all day, but we got to camp at the nice and early time of 5:30pm! I was with 3 other hikers and we built a campfire and chilled till dark. It rained tonight and some water pooled inside my tent because the puddles near my tent splashed from the raindrops- but it was fine.

9/20: (9.1 miles) Had to pack up in the light rain today. That's always annoying. Probably more annoying than setting up camp in the rain because my tent is one of the first things that has to be packed in my backpack- so everything else has to sit outside while I tear down the tent. But I got going around 9:20am and struggled up the first hill. Rain pants and a rain jacket protect you from getting wet via water from the sky, but up big hills they don't prevent you from getting wet via your own sweat (they don't breathe well). But by about 10:30 or 11:30 the rain had mostly stopped. At 11:45 I took a break and was consulting my maps when two things happened: I got 3G and I found a shortcut! The original plan was to hike another 22 miles today, then 5 into town tomorrow morning but this would cut it even shorter! When I got to the dirt road where I was going to break away and head down to I-90, I saw about 5 other hikers that I had been hiking with and a nice trail angel that was cooking taco soup, beer bread, cookies, etc for everyone! Score! And, because of hunting season, the traffic was pretty good on this road! So instead of hiking 4 miles down the dirt road to the I-90 on ramp, I hitched here and got a ride from some more mushroom hunters all the way to Snoqualmie Pass! Stayed in the Summit Inn last night in a hotel room! Dried my gear out all over the room and definitely took advantage of the hot tub! I'm now a day ahead of schedule. Canada, here I come!

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

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Friday, September 18, 2015

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Winter is approaching

[These posts will be a bit shorter than usual as I am once again forced to use my phone. And, also, I'm pretty tired (and am leaving early in the morning)]

9/13: (10.4 miles) This morning I had breakfast at the Country Inn and after a shower and a final packing of supplies, I got a ride back to the trail. At the trailhead there was a nice couple waiting for a hiker friend of theirs with treats and goodies (which they invited me and some other hikers to take part in). Chocolate bars, ice cream, fruit! I started hiking and camped on the side of Mt. Adams. It got quite cold this night!

9/14: (21.6 miles) Got going late this morning as it was REALLY cold. I left camp around 9:45. Soon after starting it began to snow. Very light, harmless snow but around 11am it was cold enough (and snowing hard enough) to start coating everything. I quickly put on rain pants and headed out. As I dropped in elevation, snow turned to rain and eventually the rain stopped altogether. But it continued to be freezing cold all day long. I camped around dusk at a spot that had much less water than I would like (but still enough).

9/15: (21.6 miles) Again, going late because of the cold. No snow at all today, just freezing cold all day. Today was plenty of uphill. Had to go over Cispus Pass (not too hard. Just lots of work uphill). Also, Goats Rocks and something called the Knife's Edge. Yeah. VERY freaky. Walking over lots of loose rocks and snow on steep uphills/downhills where the path is about one foot wide and either side is a steep drop off. And did I mention the freezing wind? Yeah, the freezing wind. (See the picture below for "freaky factor"). After all that I rushed down the rest of the hill to get to my planned camping spot (next to a lake).

9/16: (12.3 miles) Nice morning. Got up at 7 and couldn't see my breath so that was a good sign. Got going by 8:30! Today is town day so I was eager to get there. In fact, so eager that I only took one break in the 12.3 miles of hiking today. I got to the highway right at 1pm and got picked up within the half hour and taken down to Packwood, WA. Paid $65 for a hotel room and I've been chilling in here since. Gotta head out early tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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Monday, September 14, 2015

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Latitude:46.38870
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GPS location Date/Time:09/14/2015 19:21:32 PDT

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

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Latitude:46.21315
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GPS location Date/Time:09/13/2015 19:57:27 PDT

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4 months of this thing

So I've been doing... whatever this is... for 4 months now. I'm in Washington and so far it hasn't rained a single drop here yet. If no disasters strike I should be in Manning Park, Canada on the 5th of October!

Motivation status: zero (or close to it). Stopping by home for a while pulled me out of the hiker state of mind and the snow directly after that discouraged me even more. But after talking to Shameless and Pudding, I think all us hikers are down here at the bottom of Motivation Canyon- we just want to be done. Every day ends with "I don't want to do this anymore. Maybe I'll just go back home when I get to the next town." But I keep reminding myself that I'm in Washington and can't quit so close to Canada. Again, I think that's what's on every hiker's mind at this point.

Fires look like they've cleared up pretty much everywhere that's important to us- Stehekin, Mt. Adams (immediately out of here at Trout Lake), even the closure at Crater Lake is open again.

As to the ~100 miles I just skipped from about Ollalie Lake to Cascade Locks: if I'm still up for it (and the weather looks to be cooperating) I'll come back and hike it after I reach Canada. It should only take me about 6 days or so.

And here's an update on what my beard looks like now (I got a haircut in Bend):

Hiking is full of up and downs

9/8: (5.9 miles) Because of the bad weather I experienced in Oregon, I decided to jump up to Cascade Locks and start Washington. I spent the night with my aunt in Portland, then headed out the next afternoon to Cascade Locks. At around 5pm I hiked over the Bridge of the Gods (a freaky, all-metal bridge with no room for pedestrians). I started my hike out of the Columbia Gorge and it was beautiful! I was more or less hiking through a rainforest (minus the rain). It was the most lush, dense, and "undergrowth-full" forest I think I've ever seen! Around 8pm I set up camp and went to bed.

9/9: (14.2 miles) It's SO HARD to get up early when the sun is muffled by the thick tree canopy. The light is dim and the air is still cool (even around 9am). Because I did part of today's miles yesterday I didn't have quite the rush this morning (so I got up at 9). Unfortunately, getting out of the gorge isn't just one big hill and you're done. Washington is notorious for its big ups and downs. For the next couple days I'll be going up and down 2000 feet at a time (it's like the Sierras but at a lower elevation). Fortunately most of today was spent in the shade thanks to the dense canopy (see above), but Washington still gets plenty hot (it's pretty humid). I camped tonight at a nice creek but got "attacked" all night by tiny mice. Eventually (about 1:30am) I threw my food outside my tent (it's in a rodent-proof bag) and slept. Now I probably have close to 10 half-dollar-sized chew holes in my tent. Yay.

9/10: (19.7 miles) More up and down today. In fact, until lunch I had about 2000 feet to go up then down the other side. On the way I met up with a hiker I've known for a while- Pudding. We hiked together down to the bottom of the hill and had lunch down there where Pudding's hiking partner Shameless met up with us. We leapfrogged the next 5 miles or so to the Panther Creek Campground and I left them to continue up the next hill (but not before filling up an extra 2 L of water for the night). I set up next to a dirt road and put my food bag outside this time. I then proceeded to sleep like a rock tonight!

9/11: (21.9 miles) About 45 min after leaving my campsite this morning (I got up around 8 and left around 8:45) Shameless and Pudding caught up to me again. Which is good because I can pretty easily slack off when hiking by myself. Pudding and Shameless hike pretty close to my pace but they take way less breaks than I do. We met some people from Portland out on the trail with their llamas (I uploaded a picture to the Google Drive of them). They were just out for the weekend. We had lunch at a dirt road and "parking lot" where there were picnic tables and a pit toilet (locked, of course). After the nice long lunch I headed up the next hill by myself and fortunately this one I didn't have to go all the way down the other side (we more or less stayed up). I met lots of weekenders from Portland (no one from anywhere else- strange) around Blue Lake and Lemei Lake on the way to the campsite. I pushed past my campsite and camped with Shameless and Pudding at Deer Lake.

9/12: (10.0 miles) Again, hard to get up this morning. Shameless and Pudding left just before 7am and I didn't get out of bed till 8. Today was town day and I had 20 miles till the "proper" road to hitch into town. But since I'm a little lazy, I went 6.2 miles to a "parking lot" and gravel road. After an hour I'd had a couple cars stop but no one going to Trout Lake. 3.8 miles later I stopped at a paved road for lunch. After half an hour I had seen only one car going my way (not far enough) but they said there were a few cars at a parking lot next to a lake a couple hundred feet down the road. I walked there and there was one woman who said they were mushroom hunting for the next couple hours and were all going down into Trout Lake! So I sat and read my kindle for the couple hours and during that time one car pulled up and gave me a chocolate bar! The group got back and the leader (a retried mycology professor who does these outings a couple times a year at $50/person- donating the money to charity) gave me a ride down to pick up my box and find me a place to stay. All the rooms everywhere were booked for an event this weekend but a woman named Mary who bakes the desserts for the Country Inn put me up at her barn which is fully renovated for barn dances, weddings, and other parties. It was marvelous! Back on trail tomorrow...

Photos Uploaded

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Custom message from SPOT PCT Hawk

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Latitude:46.00206
Longitude:-121.53922
GPS location Date/Time:09/12/2015 16:16:00 PDT

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Friday, September 11, 2015

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Latitude:46.02311
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

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Latitude:45.82828
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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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Latitude:45.76889
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GPS location Date/Time:09/09/2015 18:55:36 PDT

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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Latitude:45.66640
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Saturday, September 5, 2015

BLIZZARD! (and not the Dairy Queen kind...)

9/4: (13.7 miles) Last night we had travelled to Salem, OR to see my sister and this morning we were on the way back. The car was packed with my dad, step-aunt, and I plus our packs and a bunch of stuff to take to Bend from Salem. I got my free birthday Starbucks and we headed out. About 2 hours later we reached the trailhead at Santiam Pass. My dad and I put on our packs and started off. Most of the day was a nice jolly hike with just the occasional sprinkle of rain, but a couple miles before our planned campsite the snow started. It wasn't too bad until we got near the lake where we were camping- then it really picked up and it was freezing. We quickly set up our 2 person tent and jumped inside. After about half an hour of "relaxing" we made dinner, then argued about how we were going to sleep in the tent (fortunately there ended up being plenty of room). We were both shivering in our sleeping bags and didn't sleep very well.

9/5: (~15 miles) We got up around 7:20 (pretty late for us because we usually get going at 6:30) and slowly started packing up our stuff. It was still snowing and VERY cold. My dad decided to skip breakfast while I made breakfast in the tent (he was standing outside because..... actually I still don't know why). We begrudgingly folded up the tent (which is very hard to do with numb hands) and went on our "merry" way. Almost immediately we were walking along the top of an exposed ridge (with only lifeless trees for cover) in a couple inches of snow where the freezing wind was blasting our left sides with snow. Fun times. We finally got cover in some woods and that was most of the morning. We heard from a couple other hikers about a possible campground ahead but it would turn a 20 mile day into a 24 mile day (that my dad wasn't feeling capable of). But we saw a sign later with a map of a limited entry area containing Pamelia Lake. My dad remembered that you could get to Pamelia Lake from Highway 20 and I knew that the junction was in only ~5 miles. So we texted my step mom and she picked us up at the Pamelia Lake Trail at 3. Now I'm back in Bend after a shower, sleeping in a bed again, eating BBQ, and doing many things I NEVER thought I'd be doing when I was hiking this morning.

[Future Plans]: While this storm was supposedly a freak storm and the weather should be fine, in the next couple days I'll be skipping up to Portland, then to Cascade Locks and starting Washington. The weather looks like it'll cooperate and I can always come back and do this section of Oregon (especially since my parents live so close to where I got off).

Friday, September 4, 2015

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Latitude:44.55266
Longitude:-121.80374
GPS location Date/Time:09/04/2015 19:54:06 PDT

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Attacked by small objects

8/28: (6.5 miles) Today my mom and I spent some time around the Odell Lake Resort using WiFi, eating breakfast, the classic resupply stop things. We drove down to a laundromat a couple miles away (thank you mankind for making cars) at a RV Park. Around noon we loaded 3 other hikers we had met nearby (Sacagawea, Chatty Kathy, and Blue- who were hitching up to Cascade Locks for a "fair" called "Trail Days") and my mom dropped me off at the trailhead crossing of Highway 58 where I met my uncle. My mom was taking the other 3 hikers back to Salem with her and they had someone meet them from Portland to take them to Cascade Locks. My uncle and I started hiking from the highway and made it about 6 miles past the Rosary Lakes to the Maiden Peak Shelter that night. Fortunately we were indoors for the night because it rained pretty hard! There were 9 hikers in total in that shelter that night. [Also- I forgot to check in with my GPS this night (probably because I didn't have to set up my tent) so....sorry about that]

8/29: (22.6 miles) My uncle and I headed out this morning and had to deal with a slight bit of sprinkling (not really too bad). The major downer of today was that it was bitter cold and windy all day. We hiked about 3 miles to the junction with the Eugene to PCT trail, then took that about 2 miles to the nearest road. My uncle's girlfriend had camped there and picked us up there. I refilled on some beautiful no-filtration-needed water from their car and they drove me up to Charlton Lake (skipping about 7.9 miles of the trail- really about 5.9 if you count the 2 miles I hiked to the road). The rest of the day from here was just bitter cold and windy. Thanks to the "boost" from my uncle I was able to do more miles than I had originally planned on that day (putting me now ~10 miles from Elk Lake Resort instead of ~15). I set up camp at Horseshoe Lake that night around 8pm and just barely avoided the start of the rain.

8/30: (10.5 miles) It rained all night off and on but here's the thing about Oregon rain: it rarely "torrential downpours"- most of the time it just drizzles. That morning I wasted time getting out of my tent because....packing up in the rain is not one of my fortes (nor favorite interests). There were still a few dry spots under some trees nearby so I set my stuff there while I packed up my tent (my tent has to be one of the first 3 objects to go in my backpack because of the way I pack it). When I went to move some of these objects into my backpack, I found that I had the extreme misfortune of placing my stuff on a yellow jacket nest. Wahoo. Moving my stuff disturbed them and apparently they had a real interest in my hat (which was on the ground at this point) and started "kamikaze-ing" it. Hundreds of bees were swarming around the area and at least fifty of them were fully interested in attacking my hat for about half an hour. Apparently the rain meant nothing to them. Finally they calmed down and I quickly grabbed my hat and the other important things and shoved them in my backpack before heading out. (I left a SmartWater bottle and pen behind because they were literally on top of the nest and hmm....Leave no Trace....or....get stung? Sorry LNT advocates, but I'd rather just have my hands be cold this morning and not throbbing with other forms of pain). I hiked the ~10 miles to Elk Lake Resort in drizzling rain, extreme cold, and wind continuously (only stopping for about 5 minutes for a stupid, damp break). Fortunately Elk Lake Resort was still doing their breakfast buffet at 11:45 when I showed up and my family picked me up at 4pm for the start of my birthday zeros! Talk to you guys later!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

BIRTHDAY ZEROS!!

Starting today and continuing on until the morning of September 4th I'll be taking BIRTHDAY ZEROS!! (For those of you dying to ask- my birthday is September 2nd and I'll be turning 23). I'll be doing my summaries post either tonight or tomorrow but otherwise I'll be "MIA" in La Pine and Bend. See you guys back on trail on the 4th!




Saturday, August 29, 2015

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PCT Hawk
Latitude:43.92299
Longitude:-121.89590
GPS location Date/Time:08/29/2015 20:08:44 PDT

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Photos Uploaded

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Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool

8/23: (8.4 miles) Today my dad joined me! I got up, packed up, and made sure I was at the Mazama Restaurant when it opened (7am). I had 2 pancakes (Really, Mazama? Who doesn't have chocolate chips?), 3 eggs, and bacon. Around 9:45 my dad and step mom showed up and we drove a detour around the fire closure on the PCT (the PCT is closed from the North connection to the Rim Trail up until Highway 138). We had lunch (burgers and milkshake) on the way and started just after noon. I've hiked through plenty of "wildfire smoke areas" before, but the smoke was so thick here that you could smell it (which I didn't mind- campfire smoke is my favorite smell), but it also burned your throat after breathing it. Fortunately, we camped at a higher elevation where the smoke wasn't an issue. My dad did a great job keeping up with my 3mph pace, but I made sure we started with a low day.

8/24: (16.7 miles) Today was our biggest day. And we really had no choice because we went from one water source (Thielsen Creek) to the next water source (Horse Spring). We carried 3 liters of water each and were still able to keep up the 3mph pace. In the last hour before the campsite my dad got service (he has AT&T and I have Sprint/roaming on Verizon. I have a couple bars almost all over the trail). So he took an hour or so to make some phone calls related to work. We got to the campsite and relaxed before the big hike down to water (~0.5 miles off trail and down ~300 ft in elevation). If it weren't the latest water in 16 miles, I wouldn't have done it. After filling up on water we set up camp and went to bed.

8/25: (15.3 miles) Detour day. We heard a bit the previous day about an alternate trail (the Oregon Skyline Trail) that cuts off ~8 miles of the PCT and dumps you out right at Shelter Cove Resort (whereas if you take the PCT, you have to do a 2 mile road walk or side trail to get to Shelter Cove). The main hiking app I use ("Guthook's Guide") knows nothing about this alternate. Fortunately I have my paper maps (which have a whole separate section for the alternate) and the Halfmile app that has the GPS waypoints (and will tell me if I'm on the trail or not and how far along the trail I am). The trail was tough, but I like to imagine the part of the PCT we skipped was tougher. We made it to the Cresent Lake campground (water spigots!) and basically relaxed there all day. I set up my hammock and both my dad and I read for most of the afternoon. At about dusk- as we were cooking dinner- a guy from another campsite where there was a large group camping came over and offered us chicken fajitas. Of course we said "yes!" Just as it was dark and we were laying in tents going to sleep a couple hikers came by and joined us at our site. They cooked dinner, set up their tent, and shined their headlamps everywhere. Not cool- but we couldn't really complain too much.

8/26: (11.2 miles) Today we made breakfast and left camp before the other hikers got up. We did our miles easily and made it to Shelter Cove Resort by lunchtime! Unfortunately, all Shelter Cove Resort has for food (other than grocery-type food) are hotdogs, pizza (they had one option- spinach and mushroom), and breakfast burritos. So we had hotdogs. Later we had one of the pizzas for dinner (it was alright) and a full bottle of Martenelli's that we split. We spent most of our time at Shelter Cove Resort being frustrated with the speed of the WiFi. It sucked. Then we left for the hiker campsite and set up our tents.

8/27: (ZERO) My dad is getting picked up today by my step-mom and my mom is coming to meet me here. We're hanging out at Odell Lake Resort where she's reserved one of their "hotel rooms". Shower, laundry, good WiFi, here I come!

[If you can identify what the title of this post is taken from WITHOUT GOOGLING, bonus points to you]

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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Latitude:43.58256
Longitude:-122.04211
GPS location Date/Time:08/26/2015 19:04:20 PDT

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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Latitude:43.46036
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GPS location Date/Time:08/25/2015 15:59:09 PDT

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Monday, August 24, 2015

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Latitude:43.30510
Longitude:-122.00253
GPS location Date/Time:08/24/2015 19:10:13 PDT

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

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Latitude:43.16183
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GPS location Date/Time:08/23/2015 16:49:16 PDT

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Photos Uploaded

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Merriment

8/21: (23.4 miles) My family dropped me off at the trail at about 8:20am and I started hiking. Today was another non-eventful day of hiking. But I did figure out the secret to doing lots of miles without batting an eye: podcasts. I usually hike an hour at a time then take breaks in between the hours so hour-long podcasts are great! I'm listening to TED Talks (which is sometimes lacking when it's only audio), VergeCast (by The Verge), and Serial (a true story about trying to prove a "murderer's" innocence on a case that happened 15 years ago). I only hiked one hour today without listening to a podcast. When I set up camp I met a couple who is section-hiking Oregon. They had too much food so they gave me lots of candy bars, dinner they had already cooked, etc!

8/22: (26 miles) New record! Today was a lot of annoying ups and downs. Again, nothing too out of the ordinary. Didn't have any podcasts left. I did see one day hiker talking to some other PCTers and was told by the PCTers that he is Billy Goat- a thru-hiker legend. Apparently he's done the PCT around 7 times (starting in '89), the AT around 3 times and the CDT around 3 times! He's logged over 43,000 miles of thru-hikes! This night I reached Crater Lake and Mazama Village! WAY too many hikers here (~40!). Fortunately most of them will be far ahead of me when I take my birthday zeros. Camped at the $5 hiker site in the campground. I start hiking with my dad tomorrow!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

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Latitude:42.86443
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GPS location Date/Time:08/22/2015 21:12:31 PDT

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Friday, August 21, 2015

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Latitude:42.62076
Longitude:-122.21239
GPS location Date/Time:08/21/2015 20:34:35 PDT

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Luxurious camping

8/17: (0.8 miles...yeah) Today I hung out in the hostel for most of the morning. I packed up my stuff and set it out of the way, then headed off to the library to do some computer usage. Afterwards I went back to the hostel and hung out in the common room. I found out that I chose to send my box to the Green Springs Inn (which is closer to the PCT, but after Ashland). I wanted to sort through my box while I was still in town so a guy at the Green Springs Inn said he'd bring the box back to Ashland when he got off work, but that wouldn't be till around 4pm. So I hung out longer in the hostel. Check out time was 11am and I hung out there till around....2pm. Yeah. They eventually kicked me out and I went to seek somewhere else I could leave my pack while I explored downtown. Turns out the Ashland Outdoor Store is very hiker-friendly: they have a hiker box, 10% hiker discount, and a place where you can leave your pack. Plus, after I got my box, they let me sort through it there. Finally I had a burger and fantastic milkshake at Ruby's before I headed out. Within 1 minute of sticking my thumb out for a ride, a biker offered me a ride back to the trail (his house was a block away). He's a former JMT hiker and when we got to his house there was a family of deer in his backyard! In downtown Ashland! I started hiking after he dropped me off and saw a nice, comfy tentsite pretty soon and decided to camp there (especially since I wasn't planning on heading out until the next day anyway). Still close enough to get plenty of 3G so I spent the rest of the night watching YouTube videos and being lazy while I digested burger and milkshake.

8/18: (22.3 miles) Being in Oregon is great. In some ways, it's still just like California (bloody hot, some snakes, fine dust everywhere), but there's one great thing about Oregon: lots of shade. Every now and then you hit an exposed section of trail where there's nothing but dead grass, rocks, dust, and lots of sun, but a tenth of a mile later you'll be back in the lush forest. That's what today was. In and out of the desert and forest. As I neared 7pm, I realized I might be able to make it to Hyatt Lake Resort before they closed (but I had no idea when they closed). I got to the paved road around 7:50pm and got a ride almost right away. We got to the resort at 7:55pm and...closed. Both the store and the restaurant with no one in sight. So the nice guy took me down to the Hyatt Lake Campground (where I was planning on camping anyway). The Hyatt Lake Campground is probably the nicest campground I've stayed at so far. Water from spigots, flushing toilets, plenty of outlets, and FREE SHOWERS.

8/19: (20.4 miles) Today was pretty much the same as yesterday (desert-forest-desert-forest...repeat) but much more lush forest (which was much appreciated). Wasn't anything special that happened today...another day of hiking. Camped at South Brown Mountain Shelter with a few other hikers. It was basically a tiny log cabin with a dirt floor. There was a wide shelf that went around the inside of the cabin that I slept on with another hiker.

8/20: (9.9 miles) Small day today. Pounded out the miles. Everything was going pretty well until I came to this section of the trail that was just fields of lava rocks. The trail was covered with "lava rock gravel" which isn't even close to stable and isn't what I would call "comfortable to walk on". And trekking poles don't help because using trekking poles on the hard, sharp rocks will destroy the tips (so I just carried the poles). I got to Highway 140 around 12:30pm and got picked up by family around 1:30pm taking me home with them to Klamath Falls. Shower! Laundry! Computer! Home-cooked food!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Post via SMS August 17, 2015 at 10:42PM

Tonight I'll be camping at PCT mile 1717.53

Photos Uploaded

Just updated the photos folder:

Oregon paradise (kinda)

8/14: (6.6 miles hiked) I guess I shouldn't write posts about days before I actually finish hiking that day. The original plan was to hike halfway up the huge hill out of Seiad Valley, camp there, then continue the next day. Then I found out about a road that cuts off a couple miles of the PCT and might be a nicer grade. I started walking along that road and after about half a mile I got a hitch (just for the next mile). Then we picked up more hikers and transferred to another vehicle that took us half the road walk (about 6 miles). As soon as we got out of that truck, another truck came by and took us all the way up to the PCT! Boom! 15 difficult miles of the PCT eliminated! I camped with these other hikers I hitched with (there were surprisingly about 13 of us that all crammed into each truck).

8/15: (22 miles) Today was lots of uphill, then downhill, then uphill, etc. And bow hunting season started today so there's plenty of trucks full of camo-clad hunters on the myriad of dirt roads we're crossing. Today was another day of pushing myself to hike to the next break after every hour (even though the desire to stop seemed to come every 40 minutes). But the best part about today- OREGON! I crossed the Oregon border just after 7pm and camped 0.4 miles afterwards near a dirt road. And as a little celebratory present, a truck was driving by and offered us ice-cold mini Gatorades! We asked them if they were going into Ashland (shot in the dark, but worth a try) and they said no. But they mentioned plenty of hunters will be heading back to I-5 tomorrow (Sunday) after the first weekend of hunting.

8/16: (~15 miles hiked) After last night's "good news" of a possible ride into Ashland, we decided to break near every road we could. I was hiking with a guy named BeerBaron and a girl named Pumpkin. We would have to do 26+ miles otherwise to get to Ashland. We left camp at about 7:30am and got going. The first road we came to had a car but no people (we saw the people later but they weren't going to Ashland). Soon we came to a junction of 3 dirt roads or so. We waited there for about 20 minutes and....nothing. Then we hiked 5 miles nonstop to the next junction of roads (taking a road shortcut at one point, cutting off about a mile of the PCT). We waited here for nigh on an hour and....nothing. Well, not really "nothing". About 3 cars came by (all going the opposite way) but gave us grapes and a ginger ale! We decided to walk the road from here as it seemed about the same as the PCT but possibly less steep (and with the possibility of a hitch). After a couple hours there was finally a car going our way and he gave us a ride all the way into downtown Ashland! We got pizza right where he dropped us off and stayed at the Ashland Commons Hostel. Had some dinner with other hikers at the Standing Stone Brewery and it was a good time :) .

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Post via SMS August 15, 2015 at 07:33PM

Tonight I'll be camping at PCT mile 1689.53

Post via SMS August 15, 2015 at 12:00PM

I accidentally left my SPOT GPS in Seiad Valley so I won't be checking in for a few days. I will post whenever I have cell service.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Randomness

Now is about the time we're seeing more and more southbounders (SOBO). The crazy thing about SOBOs is that to start the PCT they have to drive to Hart's Pass in WA, then hike 30 miles north to the Canadian border (and northern PCT terminus), THEN they can start their hike. Manning Park in Canada is only 8 miles from the PCT northern terminus but it's illegal to enter the US via the PCT (but not illegal to enter Canada via the PCT- as long as you have the proper forms).

I met a SOBO today named Chopstakes (because apparently he has no utensils and uses his tent stakes as chopsticks. Gross.) with this awesome shirt a few NOBOs made for him at Crater Lake. In case it's hard to read, it says:

"I'm SOBO!

I don't know:

- Next water

- Campsite

- Your friends"


Photos Uploaded

Just updated the photos folder:

https://drive.google.com/folder/d/0B_-6KdFaC6WiZDdZaE5zaE9TdFE/edit

Tres Months

Three months! THREE! Yesterday as I was hiking I kept thinking "what, am I crazy? How have I been doing the same boring thing for 3 months? I just get up everyday and walk all day until I go to bed at night." But here I am. And Oregon is on the horizon! I have 36.8 miles till the Oregon border and less than 1000 miles left till Canada! Motivation level is about the same as last time (but a little bit spiked because I'll be entering my home state).

But this next leg of the journey will be a whole lot better because in Oregon I have friends/family hiking with me almost every day. Plus I am taking about 4 zeros at home in Bend, OR for my birthday! This'll be great.

Eat my dust

8/12: (23.7 miles) left early from Etna. Got a ride up to Etna summit at around 8:30am for $5. Absolutely no smoke in the air and the views were incredible! Maybe better than the Sierras'! I'll let my pictures argue that for me. Ridge-waking all day long (not my favorite) and at about 5pm I hiked over a ridge that suddenly plunged me back into the gloom of wildfire smoke, long ago burned-out forests, and insane heat & humidity. Not fun. But I made it to my campsite just after dusk near an old, boarded-up ranger cabin. One of the boards over a window was gone and I was very tempted to climb in and spend the night in there but I figured the rodents probably had called dibs.

8/13: (25.4 miles) new record! And today is also 3 months in! Hard to believe that I've been doing practically the same thing everyday for 3 months. Kinda bordering on existential crisis here... Nevermind. Today I got up a little late and got going around 8:45am. I decided that- to make up for it- I'll make sure to hike 3 mph all the time and limit all my breaks to 10 minutes (which means no reading). And it worked. I got to the Grider Creek Campground just before 8pm and saw the first human I had seen all day- another hiker. Nothing special at this drive-in campground: pit toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables. Not even water spigots but the creek was right nearby.

8/14: (10.8 miles) This morning I did the 6.6 mile road walk into Seiad Valley, CA. This is the last stop before Oregon! Also, Seiad Valley's Cafe is home to the famous pancake challenge: if you can eat 5 pancakes (each weighing a pound), you get them for free. Hardly anyone (hikers included) have completed it. They estimate around 25 people in the whole existence of the restaurant (only 2 in the last 7 years). I got myself 3 REGULAR-sized chocolate chip pancakes and will be heading out of here around 5pm to do the last 4.2 miles of the day (halfway up the horrible, steep hill out of Seiad Valley). Oregon, here I come!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT PCT Hawk

PCT Hawk
Latitude:41.80699
Longitude:-123.21759
GPS location Date/Time:08/13/2015 20:08:45 PDT

Message:I've set up camp for the night! Here's where I'll be:

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

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Latitude:41.56340
Longitude:-123.19852
GPS location Date/Time:08/12/2015 21:09:40 PDT

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A couple updates

I've updated a couple of the links on the sidebar.

First off, my gear list should be updated with what I'm carrying now (minus food, of course). Here's the new list: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=20983

Also, my graph of progress now also includes a projection based off my current average. It projects when I'll finish the PCT (this doesn't include the zero days I'll be taking for my birthday, of course). Here's that link: https://goo.gl/N4dQ2r

"What do we do? We hike, hike, hike."

8/8: (9.7 miles) Today the other hiker ("SupperClub") and I checked out of our hotel, then hiked to downtown Dunsmuir for burgers. We got delicious burgers and milkshakes, then headed back the opposite way (past the Dunsmuir Lodge) to Manfredi's- a convenience store close to I-5 where we were hoping to hitch from. We did a small bit of shopping (a couple drinks and a couple snacks for the trail), then went outside to wait for someone to offer a ride (as recommended- probably not a good recommendation- by the cashier). Fortunately, someone did come to offer a ride! Even better- it was a thru-hiker with a rental car (something you don't see everyday). So we got back on trail around 12:30pm and started hiking- the wrong way (we started going down a side trail that the PCT signs were definitely pointing to, but it wasn't right). Fortunately, we caught it within about 10 minutes, backtracked, then hiked the proper way. I decided to stop and camp before the big uphill and therefore stopped pretty early (about 7pm) but still satisfied my "half-day-out-of-town" philosophy. SupperClub decided to tackle the 5 miles uphill that night and moved on.

8/9: (20.6 miles) I am definitely glad that I saved the 5 miles of uphill for today. I couldn't have done that last night. Today was one of those days where there wasn't a lot of motivation to be had. Some of the songs that come into my head: "Just keep hiking" (the "legs" version to Dory's "Just keep swimming") and the first stanza of "Put one foot in front of the other" . You're bored? You're tired? That's too bad- you've got miles to cover. Fortunately there was a tiny bit of trail magic at parking lot crossing (a nearly spent water cache and what used to be oranges) to brighten the spirits. I camped at Porcupine Lake which was definitely beautiful the next morning! (See picture below)

8/10: (24.3 miles) Today was kinda frustrating. I got going pretty early and got lots of miles in, but the PCT decided to be very uncooperative and very inefficient today. I hiked 24.3 miles today and roughly (very roughly- mostly from my coordinates and a Google search) made a progress north of 9.2 miles. I walked a ridge at one point that, instead of going north and over the ridge, it wrapped around and made a U-turn going South. At some other points, I walked for miles of trail going either directly South, South-East, or South-West. Like I said- frustrating. I need to keep reminding myself that the PCT is one of the "National Scenic Trails" which means it takes the scenic route (they're not called the "National Efficient Trails" or "National This-Was-Planned-By-An-Engineer Trails"). Also tonight was not a great night as my tent got attacked by a mouse (or some sort of rodent) all night. This has happened before (the night I camped at Hat Creek before Old Station a mouse/rodent chewed into my tent, ate a large chunk out of my tortillas, pooped in my tent, then left- fortunately I was just about to get more food). So now I have about 4 mouse-sized holes in the walls of my tent and for some reason the mouse/rodent liked the bottom of my sleeping bag (there was a hole chewed in the bottom of it and a handful of down was pulled out and strewn about the bottom of my tent). Let's see if REI will replace that...

8/11: (5.3 miles) Skip day! Today I packed up and hiked to Highway 3, then hitched (despite all doubts everywhere- it only took me about 30 minutes of hitching) to Etna. This allowed me to skip about 40 miles of trail and hopefully that'll boost me enough to get to all the places in Oregon when I want to. Hanging in Etna for the rest of the day and staying at the Alderbrook Manor's Hiker Hut. $25/night for a bed, shower, laundry, computer use, etc! Boom.

Photos Uploaded

Just updated the photos folder:

https://drive.google.com/folder/d/0B_-6KdFaC6WiZDdZaE5zaE9TdFE/edit

Custom message from SPOT PCT Hawk

PCT Hawk
Latitude:41.45717
Longitude:-122.89322
GPS location Date/Time:08/11/2015 12:05:29 PDT

Message:I've reached a town! Here's where I'm at:

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT PCT Hawk

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Latitude:41.28281
Longitude:-122.65265
GPS location Date/Time:08/10/2015 19:48:27 PDT

Message:I've set up camp for the night! Here's where I'll be:

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

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Latitude:41.27426
Longitude:-122.50655
GPS location Date/Time:08/09/2015 20:22:41 PDT

Message:I've set up camp for the night! Here's where I'll be:

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT PCT Hawk

PCT Hawk
Latitude:41.18850
Longitude:-122.37839
GPS location Date/Time:08/08/2015 19:21:17 PDT

Message:I've set up camp for the night! Here's where I'll be:

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Photos Uploaded

Just updated the photos folder:

Custom message from SPOT PCT Hawk

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Latitude:41.19853
Longitude:-122.27731
GPS location Date/Time:08/07/2015 20:41:16 PDT

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Retrospect

8/2: (10 miles) Hiked to Burney today. Easy 3.5 miles to the road, then got a ride into town at about 11am. I stayed at the McDonald's on the WiFi till about 6pm (it wasn't very fast WiFi so things took a while). Got another ride back out and convinced them to drop me off at the Burney Falls State Park (where my box was and also about 8 miles farther down the trail). I picked up my box, sorted through food, then I was back on the trail again (aiming to go another 5 miles or so to the next campsite). Got there late and everything was uneven (not nice camping). But I made it work.

8/3: (16.2 miles) Have you ever woken up in the morning and been frustrated that the dream you just had isn't what your life is like? That was this morning. So the rest of the day I kinda just lazily hiked, taking breaks whenever I felt like it. Lots of reading. I camped about 7 miles earlier than I would've on a better day (7 miles being the next water source). But on the up-side I got to camp early (before 8) and took my time making dinner and such. On an interesting side-note: I camped next to another random hiker, but that hiker was the first human I had seen in 24 hours (which may be the longest in my life).

8/4: (17.9 miles) Another semi-lazy day. Today I mostly just got bored. There was a lot of "ridge walking" later in the day and as beautiful as the scenery is, it gets a little tiresome. Not much else to say about today. Just another PCT day.

8/5: (23.5 miles) Alright, time to make up for that laziness. I got up "early" (early for me) at 7 and got going by 8:30. Just a little bit of walking put me on the downhill for most of the day. This downhill was in the thick of a forest with lots of undergrowth and lots of forest! It was a nice, cool, fast-paced hike down the hill to lunch. I stopped and had lunch at Ash Camp next to the McCloud River, then booked it up the steep climb out of here. Made it up the hill and to camp just before 8! Boom. [Also, today was the day that I really started noticing smoke from the wildfires. It's everywhere. I first thought it was fog or that I was hiking through a cloud but it was too thin to be either of that. You'll see this in some of my most recent pictures]

8/6: (19.8 miles) Got up early again to tackle the day. Last night some hikers got in late to my campsite (~11pm) and were talking loudly most of the night, then left early (and loudly) at ~5am so my sleep didn't go as well as planned. A bit of downhill today to water (last water for the next 10 miles) then lots of uphill. Last big uphill before Castella! Hiked up the uphill as quickly as possible and made it about 1/3 down the other side by 1:30pm (when I usually have lunch). Instead of having lunch, I decided to wolf down the rest of my snacks and try to bust it to Castella for a good meal (I was 7 miles away). I made it to the road to Castella at 4:15pm and got a ride in 45 minutes later. Unfortunately "Castella" turned out to not be much more than a gas station and convenience store. So I bought some snacks and a deli sandwich before camping at the Castle Crags campground nearby.

8/7: (ZERO) Today I'll be taking a zero. I would prefer not taking an entire day off, but another hiker offered to split a hotel room with me (and he's a little bit slower) so that's what we're doing tonight. Plus I usually stay overnight anytime I stop at town to get a box, but I haven't stopped overnight in a town (or showered, slept in a bed, or done laundry) since Chester (9 days ago). So that's what I'll be doing today.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT PCT Hawk

PCT Hawk
Latitude:41.15327
Longitude:-122.31195
GPS location Date/Time:08/06/2015 20:29:19 PDT

Message:I've set up camp for the night! Here's where I'll be:

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT PCT Hawk

PCT Hawk
Latitude:41.13011
Longitude:-122.14842
GPS location Date/Time:08/05/2015 19:43:44 PDT

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT PCT Hawk

PCT Hawk
Latitude:41.15316
Longitude:-121.96204
GPS location Date/Time:08/04/2015 20:02:55 PDT

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT PCT Hawk

PCT Hawk
Latitude:41.13625
Longitude:-121.77089
GPS location Date/Time:08/03/2015 19:52:39 PDT

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