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!

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