Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"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.


  1. Jonathon at REI asked where you were when we talked to him and he commented about the parts where you go south and how hikers hate going south because you feel like you aren't making progress.

    You brought needles and thread, right? Are you able to sew up your tent and sleeping bag? Do you need some nylon fabric to patch it up? Let me know if you want me to send something. Might want to keep those mice from getting in again or something worse, like a rattlesnake, tarantula, etc. Yikes!

    1. Yeah, I've got needles and thread. I could sew them up but I'll probably wait till I'm in Bend to do full repairs. As for the sleeping bag- I just put a good-sized piece of Tenacious Tape on it and it seems fine.