Friday, August 29, 2014

Day 100 A Day Out of The Ordinary

Day 100
August 28th
25 miles
PCT mile 1990.5

There really are no ordinary days on the trail, but there are things that are usually routine. Buffalo is always the first one up and the first one rolling out of camp in the morning and then we never see him again till camp at night. Then Hornsby is the next to leave camp. Between Sanford and I, one of us are usually the last out of camp.

 But this morning I woke up and was ready to roll, I was second out of my tent after Sanford and the first to leave camp. And Hornsby was the last to leave camp. Then when Hornsby, Sanford and I stopped at a river crossing to break for lunch, it so happened Buffalo was there too, just a few hundred yards ahead us.  Hornsby and Sanford hitched to Sisters to pick up supplies for us this evening and Buffalo and I stayed on trail, it was the first night in 17 days that the Caboose Crew didn't camp together on the trail. We all planned to meet back up at the Big Lake Youth Camp tomorrow.

Today was a beautiful hike, we hiked by the Three Sisters and through some magnificent lava fields. 

South Sisters

Middle Sisters

Lunch Break

Lava Fields

Day 99

Day 99
August 27th
25.5 miles
PCT mile 1965

Coming into camp late last night, I didn't want to set up my tent and the weather was nice, so I decided to cowboy camp. I had one of my best nights sleep, I slept through the entire night without waking up.

14 miles into my day I took a nice long break at Dumbbell lake. About 3/4 of a mile from Dumbbell I found Sanford and Hornsby taking a break, I told them about the lake coming up and my plan to take a long break there, I continued on to find a nice swimming spot on the lake, and was joined by Sanford and Hornsby. We easily took about a two hour break, swimming and just laying around in the sun. By 3:30 we decided we should start thinking about packing up and hitting the trail since we still had a little over 11 miles to go to camp. 

Hiking into camp the sky had turned  gray, I couldn't tell if it was smoke from a fire or actually overcast with a threat of rain. In discussion at camp Buffalo thought it was a front blowing in, so needless to say, none of us cowboy camped tonight and we all set up our tents, just in case it did decide to rain.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 98 Lakes

Day 98
August 26th
28 miles 
PCT mile 1940

Today was a beautiful hike, we've gotten to the section of Oregon where lakes are abundant and beautiful.

Lower Rosary Lake

Northern Rosary Lake

With a little later start out of Shelter Cove and doing 28 miles today I knew if I wanted to get to camp before dark I would have to cut the breaks short. However, when I came upon the Rosary Lakes, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a midday swim and have a little sunbathing time. It was well worth the sacrifice and I was fine with a little night hiking.

Tomorrow looks like there will be ample opportunity to do the same, as we will be passing by several lakes again. With a little earlier start, I hope to have a long midday break at one of the lakes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 97 Shelter Cove

Day 97
August 25th
10 miles
Shelter Cove via PCT mile 1913

The Caboose Crew (Hornsby, Sanford, Guy and a Buffalo and myself) had all intentions of hiking into Shelter Cove staying a few hours and hiking out. When we got into Shelter Cove we even picked in end point for our day, a campsite 7 miles away on Middle Rosary Lake. We got into Shelter Cove shortly before noon and find the fire ring next to the lake and just chill in the sun. Then Tin-Tin and Smokey roll in and shortly after that Will showed up, we hadn't seen any of them in several days. Next thing we know Beeline pops in, and after that a few more hikers we know. Suddenly it's almost 5:00pm, discussions were had to stay or leave...but then it happens we are sucked into the vortex and decide to stay, hanging by the campfire into the night, creating more memories and conversations not to be forgotten.

Hornsby teaching Tin-tin how to shotgun a beer.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 95

Day 95
August 23rd
26 miles
PCT miles 1878

Before leaving camp today we started up the fire to toast the bagels and made breakfast sandwiches with the eggs, cream cheese and left over sausage we had from last night, and enjoyed our morning coffee campfire style.

Not too much to report today. Had a long break at the water source after Mt. Thielsen it was a beautiful spot to just relax and listen to the waterfall. Did some reading and journaling there until it was time to move on.

Selfie of the day.

Pulled into camp right around 7:30 tonight. There were quite a few people there all ready: 2 southbounders and 3 southbound section hikers. One of the southbound section hikers, Dole Tech, was giving out PCT magic to all the northbounders and taking pictures of each of the northbounders he met.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Day 96 Oregon Weather

Day 96
August 24th
26 miles 
PCT mile 1903.5

Spending 1700 miles in California and crossing state lines into Oregon you wonder is Oregon really going to feel different then California? Or is it all just going to feel the same on the PCT? The answer is "Yes, Oregon is drastically different." And it was apparent quite immediately. First off the terrain is much different, for the most part the trail is more forgiving, your hiking through forest and the trail is soft with pine needles and dirt. I like to say Oregon has laid out the brown carpet for the PCT hikers. The other difference is the weather, and man is it starting to get cold. August isn't even over and it appears the summer nights are gone. Nice days are still to be had, but there's no more blazing hot days, the temperature during the day probably gets into the mid 70s and it's sunny which is perfect hiking weather, but the nights and mornings are brisk. By 6:00pm the temperature drops and after sunset the temps are in the 40s, waking up to high 30s in the morning. It's cold but the benefits to the cooler nights are twofold: campfires are to be had and sleeping is very conducive to these temperatures. We've had campfires in camp the last 3 nights and I've had some of my best and soundest sleep as well. I'm still sleeping without my rainfly and staying so warm in my new sleeping bag, it's pretty awesome. Hopefully this weather is here to stay for a while and it won't get too much colder too soon. We're all aware that we are going to have much colder and soon to be wet weather on top of it, once we get into Washington.

Day 94 Hiking Crater Lake Rim

Day 94
August 22nd
19.5 miles
PCT mile 1852.5

"Sunrise and breakfast" was our 6am wake up call from Buffalo. I slept great but felt could have used a few extra hours of sleep, nonetheless I packed up quickly and headed up to the lodge to get coffee and breakfast.

Hornsby asked as we sat down to breakfast, "Everything Ok?"

"Everything's fine" I smile, "just not a morning person, if you haven't figured that out by now."

Once I ate my breakfast and had several cups of coffee, I was my happy, cheery self.
Nothing like a hot breakfast and coffee to perk me up in the morning.
The four of us at Crater Rim Lodge

After breakfast we headed out to hike the the rim. About a mile in, I'm not sure what exactly happened but I face planted straight down onto the trail. My pack was so heavy with my new resupply and carrying 27 miles of water, I couldn't get up, I layed there just laughing at myself and imagining how ridiculous I must look flailing my arms and legs trying to get leverage to get up. Sanford and Buffalo were up a ways ahead, but I was sure Hornsby was going to come up behind me and have his fair share of laughing too, but he must have been quite a ways behind, because I eventually was able to get myself up before he found me sprawled out on the trail. I dusted myself off and continued on my way to the Watchman Tower, where we regrouped.

Watchman Tower overlooking Crater Lake

Some pictures from the Watchman Tower:

After the trail dropped off the rim, we all dispersed separating ourselves by our own pace and breaks. By 4:00pm I was feeling pretty tired I really wanted to be done hiking by 6:00pm. Hornsby and Buffalo were up ahead and I wasn't sure where exactly they were going to stop or if they were going to push 27 miles to the water. Then at 5:30pm I found this:

By 6:00pm I found Guy on a Buffalo and Hornsby in a nice camping spot, fire already started...I was so excited to see them so early and have a spot with a fire pit. But on top of all that Buffalo met a dad and son car camping that wanted to give us a bunch of food. By the end of the night we had a feast: cheese and sausage, canned pears and plums, Fritos, and corn on the cob. Dad came over with his son and played the harmonica for a while and then just visited with us. He even made us a bunch of hard boiled eggs for the morning and gave us some bagels and cream cheese. It was a great night of hanging out and staying warm by the fire.

What happens when you ask Buffalo to take a picture for you:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 93 Mazama Village to Crater Rim Village

Day 93
August 21st
5 miles
PCT mile 1834

It took some coercing to get me out of my tent this morning but finally talk of breakfast and coffee got my interest enough to get me to join the others for breakfast. 

Hornsby, myself, Sanford, Handstand, and Hand-me-down, at breakfast.

The rest of the day we talked about hiking, but successfully did none. Finally consensus was we would hike to Crater Lake Rim Village a short 5 mile hike, in order to be at the rim for sunrise tomorrow and hike the rim during the day.

Laundry was done and I had an amazing shower. I felt like a new person after this shower, sometimes thru-hiking you just feel like you need a shower more times then others when you have the opportunity, and today was one of those days I desperately needed a shower and it instantly lifted my mood afterwards.

I got some new nail polish from the Walsh family in my resupply, now I have sparkly purple toes. And to go with my new pedicure and clean feet and new pair of shoes and socks!
My old shoes made it over 800 miles and still were holding up pretty these should last me to Canada!!!

While we were hanging out at the hiker tables, none other then the famous thru-hiker, Scott Williamson, hiked in. He was southbounding trying to break the southbound record. He hiked from the Canadian border to Crater Lakes in 19 days! However, he was dropping here, due to the fire closures south he would be unable to officially break the southbound thru-hike record.
Scott Williamson
Scott's tiny ultralight pack.
Handstand, Hand-me-down, Scott, and myself.
Hiker log

After a pretty chill day we finally got rolling at 5:30 and had a nice easy hike up to Crater Lake Rim Village and found a place to camp.

Crater Lake at dusk

Friday, August 22, 2014

Day 92 Bonking Hard

Day 92
August 20th
31.5 miles
Mazama Village via PCT mile 1829

After pushing 30 miles for 3 days it was bound to happen and for me it was 19 miles into my day, I bonked hard. It felt like my body was giving up. Physically I felt like I could do it and mentally I told myself I could do it and I believed I could do it. But I just couldn't get the pieces to fit together, for 6 miles I just put my head down and tunnel visioned the trail. It was hard, I felt myself getting a bit delirious. I envisioned myself stumbling into Mazama Village hours after everyone a complete wreck. I sat down after 25 miles and tried to pull it together the best I could. Handstand passed me on the trail and encouraged me, "Girl, we only have six more miles to go, we can do this." And she was right. I got up and started walking 1 mile down and only 5 miles left, then 4, then 3, then 2, then 1. Then I made it to Highway 62. I told myself earlier in the day I wanted to make it to the highway by 8pm and I did, right on the dot. The problem when I got to the highway was I had a 1 mile roadwalk southeast to Mazama Village, but I didn't have my bearings I couldn't tell which way to go on the road. I grabbed my maps and quickly realized I was missing the page I needed. Darn! Now what? It was just then a pickup pulls up and out pops Beeline and Billy Jack getting a ride back to the trail, from a couple from Minnesota. Score!!! They were more then willing to give me a ride to Mazama Village. What a relief.

I found Hornsby, Buffalo, and Sanford outside the store where I was dropped off, along with Handstand and Hand-Me-Down, two other thru-hikers we've met along the way. I was still a bit out of it and totally spent, I couldn't really string a full sentence together that made much sense. Then Hornsby and Sanford ordered a couple of pizzas, 2 slices in I began to perk up and came back to life after 4 slices. Once the pizza was polished off we headed to campsite to set up camp. Then, the Catan board was brought out, we ended up staying up past midnight playing Catan. The night got cold fast by the time I went to bed it was 43 degrees.

Earlier in the day, much before my bonkfest. I came across a stream with a bunch of baby frogs, I played with for a bit. They were so cute!! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 91...Day 2 of 30 miles

Day 91
August 19th
31.5 miles
PCT mile 1798

Success! Another 30 in the books. The goal is to do 3 thirty mile days to Crater Lake.

I came out relatively unscathed from my night of cowboy camping, minus getting bitten on my eyebrow by a mean little black ant in the middle of the night that woke me up. Getting packed up was easy but I didn't get out of camp as quickly as I had hoped. It was colder this morning and I stayed cozy in my sleeping bag and just didn't have the motivation to get an early start.

The mosquitoes started to get bad again this afternoon, first time they've been out since leaving the High Sierras, so I decided not to cowboy camp tonight.

One more 30+ mile day tomorrow to get us to Mazama Village at Crater Lake, a resupply stop for me. I'm excited to see Crater Lake and hopefully get some good pictures.

Crossing Highway 140