Made breakfast and got on the trail about 6:30am. TP had gotten up to go to the bathroom while I was making breakfast and I said I’d see them up the trail.
Realized the day was August 1st. On August 1st, 1994, my friend Curtiss and I left Cascade Locks, WA to hike the Washington portion of the PCT. It was my first long distance hike ever. I think I had only done one or two multi-day/different camp hikes before in my life. Looks like when I hit Washington it will have been over 19 years since I was on the trail there.
I was kind of bummed that I was gonna miss my friends Chris+Jen+kids up at Shelter Cove. I really needed the days off when I took them so there wasn’t much else I could have done. I spent awhile doing the math in my head and realized there was no way I would make it there. They were leaving on the 5th.
I did more math in my head and it occurred to me I could actually make it there in time on the 5th before they left. I would have to push it hard. I figured though that if I was gonna get there, I would want to be able to spend some time with them so that wouldn’t work out. It was about 164 PCT miles away, plus I also had the issue of needing to get to Crater Lake Lodge before 9pm when they closed. I had a resupply box there, plus I wanted to have dinner at the restaurant. The lodge was also a mile off the trail, plus Shelter cove was another mile or two off the PCT. To get to Crater Lake Lodge I would have to pull a little over 40 miles today, then get up super early tomorrow and hike really fast without stopping to get to Crater Lake Lodge by 7pm or so. This didn’t seem feasible, especially since I had only done one 40 mile day previously.
The terrain was pretty fast walking and I met Scooter and Frenchie. I introduced myself and later realized he was the guy I was playing frisbee with at the Saufley’s house 1400 miles ago.
By 10am I had about 11 miles in and it felt good. I can’t remember how or when it happened, but I decided to try and make it to Shelter Cove by Sunday around 7:00pm. I liked the idea of just walking in on their camp and surprising them. I mentally played Ton Loc’s spoken intro to “Wild Thing” where he says “Let’s do it…”. Suddenly I was flying down the trail at over 3mph.
Got to the Brown Mountain shelter and made lunch. Ran into a few hikers I had not met before. Two of them were the ones that Muk Muk camped with the night she had the run in with the mountain lion.
I had a photo of myself at the shelter from 1996, but it looked a bit different. After studying the photo I realized the doorway I was standing in was now filled in with windows. You’ll have to wait until I get home to see the comparison photos though.
Hiked onward and hit 30 miles by 7pm while crossing Highway 140. The trail started to cross volcanic rocks that were kind of cool. There was a creek nearby and when I reached into it….it was warm. It must have been due to all the volcanic “stuff” in the area.
Changed into some warmer clothes and pushed on. Ran into the couple I had met earlier at their campsite. I told them I was gonna try and push it hard to Shelter Cove to surprise my friends. He said “how could you not??! That would be awesome!”. That was just the motivation I needed.
I changed into my warmer clothes since it was getting cold, despite me walking fast. Really glad I didn’t mail my long sleeved shirt ahead like I thought about.
I passed the time by figuring out how far I needed to hike tonight and how tomorrow would play out. I needed some coffee but didn’t really have the time to stop and make it, then wait for it to cool. One Starbucks via packet dumped into my mouth and chased with water solved that problem in no time.
Ipod was dying so the USB battery bailed me out. If the battery died and my alarm didn’t go off, that would pretty much nix my chances of getting to Crater Lake Lodge before they closed. This in turn would put me several more hours behind while I waited for the store to open, which would mean I wouldn’t have enough time to get to Shelter Cove. Ugh, issues. At least the ipod charged right up while I hiked.
Hiking that hard I would kind of get into a trance and put off doing things. Even simple things like taking my sunglasses out of my pocket and putting them in my hip belt pocket took me 30 minutes to actually do. It took me another hour from thinking about turning on some music until I actually did.
I hit 42 miles around midnight and camped at Christi’s spring. There were a couple tents nearby so I found a spot to camp away from them where I could cook dinner and not wake them. Had to eat dinner otherwise I knew I’d be paying for it tomorrow morning.
Actually had to put my wool hat on for the first time in forever. Had a dinner of beef stew and rice, then was out.
[side note: for the next few entries I wasn’t writing every night due to only havng a limited amount of time to sleep, so let us just pretend I wrote them at the end of every night]