Wednesday July 24, 2109
SHORTCUT wakes up early and starts to pack up. When I let her know I am up she tells me she is almost ready to go. I pack up in 20 minutes and am hiking down the trail. That is another record for me. I don’t think I have ever packed up so quickly. I was anxious to finish. Today would be my last day on trail. I want to head home early and have a few days to spend with Jim before I have to go back to work.
Timberline Lodge with built back in 1936-1937. It is considered a historical landmark now. It was really nice and expensive. Our 2 bed room was $300. For that price I was really disappointed with the shower. It went from hot to warm to cold in quick intervals. Plus the drainage was not that good. I’m sure it is the best it can be in such an old place as this.
The dining experience was over the top. I had an awesome spaetzel dish with wild Pacific salmon. It was a $40 entree.
Saturday July 20, 2019
Morning view of the pond we camped beside.
We rise around 5:30am to slightly warmer temperatures than yesterday. I believe SHORTCUT said it was about 45 degrees. I have condensation all over the inside of the tent. I dry it some with my bandana.
Notice the bandana…always ready for use!!!
I use my bandana for so much stuff. It functions as a tissue, wash cloth, pee rag, towel and for sun protection. I’m sure I am probably forgetting something, but you get the picture.
We pack up and are out of camp in 45 minutes. It is super painful to pack up the tent again. My hands are so cold. I have to take a break and stuff them in my pants against my skin to try and warm them up so they aren’t so painful.
I made a rookie mistake leaving Big Lake youth camp yesterday. I had way to much food and really paid the price for the extra weight. SHORTCUT helped me out by carrying some of my gear for me today. She is a good friend!😊
We arrive at camp tonight and the mosquitos are horrible here. I quickly set up my tent and climb in. I go through my food and look for things that I can get rid of. I decide to get rid of about 6-7 meals. I empty them all into a large gallon ziplock. I will look for a place to dump it tomorrow. I am thinking about one of the stagnant ponds we pass or a flowing creek. I’m really not sure which one will do the less damage, but it is a lesson learned.
Since the mosquitos are so bad here I don’t want to exit my tent to pee. So I use my cook pot to pee in.😮 I just reach my hand out to dump it to avoid the mosquitos. So I will be eating cold food for the rest of the trip. I should reach a resort along the trail in 1.5 days and I will leave my fuel canister in the hiker box since I will not be needing it any more.
For those of you who don’t know a hiker box is for hikers. We leave things we don’t want or need for others to claim. They are usually found at hostels.
My blisters on my hands are getting worse and now I’m starting to notice them on the back of my calfs and the lower part of my quads just above my knees. All areas that have been exposed to the sun. They are all areas that got a little sun burnt, but not terribly bad. I am just having a major reaction. The skin isn’t even that red. I just hope they don’t break open and get infected.
We see a few horses on trail today. It looks like trail maintainers use them to get to remote sections of trail and to help carry equipment.
Friday July 19, 2019
I woke up during the night and just wanted to go home. I missed my men, both Jim and Berkley. I was really feeling fatigued at the end of the day. I started my period and didn’t have any feminine products and it was just super messy. But I got up and hiked on.
It was in the upper 30’s this morning when SOULFLOWER woke me up at 5am. I got ready super fast and was hiking 30 minutes later at a fast clip to try and warm up. My hands were so cold it was painful to pack up my gear. It was hours later before they warmed up.
We had more lava fields to cross again today. We did them in the early morning sunshine, but since it was early it was still chilly. At least we managed to avoid going through them in the heat of the day. We had a 15 mile stretch today with out water as we exited camp this morning. I left with 2 liters that I didn’t finish before arriving at Big Lake Youth Camp. I haven’t been drinking enough the last 2 days since it has been so cool.
As we are hiking SOULFLOWER tells me she is considering getting of trail and going home. Her left achilles is bothering her and she wants to make sure it is well before heading out next month to hike the Sierras on the John Muir Trail.
We arrive at Big Lake youth camp around 12:30pm to pick up resupply packages, take showers and do laundry before heading back out on trail.
SOULFLOWER decides to get off here and to go home. She originally thought she may only hike to this area anyway. I want to go with her and seriously consider it. I miss Berkley so much and hate to be away from him for so long. I know he just doesn’t understand. Plus I’m on my period and I have a horrible rash/blisters on my hands that I thought was from the sun, but I’m really not sure. I call Jim crying. He is my rock. I love this guy so much. He calms me down as he always does and I’m back on the trail.
I will miss continuing on without her. She is always a ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
These blisters on my hands seemed to pop up last night. They don’t seem to itch or hurt. I hope I didn’t make a mistake by getting off the trail. They are only on a small section on both hands.
Once we get in camp and I start to set up my tent. One of my trekking poles breaks and one of my cuticles starts to bleed. I hope this isn’t an omen that I should have quit. We glue the trekking pole back together with some superglue that SHORTCUT had in her emergency kit and I dry the bloody cuticle with some TP. The superglue was a very stickie and we both end up with it all over our fingers.
Now to brush my teeth then off to bed. It’s supposed to get down to the low 40’s tonight.
Thursday July 18, 2019
See the rainbow.
The rain got us. It started at 9pm last night and rained off and on for 12 hours. We caught a little break to pack up our stuff, but the tents were wet and would need to be dried out. About 9 am it had mostly stopped raining and by 10 am we found a mostly sunny spot to dry out our tents.
It was a pretty chilly day today. With temperatures only reaching in the 60’s but it was so windy all day it felt cooler.
The terrain we covered was vast from beautiful snow covered mountains to glacier morriaine areas. It was really beautiful all day long. Some days can get boring but today it was exciting!
There was still plenty of snow on the trail and the mosquitos were still out. Although there were much less of them. I have heard that the farther north we go the better it gets. Lets hope so.
I am still cooking my dinners on trail, but I think in the future I will bring more cold soak meals and do away with the stove. The stove and fuel probably adds 12 oz to the pack weight. The weight really seems to bother me and takes away from my hiking enjoyment.
I usually have cereal for breakfast, a pasta salad or fruit salad for lunch or just snack all day. Dinner is usually a hot meal. Which can be a wide range of different things. I’m going to do some investigation into more cold soak meals.
Wednesday July 17, 2019
I have decided that my tent is to small. It is just to crowded. I would still like to have a one man tent, but just something with a little more room. So I think at the end of this trip I will put it up for sale and see if I can get something for it. Then get something bigger.
Saw this big truck at Elk lake. SNOW TIRES!😯
We slept in a little bit this morning. We were headed into Elk Lake Resort to pick up resupply boxes, take showers and get something to eat. The restaurant didn’t open until 11am and since we arrived before 9am we decided to just take showers and pick up our resupply boxes and head back out. I also had a prepaid shipping label and box in with my stuff so I sent my microspikes home. I really didn’t NEED them but it was nice to have them and I did use them. It was my first time ever to use them.
We still see snow patches. I can’t remember if we have seen them every day or not. If not it was only one day that we didn’t. All other days we are still seeing them.
We still pass many ponds and lakes every day. Perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. I’ve heard that they reduce in number after we pass the Bend/Sisters area. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. There were a dozen of them waiting to get in my tent this morning at 6am when I got out to pack it up. I let them all in, zipped up the tent then packed it up. I had quite the mess this evening when I set the tent back up. 😇
My mosquito mess!
SOULFLOWER at our lunch break.
Tuesday July 16, 2019
OMG I slept like the dead last night. It was as if someone had laid me in a coffin and I was dead. I didn’t even do my usual rotisserie roll. I woke up at 4am ready to begin the day, but I could tell SOULFLOWER was still sleeping so I let her sleep until 5am. Because I slept so well I hit a personal record (PR) today. I hit 15.6 miles by noon. That broke my previous record by several miles.
I met a famous hiker this morning. Her name is Dixie. I have been following her blog for years. She is a triple crowner. She has also written a book about thru-hiking. She was on trail with her mom and dog.
I was moving fast this morning but things went down hill after lunch. My feet and ankles started to ache and I was just ready to be done for the day.
View from my lunch spot.
As soon as I got into camp I set up my tent, ate dinner, took a bath and laid down! So glad to be off my feet.
Zoom in to see the momma duck with her babies.
And the mosquitos are still bad.
Monday July 15, 2019
I received my first ever trail side trail magic this afternoon. Ducky’s dad was our host. Ducky completed the PCT in 2016, the AT in 2018 and is currently on the CDT. I had some chocolate milk, oreo cookies, tortilla chips and cherries. Such an awesome experience.
Morning view from our cabin.
We left Shelter Cove after a breakfast of scrambled eggs. It was a very good stay. I got my laundry done, showered and got to talk to Jim. I’ve had pretty much no cell service out here and had to use wifi to call Jim, but so glad I got to talk to him. He is my rock and bestfriend. I just wish he loved backpacking as much as I do.
It was mostly overcast all day today with cooler temps in the low 60’s. It was very comfortable hiking and maybe a little on the cool side. I didnt do much sweating today. I am also feeling better, less soreness. My pack is much more comfortable with only a little over a days worth of food in it.
The mosquitos are still bad but not as bad as yesterday. We passed by many beautiful lakes/ponds today with crystal clear water.
I am currently camped on the shore of a beautiful lake. This is one of my top five campsites ever.
View of the lake we are camped on.
I’ve seen the most people on the trail today since starting the trip. Even saw a few trail runners. This is an awesome trail to run on. So few roots and rocks. I’ve often thought how awesome it would be to live close to a trail.
Sunday July 14, 2019
11.3 miles to Shelter Cove Resort
Sunrise over the lake this morning was spectacular! When you live outdoors for a while you get to see so many of them.
We rolled out of camp at 5:50am. We were headed to Shelter Cove Resort where we would stay the night, take showers and do laundry. I am so dirty. More so than I was on the AT. There are so little water sources out here that you can actually wash in. It is so different from the AT. So I don’t really get a good bandana bath in the evening.
The terrain was really dry and dusty this morning. A lot of horses had been on the trail so the ground was really stirred up and made it a little difficult to hike on.
I thought the mosquitos were bad previous days. Well it was nothing like today. There were no breaks from them at all this morning. They were so thick I put on my head on to keep them away from my face. It was only about 40 degrees when we left camp this morning so I had my puffy jacket on and I couldn’t even stop to take of off. I would rather be a little to warm than be eaten alive by mosquitoes. Just to take a picture was a challenge. Before you could take the picture they were landing on you
We made it into Shelter cove by 11am. Where the girls picked up there resupply boxes. I didn’t have one here because I didn’t get to the post office early enough. It would take UPS 10 days to get my box here so it wouldn’t have arrived until the day I was leaving Shelter Cove and I didn’t want to wait on it or take a chance on it. So I carried extra food to get me to the next stop, Elk Lake.
We took showers, did laundry, cleaned up gear, called family, caught up on emails, text messages and social media. The days we make it into town are rarely all relaxation.
Shelter Cove is really just a camping resort on a very large lake. It is not really a town. They do have a small store with some supplies and a small grill that serves hamburgers, pizza and some breakfast items. I had a gluten free veggie pizza for dinner.
Saturday July 13, 2019
Check out this awesome campsite for the night. Crescent lake. Although we are not camped directly on the lake we are only a short walk away. Crescent lake is not on the PCT. We have taken an alternate route to avoid heavy snow areas around Diamond Peak, the mountain pictured in the back ground.
The last couple of afternoons I was really dragging so I decided that I would get up early this morning. So I could get most of my miles in early when I feel my best. So I woke SHORTCUT up with a loud rooster’s crow at 4:30am. We packed up and were out of camp by 5:15.
SOULFLOWER camped further down trail so I gave her a rooster’s crow as I went by. She had just woken up and got dressed but was not ready to go. We made arrangements where we would meet and we all made 10×10 (10 miles by 10am). With SOULFLOWER, the last one up and out of camp finishing first!
The mosquitos are relentless. When they are out you can’t pause to take a picture without them landing all over you. I have been applying bug spray daily and sometimes more than once per day.
The trail has been mostly a dirt path with very few roots and rocks. It has been very easy walking. Oregon is one of the flattest sections of the PCT and thru hikers can generally make 5 miles more per day here.
My knee is feeling better but my calfs are still sore. My arms are sunburnt and my butt is chafed.