Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 13, 2013: End of PCT in Canada!!!

It was an easy wake up for my last full day on the PCT. I got up, put my food bag in my pack, and got going leaving my tent and everything behind. All the miles were downhill and with about 3 miles left, I started to get pretty excited. I hit the last turns and there it was. 2700 miles of walking from Mexico to Canada. It was a very great moment knowing that I had what it took to make it happen. What a journey it was, too. I took my 30 minutes to soak it in and sign the register, then turned around and headed back to pick up my stuff. I got to see all the people who were right behind me. They warned me that Meander wants to leave ASAP since all the hunters are coming out for the first weekend of hunting. So, I actually ended up doing a pretty big day for my last full day. 30-35 miles or thereabouts. I'm within 10 miles of Harts Pass, so I'll wake up early and be done hiking for a bit tomorrow morning. So what now. First thing first: Make arrangements for getting to the Bay Area where I will take a good relax and eating session for a day or two at my parent's house, then I'll be off on more journeys. I have some cash stowed away and hiking is cheap. And yes, I am addicted so I have plans of hiking all over the southwest (Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Sedona, and numerous other places around there along with, hopefully, Utah), and maybe a month or two in Hawaii if the budget fits it in. Then, next March 2014, I will be departing to the east coast to make my way on the Appalachian Trail. I figure why not, live life to the fullest and soak it all in. One might say this was the trip of a lifetime, but I plan on living a life where this is just another trip in a lifetime of trips of a lifetime. Also, this was not my last meeting with the PCT. I will be back to do sections, day hikes, and if my body permits, another thru hike a few years down the road. For everyone out there that is reading this and enjoying it, go out and hike, anywhere. Hiking is amazing and I'm glad I'm addicted. And for all the people who say I'm young and can do things like this, hiking is for anyone. I met people of all ages out here. The youngest thru hiker was 12. I personally hiked with an incredible man, Opa, who was 73. My advice to future PCT thru hikers: Be careful with that metal monument at the end. It's pretty heavy and after 2700 miles of walking your upper body gets a little weak. The thing almost took me out and I could barely get it back on. And last but not least, thanks to everyone on the trail, people I hiked with, trail angels, and of course my family and friends for being such a great support all the way, from my brother aiding me in the desert, to Pacmom and all her great visits, and to Pops and Uncle Mark for logging some hard miles with me.

Peace out.
Pacman aka Doug Murray.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

9 Miles From Canada!


9 miles from Canada!

It was about 6 miles of hiking to Harts Pass where I saw signs saying trail magic. I wandered around looking for a bit then saw Meander! What a great surprise. He had goodies so I stuck around catching up and chit chatting. He is going to take me to Bellingham in three days. First it's 30 to the border then 30 miles back to here. I got going and since there would be more catching up and stories to be told when I return to Harts Pass in three days, I will be done hiking then. I did some fast hiking, as the earlier I get to the monument the longer I can hang out tomorrow. That's if anyone is there. And then the quicker I can get back to Harts Pass, the more hang out time I can have while watching hikers roll through in their efforts to get finished. The views were amazing again and all I saw were a few day hikers until Operator, Moses, and Band Leader came by when I was in my tent. They and a big group finished today and said they were at the monument for a couple hours. I'm excited for tomorrow.

Canada and a finished PCT thru hike tomorrow!!! 

North Cascade Ridge, WA

    Up on the ridge all day with amazing views

40 miles to Canada!
The morning climb up the hill wasn't all that bad. And good thing Back Up and I stopped early last night because the campsite we were planning on going to was jam packed with local hikers. Maybe 30 people. The views are amazing as we get up on the high ridges of the North Cascades. The miles seem to be easy to count down from here on out. I saw Super, who owns a hiker store in Mt. Laguna (40 miles from the Mexican border). He confirmed that Meander is doing trail magic at Harts Pass, so it should be nice to see him tomorrow. We wound up at a great campsite at about 6:30pm, so I had some time to soak it all in. What a journey. It's starting to hit me about the last 5 months I have been on this amazing journey! Good times.

Rainy Pass, WA

I believe this is an old growth cedar. I could be wrong though. It sure is big.

Rainy Pass, Hwy 20, WA
The bus took off at 8am and made a necessary stop at the bakery where I loaded up on supplies. I got a sticky bun, cinnamon roll, mushroom pesto bake, and a bacon wrap. Those lasted me just about all day. I got hungry for a dinner but that was about it. Delicious! It was just Back Up and me that left today, compared to the 20 or so hikers that left yesterday. So, we don't have to compete for the good campsites. It got pretty hot going through North Cascades National Park. There was one apple left in a magic box at Rainy Pass. Just my luck. 60 miles to the border from here!

Stehekin, WA and North Cascades National Park

Last NP which should be about all of tomorrow
Stehekin WA
I had about 3 or so miles of downhill to the bus stop that takes me into Stehekin which went by in a flash. I didn't notice the old growth cedars, I think, that seemed to be just larger than normal trees in the area. First thing was first though, and I hit up the bakery that had some amazing stuff. When I got into town I decided might as well go back to the bakery for lunch since it was so good. It seems like all the hikers were in town waiting for the post office to open to get their packages. Then it was just me, Back Up, and another guy who was section hiking after all 20 or so of the other hikers left to get back on trail. What a great spot, too. It turned out to be a very clear and relaxing day sitting on the porch drinking beers and BS'ing. Next thing I knew there was an amazing sunset over the lake. Last town stop! I'm going to be getting to the border monument and instead of going 10 miles past into Canada, I'll turn around and go back to Harts Pass since word on the street is that there is trail magic going on there all of September, so I should be able to get a ride to the coast where I can get on the bus from there. All in all, it sounds like it'll be a hundred dollars of so cheaper to do that, so I'll take it. It adds on a day but I scrounged enough food to make it happen. Great last town stop!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

100 Miles To Go


100 miles to Canada!
No rain last night and no rain today! Awesome. I got up on the later side again and got going up the hill with a full stomach. That made the 3000 foot climb over 9 miles seem not so bad. I got to the top and dried out my stuff. Another day of mushrooms all over the place. I found out one of them is one that is in Alice and Wonderland. It's the red one with white dots on it. It's a crazy beautiful mushroom that just looks mystical. It turns out that it is a mystical mushroom and is in all sorts of legends since it ranges all over the northern part of the world. Flyagarics, or something like that. It's a psychedelic but certain individual ones have more poison in them than others so they are still dangerous to eat! Not that I'd eat any of these mushrooms out here anyways. There's way too many to take chances eating any of them even though some look delicious. I think the magical red one is in one of my pictures from aboot a week earlier. Less than 100 miles to Canada!!!

Hazards on the PCT

Trail landslide. There was an orange rope so I Indiana Jonesed it across. No giant boulders chased me though.


It rained pretty much all night until about 10am when I finally got out of the tent. I woke up and rolled over a few times and just kept sleeping. I'm not gonna get out and going when it's raining, haha. It rained pretty much all day. There wasn't an opening to dry my stuff out so I just kept walking... Slowly. It's very slippery going downhill and the uphill is steep, so I just took my sweet time. Everything is an hour when it rains like this so I can't remember the timeframe of the day. One significant event that happened was when a squirrel threw two pine cones from one of the big trees and one landed about a foot in front of my head and the other a bit behind me. That could have been a KO. I was a little shocked by that, thinking, man... That could have been bad, and about a minute later, wham!!! There was a tree sticking out on the trail. I had my poncho on so I couldn't see it. Good thing I have a hard dome. Set up on the earlier side again while it wasn't raining. Hopefully this weather clears up a bit.

Wet, Wet Washington

The funkiest of the day's mushrooms. This is a melted pancake mushroom. It looks like the blob.

Last night it absolutely poured and thundered and lightninged all over the place. I thought I had a good spot but a creek flowed below me and made a puddle at my feet, so I had to sleep in the fetal position. I still slept great because of the thunder, and I was dry, but it rained so hard. The morning was still rainy and I made it a bit before it started to hail going over the first pass of the day. Dropping down into the valley I wondered: If it doesn't clear up, I might have a rough night. A little sunshine poked through so I sprawled out to get dry, and it got even sunnier. After that it turned out to be a great day, one of the best. The mushrooms at the bottom of the valley were out of Alice and Wonderland. I was in mushroom overload. Every half a second there was another funky looking mushroom. I got over the second pass with Profit and decided to stop early. I got set up and started to gather kindling to get a fire going and the rain came, so I just hopped in my dry tent and called it early. Fine by me. Right when I crawled in it began to rain a little harder. Great day, and time to feast in the tent.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mile 2500

                       There are some crazy mushrooms out here.

Mile 2500
There was a good thunder and lightning show last night. I stayed nice and dry in my tent and enjoyed it. Apparently I ate all my doughnuts in the middle of the night too, I don't remember doing it but I woke up and they were gone. I was lookin forward to that breakfast too, haha. On the trail, the blueberries were all over the place, and they were big and juicy. It takes a few seconds to get a solid handful. The miles took forever today. It seemed like I was going nowhere fast. At the end of the day though some fog rolled in and I had a chance to book it and make up time. I got in about 25 miles today so the next three days I have to average 20. So, I'll have a good sleep in tomorrow and some easy and relaxing days. Unless it pours, then I just walk till it stops.
My favorite pic. Steamy morning in WA.

Mile 2480


Mile 2480

It was a normal town morning, breakfast burrito with a side of gravy and a few cups of coffee followed by about 5 hours of lounging around and doing pretty much nothing. I got dropped off at the town to get some food and a sammich, then got a hitch back to the trail. It took a bit to find the trail but when we did it was smooth sailing. 10 miles in there was a lake so I parked it there with 2 New Englanders, Profit and Green Leaf. And I've got plenty of food for this section so I won't have to be doing any pushing, just sleeping in and going slow. Slow and steady wins the race, or finishes the trail at least. 180 miles left to go.

Stevens Pass, WA


Stevens Pass, WA
I got up early knowing I was going to be in town later today. The miles flew by as I drained my battery listening to my talk show and music. All the people doing local loops or weekend hikes are so nice up here. It's very easy to get lost in a conversation for a while with people in passing. That's the way to get all the good info for the upcoming trail conditions. I got to the pass and it took about an hour to get a hitch to the Dinsmores Hiker Haven. I had a great burger and Cornish gamecock hen soup!!! Very good. The Dinsmores are trail angels in a town called Baring. It was a good time with lots of hikers. And I got to see Spitfire, which was a great surprise. He is going for the record for most zero days. Haha. What a funny guy. Good times at the hiker haven.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 2013 on the PCT, Cascades


Got going in the not too early morning knowing I had to do a bigger-than-I-wanted-to-do day. I was getting low on food so I knew I had to push it. After dropping down the hill, I went on the lower of the two PCT routes that followed along a river. On the alternate PCT route I made a wrong turn and wound back up on the non-alternate PCT. Oh well. At least I'm on the PCT. At the end of the day I had done about 28 miles, and it felt like my biggest day yet. There are a lot of up and downs here in the Cascades. It's some of the most amazing terrain though. Very comparable to the beauty of the high Sierras. Lots of mushrooms too.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Where is Pacman? Answer:Snoqualmie Pass

       Clean hiker trash

8-30 and 31

It was pretty wet out when I got going this morning. I hit a bit of rain, not too much though since I knew I was going to be dry in a couple hours. There was a big descent going into town that was slow walking since it was so wet out. I didn't want to slip and have a spill this late in the game. The night was at the Mostly Mostel Hostel. Plenty of beds, full kitchen, and and a shower, so I can't complain. Although right when I pulled into the town/ski resort area, it cleared up and was nice for the first time in a few days. Oh well. The next day we lounged around for a while, then went to the Chevron station and lounged for a bit more. There were quite a few hikers there. We hit the hill and saw plenty of day and weekend hikers since it is Saturday of the Labor Day weekend. Or some sort of holiday, so I got stuck in a few traffic jams going up. It made me think of how much I hate traffic jams too. That's one of the main reasons I wanted to do the PCT, so I wouldn't have to sit in traffic. The views at the top were amazing though. I stopped at the lake at the top at about 4pm where we did some more lounging around. 

Monday, September 2, 2013


Mushrooms are all over the place here. I wish I knew which one I could eat. My guess is that this one is a no-go. 


I woke up at about 7am and it was raining, not hard, but enough for me to roll over and keep sleeping. It stopped at about 9am when I woke up again, so I got all ready inside my tent and doing that part since it was sprinkling. Just when I was about to get out it started pouring. So.... At noon when I finally got going I was well rested. It was pretty foggy and rainy all day, but there was a window where I laid my stuff out to dry and got it dry for the most part. I saw the mom and her son with 3 horses again. They had a fire going so I decided to dry my socks while they fed me Bree cheese, the good stuff. It was so good I forgot about my socks and one of em got a little toasted. I'm camped on an old, unused OHV road. 

300 miles to Canada!

Government camp? Maybe.


I slept in till about 9am today, so I was well rested. The morning, or not so much morning, miles were up and down with cool weather. I didn't see any hikers until I came upon a building that was a shelter for people. I guess it was one of the first routes in WA going to the coast used by sheep herders. I met another father-son combo who picked up an unfinished thru hike in Northern California. Also a section hiker. Before I knew it, it was 7pm and time to start looking for a spot. There was a mom and her son with three horses at the spring, so I chatted with them for a bit, then found a good spot under a tree a bit down the road. 300 miles to Canada! 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Find the Elk on the PCT

The elk is somewhere in there


I saw a male elk in the morning. The rack didn't seem that big so I'm guessing it was a younger buck. I wasn't moving fast today so I got in less miles than normal. But, oh well, I'm gonna make it, eventually. It's just so nice being out on the trail. I really don't care how fast I'm going as long as I'm feeling good and having fun. I'll make it to Canada. No thru hikers again today. It's not too bad though. Solitude is nice. Also, I'm seeing plenty of day and section hikers that I can have chats with to keep me from going insane. One of those chats were with some guys hiking to a lake. Very cool people. No rain today, just nice cloud cover. 

Back on the PCT at White Pass, WA


Got a good meal then said my goodbyes, and I was back on the trail. Thanks again Mom and Dad for coming out and spoiling me. The rain was on and off all day. I didn't see any thru hikers but I did see a bit of section hikers. I got a good spot on the ridge then hit the hay. I was tired. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

White Pass, WA, Mile 2300

I was looking for a Double Black Diamond and the Trick Park.

White Pass, WA 
Mile 2300
I woke up to a clear view of Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens. There was a little climbing to get to the pass of Old Snowy Mountain. The views were amazing today up on the crest. Mt. Rainer looks so close and is covered in snow. That's a big mountain. It started to rain a little but wasn't all that bad since I was climbing and it kept me cool. 20 miles later I was at the top of the ski run, so I decided to take the shortcut. It would have been a lot shorter if there was snow on the ground and I had some skis. I followed the chairlift to the bottom where I had a slice of pizza and a shower, thanks to Back Up who had a room at the lodge. Then, I met up with my parents and they whisked me away to a camp spot with a good view of Rainer, although the weather prevented us from having a complete view. I gotta say bye to my parents tomorrow. It sure was nice having them follow along. What swell folks. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Goat Rocks Wilderness, WA

Goat Rocks Wilderness, WA

I woke up to a great breakfast and coffee with Mom and Dad, then I organized and hit the trail. The first half of the day wasn't too exciting in terms of views. When I hit the first pass, that's when the view punched me in the face. The huckleberries were all over the place today, easy pickin. When I got up a little bit, I started running into a bunch of people. I can see why this place is so popular though. It's amazing. The marmots came out again. These aren't as friendly as the Sierra marmots though. They make a loud whistle as a warning to other marmots. I've got a great camping spot right before the high pass, so I have a great view. It is cloudy in spots, but in a certain direction I can see for a while. 

Happy Bithday, Dad

     Foggy morning

I got up and going at about 5:30am. The morning was a little dark but it got light enough to see after about 15 mins. The morning was a climb but it was very foggy out, which made for easy climbing. I saw about 20 elk and chased them down the trail a bit. I was feeling good thanks to the cool weather and having not much in my pack, just a bit of food, and no tent or sleeping bag. 25 miles were done before I knew it when I ran into Band Leader and be helped me knock out the last 8 miles. Also, Dad met me for his birthday with about 2 miles left on trail. Then, we went back to camp for a drink and some good eatin. Great day. The scenery was amazing. And, happy birthday Dad. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mt. Adams, WA

Giving the legs a break at Mosquito Lake, WA


Mt. Adams, WA
The miles this morning were great. I had less weight so I flew the 10 miles to where I was meeting with my Mom and Dad. Also, I had the podcasts blazing. We met up and decided to meet another 5 miles down the road at Mosquito Lake. I had no pack, just a liter of water, but Band Leader still set the pace. That 5 miles went so fast, I almost passed the road where I was supposed to stop at. I had a "My day is done" beer, then did some kayaking. We went into town [Trout Lake] to eat and do other shannanigans. I called my tent company, Big Agnes, and told them about my tent problems, so they are gonna send out what I need to the next stop. Great company and very helpful, Big Agnes. We headed to our stop next to the PCT at Mosquito Lake and had a nice dinner, a few beers, and berries: blueberry and huckleberry, picked at the campground. Great day! Tomorrow should be the entrance of the good part of WA that supposedly starts after Mt. Adams. 

Upper: Pacman and Butters
Lower: Band Leader and SoulShine
Near Surprise Lake. Surprise! We couldn't find the lake!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA and the PCT

You might not even be able to see the goats. They are pretty much dead middle


After a good breakfast I departed to the trail. There were a lot of good views of Mt. Adams for the hike. It was a little smokey from a fire off in the distance somewhere. That kinda blocked all the stuff that was possibly further away. At least it was nice and cool all day, or not too hot at least. It made for easy hiking. We got back to some actual climbing but it wasn't too bad. Our bodies are in such good shape for hiking right now. It's like my legs don't even get sore anymore. Actually, they don't ever get sore anymore. I pulled into the lake at about 6 and made my dinner thinking I might go on but there was a small crew assembled around the corner so I decided to call it for the day. We spotted some goats across the lake climbing up on a steep ledge. They were pretty far away but it reminded me of the National Geographic pics of mountain goats standing in what looks to be like impossible places. 

    Sasquatch in our hot tub!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Causing Traffic and Sasquatch

We caused some traffic.


I had about 10 miles in the morning to the meet up with my parents. The miles were good, can't complain. I had my talk show podcasts going pretty much the entire morning since I knew I could get a charge later that day. I got to the road and sat for a couple of minutes when my Dad came walking up. Uh oh. The truck still was having brake problems so we started walking back when we got a hitch the other way to town where Dad handled the situation at the mechanic shop and I handled the beer situation at the gas station. We got back to the campsite where I stuffed my face then watched the truck get towed away. We had a jump in the Wind River, which was mighty cold. As usual, I got a little sleepy and had a great siesta. The topic of conversation for the night was Sasquatch. I mean we are in the Pacific Northwest. Sasquatch must be talked about while I'm up here. It was a great night. I set up my tent inches from Mommy and Daddy's, so the Squatch doesn't get me.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Washington PCT!!!


I had a great night sleep on the cabin couch. I woke up to a great breakfast cooked by Ma, then hopped in the hot tub for a nice soak. After a grocery run, I got back on the trail in WA. There is a good climb out of this valley. Nowhere to go but up when you're that close to sea level. I loaded a few podcasts on my I pod, so I got to listen to some of those. One was a techno dubstep mix. It went pretty fast for the 2 songs that lasted 15 mins and by the time that was over, I was sweating like a fool. I had a great sammich and leftovers from last night so that fueled me up the hill. I took a good siesta at a creek that was easy to lose track of time at. My spot for the night isn't the best of the trip but it'll have to do. I was on a ridge for a while past 7pm so I settled for a not so good spot. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tunnel Falls near Cascade Locks, Oregon

Can you spot all three mountains? Left to right: Mt. St. Helen's (blown off top), Mt. Rainer, and Mt. Adams

Cascade Locks
I got up today with 10 miles downhill to go and about a waterfall every mile. The first few waterfalls were good size, maybe 20-50 foot drops. Then, I got to Tunnel Falls where I got to walk along the trail that had a straight drop and walked through a tunnel behind the waterfall. The fall was pretty high too, maybe 100 feet. The next one was Punchbowl Falls that it looked like if you fell in, it would be hard if not impossible to get out. Later I ran across people that had scuba gear and were going to explore that pool. All these falls were on Eagle Creek on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge. I guess it's one of the most popular hiking trails in Oregon. I was seeing groups of people every minute or so. It was Sunday. I got to town where I saw my parents then had a burger. They were having truck problems so we hung out in town while Dad tried to fix it. We ended up getting a cabin on the Columbia River in Silverton, WA with a hot tub. Very nice!!! Great relaxing night. 
     Tunnel Falls. You walk behind it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Waterfall Near Casade Locks on the Columbia River

Near Cascade Locks
I saw a bunch of people on the other side of the creek this morning. At least 20 or so. The falls was a good way to start the morning, and two creek crossings where I had to balance my way over logs. I saw a few more section hikers and crossed paths with Tracks and Sweet Jesus most of the day. There was a dry 15 miles during the day. It was all shaded with dense trees though, so I did it on a liter. I think that's about the last of not having water for long stretches. My pinkey toes are bothering me. They seemed to have twisted themselves sideways and are now developing a rash. My socks are pretty dirty so that's probably the issue. I get two new sets of socks tomorrow though. It's hard to wash socks when you only have one pair made out of mismatched socks. Tomorrow I have 13 miles to town where my parents will be meeting me. Also there are a handful of scenic waterfalls on the way. 

Timberline Lodge, Mt Hood, Oregon

The international Timberline Lodge during hiking season, and ski and board season. The Shining was filmed here, or something like that. 

About a hundred feet from my tent was a cache of beer set out by a trail angel. It would have been great last night, but at 6am this morning I couldn't gather the courage to drink one. I had a stuff-yourself-filling of Mac-n-Cheese to loosen up my stomach muscles. Then at 9:30am, I chugged 3 liters of warm water to loosen them up even more. I'm ready for the buffet. Maverick, Lodge Pole, Tracks (hadn't seen him since mile 90,) and I chowed down. It was a very good buffet too: prime rib, ham, good dessert. I ate. I ate so much it hurt, and I also gave the little boys room a hurting when I was done. The lodge was a fun place to be. A very interesting place. It was kinda pricey though, so I decided to move on and not rack up a bill. The 17$ buffet was well worth it. I even snagged a few trail cookies! The miles today were amazing. The valleys of Mt. Hood are deep and there are waterfalls all over the place. Today was one of my favorite so far. I ended the day with a glacier creek bath. I was getting bad, no shower since Crater Lake, so I had a bath. I had to sing at the top of my lungs to keep myself from feeling the cold. I'm clean though, at least for the night.

View of Mt Hood

           Mt Hood


I slept great on my padded carpet floor last night. I woke up ready to go. There were a good amount of Oregon section hikers today. When I pulled into my lunch area on the lake, I found a hammock all set up. Now that's luxury. I took a good siesta in that thing. Padded floor, then a hammock. I'm good to go. There was a little pond-sized spring called Little Crater Lake. Pretty cool. It looked pretty deep and was gushing out spring water. Mt Hood appeared out of the trees and had clouds going over it in a pretty cool way. AYCE buffet at Timberline Lodge tomorrow!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

PCT Snow Walking in Oregon

Snow walking. It's been a bit.
Last night I concluded that I had gone the wrong way through a tricky meadow that had game trails that looked similar to the PCT. Also, there were a bunch of people with no packs walking around my site. That confused me, also, because there were no roads around. I heard people walking in the middle of the night. Last night was supposed to be a good meteor shower. I woke up at 1am and looked for about 5 mins and saw nothing before I fell back asleep. I got going back down the hill and Lodge Pole said it actually was the trail. I got up and over the pass, which had a bit of snow on it. That thought lingered all day: What were all those people doing? At Olallie Lake store, I had good muffins and soda. I started feeling like a young man again and did a solid last half of the day. I got a good soft spot to sleep. It's like I'm sleeping on a super thick carpet. Definitely sleeping in on this. 




I met up with Maverick and Lodge Pole and they showed me all the berries I can eat. There are dwarf blueberries, dwarf huckleberries, and normal huckleberries. It's fun to see a bush that has a few, get a few handfuls, and go at it. I probably ate a couple hundred today. They are supposed to get thicker in a bit too. We walked right along Mt. Jefferson. It's a big old mountain. Peanut butter and Nutella and berry sammich time!!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Three Findered Jack

Three Fingered Jack, OR


I thought I had a mile or two to the first water, but all that walking over lava last night must have slowed me down. So, I guess it was about 8 miles to the water. The water was at a Christian youth camp that's hiker friendly. I kept on going into a good amount of burn area. It's not as bad as the SoCal burn areas though. I got a trail angel beer at one of the road crossings. Good Oregon beer, too. That called for a good break, so I sprawled everything out and got dry. I had a lot of good food today: 6 good size English muffin sandwiches with ranch, good cheese, salami, and avocado. Also, I had cereal!!! It was so good. I did carnation milk and peanut butter puffs. The oatmeal needed a break, so I went to healthy cereal and one sugar cereal. It's a day of feasting. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sisters, Oregon

       Don't touch the lava!!!
Sisters, OR
I got the day started with Obsidian Falls. As the name suggests, there is obsidian all over the place. It's very cool stuff. I can get some of the cracks pretty sharp. I know them Indians did. I decided to go into Sisters and stock up on food. I got in and out of town in about 3 hours, so I didn't lose much time on the day. Now I have good food, and lots of it. I went to the recommended burger joint and got a double bacon cheese burger with onion rings and a large shake. I ate that in about a minute, I know you're supposed to savor your food, and enjoy it, but I was a hungry boy. The end of the day was walking over lava fields. This is the worst walking by far. It's all crunchy and you can't sit, or something will rip. However, it's amazing in terms of everything else. One of the coolest places on the trail. I did a side trail to the lava lookout and there was lava tunnels and stuff. Very cool, it had a good view of the lava rivers running down the North Sister and a pool of lava in the valley. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Elk Lake Resort, OR


Elk Lake Resort, OR
I got up early today, about 6am. I wanted to get the miles in to the resort early. I did em all and wound up with a coke, burger, and a beer. I got all my stuff organized and headed off. About 5 minutes in, it starts raining, 5 more, and it's thundering within a mile. I went back to the lodge and waited it out and had a beer, or two. I got back on trail and got a little lost in the Oregon woods. Confused. It only made me backtrack 10 mins, or so. I got about 4 miles up the PCT and I saw smoke up the hill about 30 meters away. I thought it had to be a lightning strike fire, so I took a pic and headed on down the trail. I ran into Maverick and Lodge Pole. They had a phone and called the lodge, so we figured that they got it under control. It was pretty small, 10 meters by 10. And, it was wet around the area. Also, a spy plane for fires was buzzing around. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pacman Rocks!

Had another good sleep in. The walking here goes fast in the day and I never break a sweat, so it's easier to keep going. I did about 26 miles today. It seems like 23-27 miles is the perfect amount for me around this part of town. I went by lots of lakes today. There's about 100-200 lakes on every page of my maps. I got a thunderstorm going on while I write this. It's off in the distance but I feel like it is gonna come on over here in a bit. I should use this opportunity for a shower; that would be goin homeless. I need one though. Great walking today. I don't think I even broke a sweat. There's another resort tomorrow, and many more lakes. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mile 1912, Shelter Cove, OR

Shelter Cove, OR
Had an easy 5 miles to the store where I had a hot dog and soda. I wasn't too hungry because I ate a huge breakfast. I had a hiker box surprise breakfast and it was delicious and filling. I think it was for two people. It was overcast most of the time hanging out. Shelter Cove was a great place and nice stop, however these Oregon resorts get pricey if you hang around too long. So, I got going with Maverick and Lodge Pole on the trail. I did about 10 miles in the afternoon with a little bit of rain getting me. Also, there was a t-storm last night that got right over us. Pretty fun hour in the middle of the night. Also, there was a small fire across the lake of the resort. It's suppose to be not great weather over the next couple days. I kinda like rain though. It's very peaceful walking in rain. Sleeping in rain when everything is wet though, no bueno. I plan on being pretty rain proof when I hit the WA border. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Crescent Lake and Diamond Peak, Oregon

Crescent Lake and Diamond Peak

Crescent Lake, OR
I slept in well today and only got 5 miles done by 10am. It was worth it though. Nothing like a great nights sleep. My body has felt great lately and I've been eating tons to make up for the lack of eating a week ago. I am constantly hungry again and I have plenty of food to stuff down my belly. Also, I'm not doing big days so I have more time for eating. A hiker's mileage is suppose to go up in Oregon because of how flat it is, but all the eating I'm doing, the mileage has gone down. Oh, well. I'm still on pace for a finish before Sept 15, which is the date where the bad weather for WA gets possible. I met two couples today who are doing just Oregon. Not a bad pick, I say. I like Oregon. There are lakes everyday to jump in, and the tree cover keeps me shaded all day pretty much. I can get by drinking less water between sources. I got to Crescent Lake and there was a sandy beach, and Maverick and Lodge Pole. That was an easy pit stop. Did the last little bit to a lake that overlooks the big mountain around here, Diamond Peak. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Oregonian Woods, Mile 1870

Oregonian woods. Oregonian is a real word. 
Mile 1870
Got going with no water this morning. I passed a road that apparently had some sort of ordeal happen to where the maintained water cache was destroyed. Also, I heard Cowgirl and Midnight Chocolate put a cooler out with beer and stuff since they have a cabin close by. They are taking a bit of time off somewhere down the road. That supply wasn't there either. I don't know who would be so adamant about stopping this supply. It seems kinda silly. Oh, well. There was a gallon of water that was snuck in a bit further down, so I took a quarter liter to slowly drink over the next 6 miles. I got to the creek and met a southbounder, Vogue, and had a good food break and chat with him. Funny guy. When I got going into the next 16 miles of no water, my 2 liter water bladder broke, so it's 1.5 liters to make it that next 16 miles. I guess I cameled up (chugged as much as you can) at the creek well enough because I only drank a half a liter that stretch. There is so much tree cover, the sun is never on me out here in the woods. Oh, ya. When I found out my bladder was leaking, I chugged that 2 liters also. I had so much water in me. I thought of a Crater Lake employee warning me about drinking too much water. It made me laugh, then it made my stomach hurt. I got to the final destination and saw Maverick and Lodge Pole. Always nice to see them. Good dinner, tea, then good dessert. There's a few lakes tomorrow. One even says it has an amazing beach in the map notes. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Rim of Crater Lake, OR

I got going pretty late today. I was feeling lazy and needed to get hydrated because of the 27 miles of no water coming up. I left at about 1pm and walked along the rim of Crater Lake. There were a decent amount of ups and downs, but the views were great of the lake. I did the half mile hike up to the watch tower with no pack. It's nice not carrying anything. There were day hikers and tourists all over the place. I wonder what percentage of them knew I was just a hiker and which ones thought I was a scary bearded homeless man. I got out of the frenzy and became enlightened by podcasts. I realized I can get em for free, so I downloaded a few. I'm hooked and am probably gonna be listening to a lot of podcast for a week, or so. There are a lot of good ones out there, too. And music. All I had was Bob Marley on my music and it was getting old. Bob Marley is my favorite, but it's nice to hear something else. Made it 15 miles in, so I'll have another 15 tomorrow on a liter of water. I wish I was back in the Sierras. I'd probably have a creek next to me and a couple streams. This Oregon part is very deserty. No water. Yippee!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Twister!!! Mazama Village and Crater Lake, OR

    The photo of the day. It beats the Crater Lake photo (not yet posted). And, I'll have better ones soon of the lake. Look closely for the wind tunnel. 

8/3/13 Saturday
Crater Lake, OR
I got going and went on a side trail in error, but it had water and I was running low, so it worked out. It was shorter than the PCT, I think. I got back on PCT and saw some dust stirring about off in the distance. I thought it was just some tractor, or car, or something, but I noticed nothing was under it. I got a little closer and realized it was a little twister. I dropped my pack and sprinted towards it. I was gonna throw my hat in, then jump in. Well, it fizzled out in the trees before I could get there. That was the most exciting thing on the PCT so far. It was nuts! There was a wind tunnel going up to a cloud and it was full on making a mess out of sand. I got about 50 yards from it. I had dropped my pack off trail, so it took me about 30 mins to find it among the trees. Oh well. It was definitely worth it. I got to the Mazama Village and had a burger. Then, I headed to the hiker store for a good hiker box scrounging and to pick up my food box that I sent from Ashland. And beer. I got a ride up to the Crater Lake and sat around that restaurant for a sec. The Crater Lake is amazing. It's so blue and it goes down pretty far. An employee asked if I wanted to stay at the employee dorm, so I went for it. They were awesome. I got a shower, laundry, Internet, and beer. The Taiwanese that were there saw that I was hungry, and cooked me up an amazing meal. It was a very college like night in the employee dorm. I was kinda famous, also. Everyone had heard that there was a PCT hiker in the dorm, so I just started to go with it and went around and met a lot of funny and cool people. I was introducing myself by saying, "I'm the famous PCT hiker." The funny thing is that they were always saying, "Oh. I heard about you at work today." Then, a barrage of PCT questions. 'Twas a good night. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Before Crater Lake

Before Crater Lake, OR
The morning miles were pretty cold so just walking was good to stay warm. Great morning hiking weather. I had my morning business meeting in the woods, and on the return, it took me some extra time to find my pack and the trail. It's easy to get confused out here in these Oregon woods. There are trees everywhere and no way of seeing anything but the trees directly around you. Well, it took me about 30 minutes to find my pack after the business deal was done. I wandered around off trail thinking that I had no idea where the trail was for about 15 mins, then hit the trail and didn't know which way to walk. So, I went to the right, turned around for about a half mile, turned around again, then did almost a full mile back to my pack. At least I didn't get caught just wandering around with tp saying, "I was just lookin' for the best spot." Oh boy. It was nice to get up on a ridge where I could see. Shasta is still monsterous towering over everything. Hadn't seen that for a while. 15ish to Crater Lake tomorrow, should be great. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 2013!!! (117 Days) Mile 1780.5 Fish Lake Resort, OR

           An old lava river covered in fog

August 1
Fish Lake Resort, OR
We got going into the fog this morning but all of us seemed to like it. Fog is perfect hiking weather. It got pretty thick at times, to where we could only see a few trees away. Also, the trees are even more dense than normal, so it was kinda spooky, scary movie spooky. We got to break and I made some of the best trail food yet. It was a burrito with cheese and Taco Bell sauce. It was soooo good. I had 3 good size burritos. My feet started cramping up around the end of the day, so I did about 15 minutes barefoot. It felt good. I didn't make it far, maybe a couple hundred yards, but it felt good. All the fog and rain did knock most of the smoke out of the air from the fire, which is nice. Great day. I like fog since I grew up with it. And we don't get much fog on the crest so it was a good change of pace to have thick fog.