Looking back, the support from trail angels and random strangers that we as PCT hikers already, for me here to n the first hundred days, have been blessed with on while hiking the trail has really taken me by surprise. Thank you all so much! I have sometimes wandered what is behind all this in addition to just good old fashioned kindness. Do we look very miserable and in need of help? He he. Do they know how much it means to us? Do they like the fact that they are part of so great an endeavor? Did they hike the trail themselves and want to give something back? Do they like the stories we have to tell while not minding the smell we bring? Whatever it is, it is nice!
We’ll, getting back to what actually happened today. I was awoken a couple of times by trains on the nearby railroad, but relatively quickly fell asleep again and got a bit late out of bed because I got late to sleep. I then went down to the main building and had my leftover ziplock bag stored pizza for breakfast along with a pop tart. I then got on the internet there hoping it was better than yesterday as no one else were using it. Got some things ordered to Cascade Locks and also talked with my mom. Then the shop opened and I had some chocolate milk. It was eight am when I finally got going.
The first part of the day the nature wasn’t too impressive, but for the next part, it stayed like that. It was walking in a pine forest with a lot of lakes and ponds, which were kind of nice, though. A bit after noon I went for a swim in a lake. It was not as nice an experience as usual, though as the water was too cold, the lake was too shallow, or at least it was taking so long to get deep that it wasn’t worth risking slipping on the rocks at the bottom of the lake to get there. So that was somewhat of a disappointment. The trail was, however quick to make up for that, as there shortly afterwards was trail magic as indicated by a painted sheet of plywood with a genie on it. Ha ha. It was “Ducky” and his parents who were out her until they ran out of hot dogs. Ducky had done the Pacific Crest Trail last year and the Appalachian Trail this year. Also at the trail magic were Dragon and Irish. It was super nice sitting there and talking. Funnily enough, Ducky had also met the trail angels CopperTone during his hike two years ago. I had two hot dogs, two oatmeal cookies, and an IPA, which was also very nice. We stayed there until about seven pm. Two other hikers joined in quite late, but other than that we were the only people out there, so it didn’t seem like there were a lot of us on trail right now.
Thinking of how nice the trail magic was, made me regret having skipped other trail magic opportunities and/or sped trough them. It is really important to take time for the good things in your life and not just focus on careers and long term goals. That’s something I have been trying to teach myself for a while. Back home I have been working too hard for too long with too little time to enjoy life and justified it by saying that it would only be temporary that I needed to do some extra pulling. Well, it has been temporary for too long and I am afraid it will stay that way unless I get serious about changing it. Maybe now that I have put it into writing and can credit it as a trail epiphany I will take it more seriously.
Anyways, getting back to the main narrative, Irish and I hiked together for the remainder of the day. We were both planning to camp at the next water source, a lake five miles onwards. Irish was trying to do big miles in Oregon to catch up to the people whom he had previously hiked with as they had skipped Oregon and gone directly to Washington. He had a bachelors degree in biotechnology but was unsure about what to do with his masters degree. He had possibly saved an older hikers life coming down from San Jacinto in Southern California as said hiker had brought way too little water and gotten severely dehydrated. Now he was considering if he wanted to become a doctor. I had made a similar career switch, so of course I had some thoughts about that. He had tons of hobbies and I found it impressive that he had energy for them all.
It was a bit after dusk that we reached the desired campsite, but there were a bunch of weekend hikers (it was Friday evening), which seemed loud, so we hiked on a very short stretch to another spot still along some lakes. There were tons of mosquitoes and I don’t think I have ever pitched my tent so quickly to get out of the way. I didn’t like camping next to the lake because of likely condensation issues and the mosquitoes. I didn’t feel like hiking on nor camping alone, so this was still the better option.
Today started somewhat blandly but in the end turned out nice thanks to the trail magic and other hikers.
This days miles: 1907-1931