As with the last couple of town stops, I was in a mad rush to make it in time for check out at eleven, but I made it with five minutes to spare. A couple of problems had popped up. One of my new shoes had started chafing me rather badly so I switched back and was still carrying two pair of shoes. Further, I had gotten a new shin wound by brushing my leg against a very sharp and protruding corner of the bed. Same leg, but in a new location.
I did make a quick stop at McDonalds to get the last diary entries fixed and some soft ice. An approximately ten year old boy came up to me and asked if I were hiking. I said that I was and had come all the way from Mexico. He looked at me first in disbelief and then said “wow”.
I started trying to hitch around noon. First a guy pulled over and offered me a ride but it would only be part of the way as he was turning off. I kindly declined the offer as I didn’t want to risk getting stuck in nowhere again and thanked him for stopping. After maybe twenty minutes of trying to hitch an older Mazda cabriolet pulled over and in it was a woman called Sandy in her mid to Latethirties. She offered a ride provided that I could sit with my backpack as it was a two seater and the trunk was full. It was a quite small car, but I just exactly managed to squeeze in with my pack. It must have looked somewhat comical as I was also too tall for the car and really felt the wind while we were driving.
Sandy had taken an extended weekend in Sisters to relax an d enjoy the outdoors. She was a doctor of medicine, which certainly wouldn’t have been my first guess as the stereotypical image of an American doctor in my head was one of affluence. She had a southern drawl, had studied in Tennessee, worked at the south rim of Grand Canyon, but had moved to the Pacific Northwest to help her parents as her father had become ill, and her mother were too weak to take care of her. Sandy’s father had since passed away and she was now planning to go on a longer vacation to Asia.
We talked a bit about how it was being a doctor and I asked if residency, the first year after med school, had been hard here in the US. She said that she had had a hard time sleeping during the night shifts as she was often just lying awake and waiting for the phone to ring. I knew that feeling al to well.
As we got to where the highway crosses the PCT, I thanked her very much for the ride and wished her well. I got dropped off at a pull out a fraction of a mile from the trail and started walking back. On my way a car slowed down and pulled over from the other side of the road to the middle of the wrong lane. I signaled that I didn’t need anything thinking he wanted to give a ride but he offered me a soda saying that he would have felt bad if I should have been left out as he had given some to the hikers on a nearby trail head. I thanked him and quickly got off the road as there was a car going in the opposite direction coming on. That must have been the first drive by trail (road?) magic.
I started hiking in what would be a mostly uneventful hiking day. I had wished for some more warmth and had gotten a bit more than I asked for, though. My pack was also quite heavy with six days of food and an extra pair of shoes, so I were going nowhere fast. Much of the hike was through burn areas, but at least the trail was soft. There were some nice views of Mount Jefferson, though they were obscured a bit from the smoke, which had come back in a mild degree.
At a water source I met a Finish hiker called Bigfeet that I had already talked with at the youth camp. His name made me wonder if Bigfoot only had one big foot. He he. At the next water source I met to hikers called Pops and Noname, a father and his son, that I hadn’t seen since Big Bear Lake. That was seventeen hundred miles ago!
I hiked until quite late today as I wanted to get some miles in even though I started late. Did the sunglasses and headlamp thing again. Once I got there, the site was all but full and quite windy. I thought one camper had done the equivalent of taking two parking lots, which slightly irritated me, but I eventually found a decent enough space and camped. This was, knock on wood, the first day of the last stretch of Oregon.
This days miles: 2001-2019