Friday, January 12, 2018

Red Pine, January 1 2018

For sure the trailhead is packed, I thought driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon at 9:30 am.  Moments later, all of 5 vehicles were there.  I noted one guy preparing his skis and another with snow shoes on his pack just leaving.  I took a few minutes myself to ready up.  I hate driving in snow boots, so I put them in.  I too, put the snow shoes on the pack.  Why wear them when I'll be on hard pack?

Rounding out of the trailhead I saw a family group posing for a family portrait.  Beyond them, no one and no fresh snow.  There's just enough packed snow to cover the rocks.  Then I stumble over one, bawha.

I make good time to the trail split of Red Pine and White Pine.  I caught up with the skier.  He takes the  White Pine trail.  I look at the snow bridge.  Hum, do I chance it?  It's all over 10 inches strong over the creek.  I do it.  At this temperature and time of day, it's not a problem, later in the day it may present an issue.  Noted on the way down, others cross the snow bridge, at that time I take the real bridge which hardly has any snow on it.  This time of year of years past there is 2 to 3 feet of snow on the real bridge.  This is a sad snow year.

I take my time but still push a good pace.  I stop for a few minutes about 1 1/2 miles from the trailhead where the trees open up for a good view down Little Cottonwood for a view of the valley.  I don't see any haze.  This is good.  In times past there's been a wall of yuck at this hour.

Turning into Red Pine Canyon the slope is decorated with ski turns through the trees.  From here I have a mile odd to go.

The next trail split is to Maybird Gulch.  The trail crosses another bridge.  This one too has very little snow on it.  

45 minutes later I'm at the lake.  Someone cleared snow for a tent site.  18 inches is all they needed to go down.  Looking at the mountain before me, a field of rock from the ridge to the lake decorated with a bit of snow.  I can see why I hardly note any ski tracks near by.

I share a bit of time with another hiker while I pull out an alcohol stove.  I set my pot/stove on an over turned snow shoe.  Even with a windscreen and peice of aluminium under it, the cold prevents my water from boiling in what I think is a reasonable time.  The other hiker and I share a few tips and tricks about hiking in the Wasatch before he leaves.

I'm alone at the lake enjoying a hot meal, if one calls ramen noodles and tuna a hot meal.  I also take time to steep a mug of tea.  The clearness of the air, inviting.  The lack of snow, disappointing.  I debate heading to the upper lake but, since there is no one else here I chose not to.  I typically would go if I felt crowded out.

I keep an extra layer on as I head down.  A long time ago I learned I sweat on the way up and I freeze on the way down so I layer accordingly. I don't see another hiker until I get well below the bridge to Maybird.

Near the main trail split, I see plenty of folks.  The route down from there is packed with families sledding in the trees and along the trail.

Heading down Little Cottonwood Canyon I enter into the rising haze of the day.

*This post was started on January 1, 2018 but not finished until recently.
Interesting enough, I looked at my blog posts and the last blog was also about Red Pine Lake.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Red Pine

Having activities scheduled for this weekend already, I still wanted a quick overnighter while the weather is pleasant.  I chose Red Pine up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  It's 3 1/2 miles, generally taking me less than 90 minutes to hike.  It's popular.  I didn't know how popular until I arrived at 6.30, three other campers were up here already.  I found a spot away from the others and set camp.

It's about 7.40 am, I'm watching the sun hit the false summit of the Pifferhorn and crawl down into the canyon.  Coffee is brewing, someone gave me 'brew in package' thing a while ago.  The temp is chilly, not cold.  I slept well with the 30 degree quilt.  The wind, however snapped the edges of the Gatewood Cape around. The Cape sheed the wind rather nicely.  It's a 'mid' style which means it has one center pole in the middle and looks roughly like a pyramid.  The way I pitch it, I have a second pole that props up the door area giving more ventilation and a bit of a view.  The Zpacks tent that I used on the PCT is very similar except fewer pitching options and the Zpacks has an integrated bug netting/floor. I chose to sleep with the door flap closed which prevented ballooning and the moon from shining on my face after midnight.  The stars were polluted by the city lights before moon rise.  A sprinkle of rain was had while I set up but that was just a sprinkle, the sky cleared shortly after.

Today holds just a bit of wandering while I'm up here.  Later, hit my church's Saturday evening service (there are two services on Sunday) the pastor is beginning his yearly theme of 'God in the Movies' where he breaks down some of the movies of the last year and how he sees God being revealed in the stories produced by Hollywood. The church is Capital Christian on 7th south about 1010 East right next to Judge Memorial Catholic High School in SLC, all are welcome to visit.  This sermon series is the most popular series he does, I want to say for the last 10 odd years.  Tomorrow the church celebrated 20 years in SLC with a picnic, rsvp requested.

Monday, I am officially back in the office even though I've been there for the last week and a half.  I'm kinda wishing that I had done the first (HalfMile Maps) section of the PCT in Washington however, the Indian/Eagle Creek Fire jumped the [Columbia River] Gorge lighting Washington's southern border on fire.  Eh, yeah, may not, good call for getting off early.  Next year's section hike will include contingency plans for snow/rain, falling short/going long, and wildfires.  This year's plan just had wildfires in mind.

Day hikers are making there way up now as the sun is about to enter the lower basin.  Folks who come up this early either are runners or those heading for the summit. Those that come just a little later tend to come just to come.  The lake has two parts, the natural and the rock dam.  Water level is down below the dam about a foot or two.  One can almost see the bottom at the center.  I haven't seen many fish jumping.  

The coffee I brewed is meh.  It required three steps; boil water, pour into the bag, and pour into a cup/mug.  Drank it mostly cold.  My canister might have enough fuel for heating and oatmeal packet's worth of water.  12 burns on this can, not the best but, not shabby either, most of this can was lit above 9000 feet elevation. I'll stick to my instant $tarbucks, one step: add water either hot or cold to a drinking device and drink.

Time to stuff the food bag into the ruck and get moving.  That is all.

Hike on, hike wise.

Irritation Rant Follows

Question:  Drones in Wilderness ares, yes or no?  Personally, no.  I come here to get away from mechanical noise and other city intrusions.  The fact mechanical devices, by law, are not permitted in Wilderness areas should grant some relief.  Someone is flying a drone up here, now.  Drones to me sound like a hornets nest kicked and the residents headed out for revenge.  Folks if you have a drone, leave it home.  If you want to see me, come find me in person.  If you want to see the area do it on foot or with a looking glass (telephoto lens/binoculars) not a remote device that sounds like a bunch of pissed of hornets.  I don't know what you will do with this video or the purposes of your intentions, just don't fly any where near me.  If you want to fly near me, even if I'm a speck, come get my written permission before you fly.  The exception to this is Search and Rescue/law enforcement looking for missing persons and or monitoring a critical situation.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Train, home...

It wasn't the alarm clock that got me up.  I've been naturally waking around 5.30 for a long time regardless of how light it is outside. I tossed for a while before sleep actually comes.  Why is a good guess, the bed is very comfortable and I actually have to slip, yes, slip down to the floor an inch.

Sarah is gone by the them I get up.  Chi readies himself for his day.  I do the polite thing, or the thing I've done in the past, gather the sheets and pull the bed spread over as I ready for my day.  Chi offers me a ride.  I decline.  I need to burn an hour before I meet Mercy.

Mercy, my shipmate, and I text making sure she comes to the right Peets.  I learn, thanks to Google, there are several. Mercy joined the Caribbean Mercy in 99 for a bit of the public relations tour in South Korea.  Everyone knows the cook.  As the cook, I'm embarrassed I didn't remember everyone. Slowly  I remember how she helped us out as part of the Port Advance Team in one of the Korean ports.  We chat a long while then began to formulate a plan of the day, 4 hours to burn before my train leaves.

We end up driving the Gorge to Beacon Rock.  I almost run up to the top of this 850 ft climb for the view.  She follows after renewing her State Park pass. I get a huge view but not total view of the Columbia River.  She meets me half way up as I'm on the way down.  This climb, build 100 years ago, counts 15 to 20 switchbacks.

An hour later we are driving around downtown Portland.  We find Union Station then lunch at a 4 star rated dive of a Chinese restaurant.  Where is the "Diners, Drive ins, and Dives" episode about this place.  The food, delicious; the portions, generous.  We catch up on ship gossip.  Mercy sends a message to one of my favorite Koreans, PS I carried this one down to Med Ward on the C/M in El Salvador, SungYung; 15+ years later still single.  We are limited on time over lunch.

At the train station, we make quick good byes.  I see a line forming at a gate door.  I quickly check with the ticket counter, my train arrived early.  I que up.  A few minutes later two other thru-hikers spot me.  They are also going south on the train.  Moments later the train loads up.

Portland slips by.  I catch glimpses of Mt Hood, soon, too, Hood fades.  After few junkyards produce treasuses.  Who wants a Vietnam era Heuy?  That's the oddest of the lot I spy.   40 and 50 cars dot the junkyards too.  Forest comes up next.  I find a seat in the sightseeing car and kinda turn away from conversations.  Food tonight? Something from my food bag.  Where's my spoon.  While I have connection I text SungYung.  16 hours of time zone lay between us and only seconds via messages.  I spot one of the other hikers, we swap stories whike people watching.

A booked out train means very few seats where one can spread out.  My ear plugs are un-findable.  Someone near by carries on a chain saw fight (snooring).  I'm on the loosing end of that fight.  I use my inflated pillow to support my lower back, sleep isn't at its best.  I wake 5 minutes before the call for my stop.

Groggily I gather my things, navigate the steep ladder like stairs to the passenger door where I also grab my ruck from the baggage stash.  Once the go a head is granted, the screeching ceases about a dozen of us off load into a muggy predawn Sacramento.  I take a few minutes of sleep on the bench I shared with the Israeli gal a month ago.  Around 7 I find a spot for a sunrise photo, hit old town in search of coffee, then return. to $tarbucks for an overnight priced breakfast sandwich and small coffee.

The train is a bit late people gather by the tracks.   We load quickly when it pulls up.  I find a seat, get my e-ticket checked, spend all day in the lounge car watch scenery slip by.  First the city gives way to suburbia, then to rural, then to forest.  The Forest builds to hills and eventually to mountains.  As the high Serras come up more gather in the lounge car to see this route.  Once Truckee arrives the crowd disperses.  In Reno a few passengers change over, for so eventually it's their destination, others their bginning. Wild mustangs are just outside the city area of Reno.

I  surf the social media sites while I get data service.  I'm bored which is good as it forces me either into conversation or on to a book.  Instead I walk the train as far as I can basically 4 coach cars.  In all my walking I count fewer than 100 persons.  In the lunge car, a couple argue over a developing business deal while a toddler screeches.  I cringe with both while I mind my own business.  The toddler is tired and mommy is the cranky one.  The dinner car attendant is my hero as he produces Mac & Cheese within minutes.  The screeching stops temporarily.  Quiet, even the business deal conversation dies down over another mini-bottle of train brandy.  Her attitude is totally Bronx, his isnt, more Floridian. I'm enjoying it.

It's hiker midnight on the train,  someone deals a hand of solitaire.   A red sky follows us.  I set an alarm to wake me incase the conductor does not.  New moon hovers a fist and a knuckle over the horizon.  Haze of fires are so far removed from me I begin to see stars poking through.

My mind flips to my friend in Korea.  It's mid-day there, what's for lunch? Is it an office grab and go or a sit down over business deal?  The Koreans, I remember, work hard and play harder.  The train horn shakes me from this thought among others.

Shortly, I'll see Ogden's lights before passing Tooele.  SLC, my folks, and a draw to the end of my vacation.  In the mean time I can stretch out on two seats.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Day 25 and beyond, off trial

The music of last night's 'concert' echoed into hiker camp almost wrong. Even up near the stage this local band sounded alright.  Hiker clusters murmured with card games, general trail trash, and what of the band.  The singer announced last song and a sigh of relief swept the whole audience.  Up stream a firework show bursts in the air enough to cause me to stir up.  It finishes after the concert.

Dawn glows pops me out off my mat for sunrise.  I spot an osprey with a fish flying along before I change  my horizontal orientation. I get a few photos of hiker camp in this light. In my wandering I find Totes, already to go. We hang out until she leaves for the trail, north bound. I ask Totes what her take away is.  Her reply is 'how good GOD is at providing for her on the trail.'  This is highly unusual, most hikers will say the trail provides as if it is the trail/universe  making the provision out of good karma because one is simply hiking a long distance trail.  We talk some more, she goes to a non-denominational church in SoCal.  She mentions a couple of YWAMers are several days behind. (I check Instagram a day or so later, they are Bamboo and Ungerwear of the Van Clain AT 2014).  We exchange numbers and Instagram tags.  I need to remember her when I do SoCal in a few years since the trail is in her backyard.

Finding coffee meant finding unlimited bowls of cereal and bagels. One last vendor offered samples in the form of specialty oatmeal.  Totes and I find Dory, Boxes [who's getting off trail for Texas,  home], Bones and his girlfriend, and a few others I don't know.  Hook ups are made to raid food bags of those getting off trail by those staying on so that resupply is good arena good food is not wasted at the hiker box at the Ale House restaurant.  

Hiker camp makes quick dispersion after breakfast as hikers head one direction or another.  I grab selfies with a wide range of hikers I've traveled with.  One of my concerns coming into this journey was not being accepted by community of this year's thru-hikers.  I am exceedingly grateful for being welcomed as trail family, be it a one time meeting, on going bump ins, or full on hiking for several days like with the Posey.  Miles not smiles make rougher miles.  The Proverb (Proverbs 27:17) of "as iron sharpens iron so one man [hiker] sharpens [encourages] another."  This holds true for this year.

The festival, over, some hikers wander town.  I sit by the Ale House waiting.  When I got lunch earlier I reminded myself not to eat like a hiker.  In the back room of the restaurant is a hiker room with a scale.  For those wondering, I haven't lost any weight.  I scan hikers who wander by for missing friends like Tripod who didn't show to the festival.  Looking also across the river are cliffs that rise up.  How close does the PCT come to these?  The answer is probably close enough with a manageable grade to hike.  Who's up there now?

I kick around which section for next year, NorCal or Washington.  Then how? SoBo, flip-flop, cyber hike? Joking on that last one. I'll dig out the materials in a few weeks for that.  Now I know what to expect, 20 mile days with water within the 20, food every 3 to 5 days, more or less.

Chris Tomlin's rendition of Amazing Grace echoes in my ears  as does Wonder by Hillsong.

My dear friends from Capital Church SLC now living in Vancouver WA area find me near the post office.   Yes, I smell a bit but, so what.  As we head out we go by Multnomah Falls.  Sarah and I hike to the top while her husband looks for parking.  The falls are super crowded as expected with the events of this weekend [solar eclipse].  The falls are a wonderful sight to see after missing them several times of ages past.

I take a long needed shower, scrubbing my feet from dust encrusted appendages to reasonably viewable.  I am grateful for their generosity to put me up on such short notice.

Sarah and her husband are wonderful hosts.  I'll be here for a day or so before catching the train back to SLC.  

I caught the solar eclipse from a park near by and spend time chilling, yes chilled at Peet's Coffee shop writing and catching up on social media.  Yo! Ya'll are boring else I'm not on the right social media platform.

I pull out my water bottle.  Hum, tastes great where's this water from? Oh yeah from a stream, I haven't washed more than my clothes.  I better treasure this flavor of water as it becomes rarer and rarer in my life.

I catch a bus into Portland.  There is one place I've had on my radar to revisit if I ever came back to this city, Powell's City of Books bookstore.  When I arrive there is a cluster of folks waiting for it to open. I snap arrive selfie when I step on and before I get lost.  The nostalgia is gone as its mostly new books and not old as I remember.  Still, it's massive.  I have no plan.  I begin with general travel, drift to Northwest travel and look for PCT materials which is a scant handful.
  I turn to ham radio which take me to another room and past several historical typewriters.  There are no nameplates with these devices, sadness. I take.phots to look them up later.  I don't see what I am looking for so reformulate my plan.  I head to Christian Doctrine.  Christian literature, less fiction, takes up three isles.  I find a book by AW Tozer, one of my favorite authors.  I also find a volume on Celtic Christianity.  I resist many other works.  I find my way down to musical instruction and give up when distracted by cook books.  In cook books I don't see any backpacking gourmet works.  At this time, it's time to roll out in search of food.  On my way, I find several journals which may work (weight wise) for next year's hike and a few postcards.

I find myself at Stumptown Coffee Roasters with a brew in their walking, limited seating place near by.  Next up, food, and a walk down by the river front.  Crazy to think 20 years ago I was here with the Caribbean Mercy.  I wonder how the river front park has changed.  I wandered down tho both ends.  The far west end isn't a place to hang out at with the homeless.  A block in [from the water front], I see the 'mission' near China Town.  I push my way back towards Powell's.  The park hasn't changed.

Tomorrow's set.  I'll meet up with an old shipmate before heading to the train and from there well, home bound.  I think I'll begin a new set of blog writing for that.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Day 24, PCT Days

Sounds of people chatting late into the night gave way to trains running goods along the shores.  This region always a hub of goods transportation according to the historical sign marker next to the defunct locks.  Freeway traffic a constant hum past this small town.

I awake to a red glow in the morning the Klymit pad I got yesterday did not with stand my tossing and turning.  I lost it sometime in the night.  For Sale once used Klymit Inertia X Lite.  It's great for back sleeepers.

I hung out in the vendor area for most the day.  For a while I took refuge beyond at the small boat marina.  I went over to check out the beach to see if I was tied a swim.  Nope, a little rocky with a chance of small racer sailboats.  A regatta also took place this weekend.

I found a spot shaded from the wind to make a few calls.  I contacted my folks and an old friend from SLC who lives in the greater Portland area.  I've got a place to stay for a few days, Thankyou!  I also called Amtrak.  I can change my ticket home.  Choices, thankfully i-84 is right here and goes straight to Ogden.

On my way around again, Apollo (AT 2014 trail family) yelled out my name. Starbuck sported a youngster in her hip.  Dang, trail family, love 'em.  We chatted a while.  They moved from the LA area up to the Vancouver area a year ago.

I saw a super tiny shelter this morning. Literally, this thing looked like a tube of bug netting with a top of cuben fiber topoing.    I asked about it. Out pops John Plantee himself.  This guy makes his own ultralight packs.  He posts on Instagram and a batch will sell out in minutes.  This tent, err, minimalist shelter sets up with one pole, take the tip out as the foot and the top sections make the head.  Sweet, at 10 oz overall.  I ponder if I coukd create my own.

The rest of today is about hanging out.  Found the Posey and chilled a while. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Day 23, Cascade Locks

Woken by the sound of rustling gear at 5 am, I tossed.  At 6 am gear still rustling, I let air out of my pad quietly by holding my finger over the valve.  I bet myself I could get out of camp before they did.  I made my bursts of noise quickly and spaciously.  They were gone before I however, I was gone within 10 minutes.  Poor Noodle, she's the last to wake in camp.  The noise she's putting up with this mornong.

I sit but 100 yards from.where I turned around last night.  The sun a near nuckle and a half above the local horizon.  Below is the perfect sunrise campsite for 1 maybe 2 tents.  I am glad I chose the other site for the company kept last night though quiet in the evening and slightly irritating this morning.

I sip a little chug and munch on a poptart. Sun in my face, I brave a look to the horizon to see some clouds pushing over distant ridgelines.  Traffic below and bug sounds near by.  What a combo. 7 1/2 miles to go, I empty my thoughts into prayers for the friends I've met in this segment and turn to the return into the every day non-trail life.

Narrow the path is down the wegitation coated cliff side.  Cliffside is what I can think of as to who steep.this drop is with several switchbacks.  Near the bottom a stream originating far above cuts the actual cliffs I skirt.  Small and large drops, each a sound to itself, hiding a train horn in the encroaching distance.  Only a few more miles.

The trail weaves in and out farther away from the steepness through low-lying under brush that vies for light breaking through the forest canopy 10 yards above.  Traffic murmurs grows into individual vehicle sounds.  The trail fades from lush to foot hill and pops out on an unassuming small town street.  I follow towards Bridge of the God's, pause and chose instead to route to the park for PCT Days.

 I see Rubber Ball and his Posey.  I go one to check in and come back the local diner.  At the park I find a spot amongst the few already set up.  People I don't know.  I'm two or three hours ahead of Noodle and the guys she travels with.  I should have just dropped my pack and waited but breakfast sounded better than waiting.  I set up and get back to the diner.

 I chill as I head over to hiker camp at the Island.  Very few hikers are ther early.  I find someone to set up near out of the wind.  I head to the Diner for breakfast.

I see Noodle and Pit Stop later walking in.  I join them to hiker camp to pitch so that I'm near people I know.

Some where I  the next hour I loose my glasses, Suck!  I walked town twice looking for them including walking through the vendor area.

Ah, vendors, vendors who want to offer gear for cheap.  I need to let Altra know of my pronation issue.  My right shoe is definitely healed out.  Mind you I grind my heals.  Got a deal on 

Honestly, I feel a little out of place here at PCT Days as the thru-hikers are only 3/4 done and I've just done 400 odd with the detour I am required to do.  These guys and gals have seen things other day hikers will never see, nor weekenders.  Serras with snow melt looking like highways Monday morning except of torrential waters.  The saddest part is a few who were to be here never will. Five died trying to make it through unknown waters of high mountains.  They have stories others want to ell that may never be told but in journals or sligh conversations.

I mention this to a PCT Association volunteer.  He says something to the effect that it's hard to nail down who is a thru-hiker.  Then he goes on to say that the section hikers tend to have have a more intimate relationship with the trail as they come back year after year to hike more in different seasons, conditions, they see the changes over time.  I must a agree with what he says as the hikers I admired most on the AT were the section hikers as they'd just get their trail legs and may be their stride before they are back in the office.  I feel as if I just got my stride this week and now I'm off [the trail].

I'm here kicking it.  PS I checked in with one of the info boths, someone turned in my glasses.  Definitely makes me appreciate full range of sight now.  I bought a pair of dime store readers just incase which only meet half my reading need.

Hike on.  Hike Wise.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Day 22, last full trail day

I begin this the evening before, thinking I am headed into my last full day of this trail time.  How many of the 28 miles will I knock down?  Forest Service is letting people get water at Indian Springs but not camp  at Wahtum Lake just above the, err almost within the area that is closed for the Eagle Creek Fire.  I think another option will grant an 11 into town the next day.  Choices.

I woke to a glow, shot out of bed and camp like a bat getting angel's wings this morning.  Morning glow as light dances through the trees is my favorite time of day.  A light  northwestern mist hangs in the air soaking the under brush as I push through it.  My rain gear burried in the pack.  A klydascope of of sensory tickling sounds, colours, at play.   I find a dry view over looking trees and a canyon of some kind, a cloud pushes over the ridge.  This spot not really a smart place for a break, I take one anyways.  PCT mile 2118.8

PCT mile 2124.6. I stop with a view of canyons and two prominent snow capped peaks, planes from Portland International Airport occasionally fly over head.  The mist burnt off now 10.30 am. in the sun I'm warm, in the trees not quite chilled.  At other nameless stops I saw Mt Hood. A few flip floppers tell me of a couple neat campsites ahead.

My clothes are worn, dirty, socks wet from mist.  In a week a daily shower won't be a luxury, it's required.  For now bandana bathing might happen once a day.  Germaphobics cringe at theses words.  Washing of my hands, ha, may be a towelette after the daily scoop.  Yeah, I cringe at the thought of shaking a hand at home when I know someone doesn't wash their hands yet, out here I give no thought to a fist bump in greeting others.

I can't describe this panoramic view I see right here.  Photo do no justice.  And to boot no cell service.  A hiker rounds the bend exclaiming Mt St Helen's.   A few yards beyond I see a third mountain.

At Indian Springs, a volunteer keeps people moving.  No detours into Eagle Creek.  I pull a dead bird out of the spring.  I debate about topping off my water, though others fetch water as I I write.  I wait 15 minutes then get water.

PCT mile 2128, Wahtum Lake.  I dump dead bird water, I've actually used the Sawyer filter with decomposing critters up stream before but the thought grosses me out.  I take time to swap socks and rise my shirt.  Camping is not allowed here incase a helicopter needs to pick up water for the near by fire.  Its a large enpugh lake i can't see how a scoop would grab a hiker.  I dont question the volunteer or the posted info.  There isn't a hint of smoke in the air.  I haven't seen the group I camped with last night either. 

Just in, 7pm: Noodle came into camp, I mentioned the bird. Her reply was something to the effect that she wish she'd known before she got water there. She heard rumor that a bird was plucked from the source after the fact at that time.

As I hike I listen to Hillsong's Wonder album.  They sing of the wonders of God revealed in nature, mountains, wind, etc.  I miss access to a guitar on this journey.  I suck at playing but so what.

I'm camped at a place I can only describe as 'camp ultra quiet' as two tents are already 'asleep' and it's 5.15 pm.  I'm at PCT mile 2136.2.  PS later on 7pm everyone is up and off in their own world, still really quiet less the crunching of food and a bit of breeze in the tree tops.

I actually went to Teapot Springs hoping for a campsite there however, the terrain is too step and instead of going down hill in hopes of camp able terrain I chose to return here.  GutHookHikes App says this site is for 2, there are 4, 3 with two person tents and myself a one person tent.  I've seen only a hand full of hikers pass.

I accidentally went over 20 miles.  My friend's last night talked of doing only 16.  I kept going as I didn't check water or miles much this afternoon.  Just in, they caught me at 6.30.  Not enough room one turned back to head a few others from continuing.

Along the way, got a few or two of the Eagle Creek Fire.  Just a little smoke in a wooded area.  I won't complain that it's not right for the Forest Service to shut the are area down, it's their call and liability.  I do look forward to seeing this area as I finish Washington in the future.  I'll come back and get this side trail

Note to self: 
Don't hang dry inside the tent, wet sleeping bag, now airing out.
Remember poles make good places to dry socks.
Bungee on back of pack is great for small items.
Look at enough tents with gear inside before purchasing.  If not gear then photos of how people use their tents.  The Soloplex by Zpacks is a great tent however for how I use it, I may have a bit too much gear.  Though my Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo is 4 oz heavier, it has more room for the same foot print.  Dori uses the Lunar Solo.

Light begins to filter again through the trees.  I contemplate another dinner.  I know I have more than enough.

What thoughts, what ideas, what can I expand upon.  My feet hurt, given, the shoes are done. What shoes shall I try next time?  I want a wide foot bix. My hips are healed.  My back is strong. I will remember the belly fat is where the hip belt belongs.  I can keep going, hiking wise.  Long days hiking?  Who cares  enjoy the people and the views, miles will come naturally.  What do I look forward to at home?  Family and a few friends.  Getting back to the day to day doesn't sound fun however, I know if it east for that then this wouldn't happen.

What gear would in swap out?  A few bits here and there.  Less junk in the junk bag.  Most of what's there isn't used.  I'll forego a solar panel, Oregon is too green tunnel.  I) opt for a bigger brick (external battery).  I'll leave behind the ham held since one must be more ham than hiker to make it worth the weight.  Get more electronics with the same cord, I've got 3 different cords!  One kind of tape for everything.  I think I've got gorilla tape for repairs, leukotape for the feet, and a special tape for text repairs.  I can't think of anything else.

The key is to simplify, simplify, and simplify. I guess that's the secret to life,  simplify so that the things that mater can happen more often like time with friends and family.

Thoughts from the woods.

Hike on.  Hike Wise.

Day 21,

Wind whipped my tent most of the night.  I woke around red sky time, packed, and sat by the lodge for a whike.  The breakfast buffet well worth the time in the morning.

Got on the trail around 9 am. Caught Noodle and a few other around 11.  I made Ramona Falls by 1.30 PCT mile 2104 ish .  Ramona Falls is the site of a recent tragedy, 2 day hikers lost their lives here, from what I can tell they may have done something they should not have.  This place is supper awesome and mellow.  The falls roll down a steep cascades in dense northwest forest.

Making tracks again.

PCT mile 2116, Salvatiin Spring and tent site, down, down, and up down up then a little vibrato thrown in for good luck, PS let's carved a trail into steep as can be mountain several times.  One of those times led to great view of MT Sandy err Mount  Hood.  The mountain is carved by many forces of water from glaciers to run off.

Crossing Sandy River PCT mile 2104, is the most difficult thing of this area.  Raging at low times, I looked up and down the swath of river bed a football field long.   A bit of drift wood served nicely as a bridge, being careful, I used the trekking poles for balance and made safe way.  The river today but 20 ft wide.

I'm set this eveing with a group of thru-hikers and weekenders.  I'm the deepest in the woods, up close to the spring will be lots of condensation in the morning.  I plan to split the next two days, 28 miles, such that I low mile into Cascade Locks.

With the extra food I carry, I've let one other he thru-hikers I know raid my bag for a meal as she skipped her latest resupply thinking the same as i, that we are doing bigger miles than planned, she thought she had plenty but will squeak into town a might thin.  I'm at the point where I don't care about food, it's in the bag.

Time to write a moment I  the other journal.

Hike on.  Hike Wise.