Thursday, August 17, 2017
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.