Thursday, August 03, 2017

Day 7, zero and fire closures

Fire closures of the official PCT route (longer) was announced around 6.30 last night.  I checked this morning and Lightening Springs off the PCT Rim Trail is endangered of being closed as well.  I had to backtrack from the Rim to the Ranger Station to get my backcountry permit. I back tracked because at the Ranger Station is near the post office in a different building.  I  sent some unused gear home earlier in the day.  PCT hikers doing more than 500 miles can get a thru-hiker permit which allows camping within the park.  I'm doing 425, not quite enough. I know where I can get info in the morning at the Rim, 100 yards down to the right.

I'm lazing around the junction now waiting for another Trolley hoping for a conversation that will lead to another ride since I have an hour to wait.  88 in the park today.  I want a shower since I'm sweating while waiting, this doesn't feel like trail sweat which is hard earned.  PS the post office lady saw me waiting and gave me a lift down. 

Smoke is coming from the Blanket Creek fire in the North Western part of the park.  Early in the day, the sky clear then later a column of smoke spewed on the horizon, shortly after the smell of a campfire gone bad reached the nose.

Smoke haze filled the caldera.  No longer a nice punchy blue with a view of Mt Theisen, I struck up some conversation and got a lift.  The caldera is a wonderful location, lots of exciting views of Wizard Island, crisp blue and unspoiled water, and great for people watching.

I caught the first Trolley up this morning.  The Posey on board ready to punch some miles.  They're headed to Shelter Cove 80 odd miles up trail.  I've hardly meet anyone who's not taking the trolley to the Rim in the morning, it cuts a few miles of up hill.  Uphill is a foul word amongst hikers even though it is embraced as without the Uphill there can be no view.

At the hiker camp, I sorted resupply box with what I carried in.  Since I pulled 20's in, I reset for 4 days with an extra day.  I tossed a repacked Mountain House meal into the hiker box which immediately was scooped up by Double D who watched me sort as we chatted.  I put all my oatmeal packets in there too, he didn't get those.  Oatmeal seem to be one of the more popular items to ditch.  As a tea drinker but, not having used my stove, I put 1/2 my teas in there too.  The hiker box is an eclectic mix of, well, almost trash, that which others think others will want.  Towards mid bubble, it's full of mystery powder (anything from instant potatoes, to eggs, to oh my that's good or other), worn shoes, a dozen partial fuel canisters, and who knows what else.  Honestly, unless someone is watching someone else pack a food load getting something out of the hiker box is riskier than drinking untreated pond water.

I grabbed another shower.  Double D and his gal were doing laundry so I was able to get an item or two in, wish I had my socks for that.  Chatted it up with the server who chooses to work the parks.  I asked when Yellowstone.  Her response was a desire to keep away from the party crowd.

Back at the store front, I got talking with a guy called Princess.  I mentioned I first smelt my first thru-hiker who carried a lawn chair in 92.  Princess goes on to describe this guy who apparently did finish the AT and was known for a few other things beyond his lawn chair.

It's past hiker midnight, no one's camped close by.  I should be able to bug out early, catch breakfast, and a trolley ride up the mountain.  I've got 5 days of food plus 2 dinners to fill me over the next 80 miles.  I'll push for 20's provided I don't rub raw my back.

Hike wise.

PS now on Day 8, I've chosen to hike up to the Rim Trail and hike big today.

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