0 In North America/ Pacific Crest Trail

PCT 2018 Days 119-129

Day 119

Miles: 9

Health: Ready for some new shoes

Currently reading: Crazy Love

None of us slept well in the shelter last night. I don’t know why, we were exhausted and the shelter was nice. I think my legs kept screaming at me all night and that kept me up.

Anyway, the nine miles into Ashland flew by and we were soon at Callahan’s Lodge. We were getting picked up by a lady named Amy that we met on Hat Creek Rim. She told us to let her know when we were in Ashland and she’d help us out. We did and she did. She wasn’t coming until 11:30 so we had an hour or so to kill. We went to the restaurant and got some fries and a complimentary drink. I chose a coconut Italian soda. It was heaven.

After Amy arrived she took us to Mountain Provisions, a fancy boutique gear shop. I got a new pair of Shoes and switched out my Darn Tough socks.

Next, she dropped us off at Taco Bell and we had a much better experience here than in Shasta. This was a quality Taco Bell.

We then went and resupplied at Albertsons and walked to our hotel. Hen and I went and did laundry and then didn’t leave the hotel for the rest of the night. I talked to my sister and went to bed.

Day 120

Miles: 23.4

Health: All good

Currently reading: Mere Christianity

I had one of the best nights of sleep yet. It was glorious. The hotel also had an awesome continental breakfast with Belgian waffles!

We went out to hitch back to trail and got a ride within fifteen minutes. Ashland people seem very friendly towards hikers. We got dropped off at the trail and realised, because of waterless stretches, that we had to go almost 24 miles today. Normally that would be fine but we got a late start so we had to move our butts.

The trail was on the easier side today and I am loving the scenery. Rolling hills and forests fill up my frame of view and it is perfect. We cowboy camped by a river and saw a huge stag. The sky is clear enough from smoke to see some stars.

Day 121

Miles: 32.2

Health: The arch on my left foot is killing me.

Currently reading: Mere Christianity

I slept really well last night and didn’t want to get up this morning. We left a little bit later than usual because we were moving so slowly.

So far, I love Oregon. I love walking through the dense forest which keep the sun away and the temperatures down. There are so many deer! And they seem gigantic here. I had two instances where I was simply walking along and glanced up only to be met by an enormous frozen doe staring me down. I also got to see another fawn today.

The terrain has been much nicer lately with a few exceptions. One of those exceptions came at the end of the day when we had to walk miles on lose, igneous rock. I tweaked my arch somehow during those miles and now my foot really hurts.

We are hiking around all new people again. I don’t know where all these people are coming from!

Both of our feet are killing us after 32 miles and we hit camp around 8:00pm. We did about thirteen hours of hiking today. I am pooped beyond belief.

Day 122

Miles: 25.9

Health: All good

Currently reading: Mere Christianity (although I only listened to music today.)

Today was four months on trail! How crazy to think about that amount of time and that I’ve been living outside and walking across the country the whole time. This trek is mental.

It took me forever to get going this morning. We didn’t leave until after 7am, I think. The first part of the day was so nice, shady forest and such a nice grade to the trail. We ran across a family with an adorable doggo who gave me lots of kisses.

Today had some water carries, like eight and ten miles each. The smoke had dissipated a lot but is still present. Oregon’s trail seems to be either really lovely and pleasant or THE WORST THING ON PLANET EARTH. There is no in between. Today was a bit uneventful, just a lot of walking. I fear my blog posts are getting boring as we are just trying to push as many miles as we can and that takes away some of the excitement. I didn’t even see a deer to report today.

Day 123

Miles: 22.4

Health: Pretty good

Currently reading: Mere Christianity

We left camp around 6:30. We weren’t in any rush today so we hiked slowly and took longer breaks. We had a 21 mile dry stretch into Crater Lake National Park.

I love walking through the wooded areas of Oregon. So far, Oregon is my favorite part of the trail for sure. We also walked through many badly burned areas but I am always amazed at the wildflowers that pop up in the most desolate of areas. We very briefly could see Crater Lake but I’ll get the real view tomorrow.

We saw very few hikers today which was odd, even once we were in the National Park.

We made it to Mazama Village which was where I picked up a resupply box and we camped for the night. We got dinner at the restaurant and used the tiny bit of cell signal we could find. Tomorrow, Hen leaves the trail for her sister’s wedding and I will be on my own for about a week. It feels so strange to not have my hiking buddy planning the next section with me. It will certainly be an adventure.

Day 124

Miles: 26ish, maybe?

Health: Sore, but that’s everyday.

Currently reading: Mere Christianity & Hebrews

We slept in until about 6:30, packed up, and headed to the restaurant for breakfast. It felt like a breakup. Hen is leaving me for a week and it feels so strange. I know she’s coming back but it feels like she’s not. I’m both apprehensive and a bit excited to try doing this trail solo. I was supposed to do the trail last year by myself, and although I’m so glad Hen is doing it with me, it’ll be interesting to see what it would have been like to do it as a solo hiker.

Hen took the trolly up to Rim Village while I hiked it. It was steep. Oregon seems to either have the most relaxing trail or THE WORST TRAIL YOU’VE EVER EXPERIENCED EVER. IN YOUR LIFE. I’m glad Hen and I said our goodbyes at the bottom of the trail because we weren’t able to find each other at the top. I refilled my water, snapped some photos and video, and started on the Rim Trail. The Rim Trail is a PCT alternative because the real PCT is currently closed and the Rim snakes along the “rim” of Crater Lake while the PCT goes back into the forest. Almost everyone does the alternate even if the trail is open because it’s not everyday you get to see Crater Lake.

Crater Lake was amazing. So blue. But maybe not quite as big as I thought it would be. Crater Lake was one of the things I was most excited to see on trail and was left dumbfounded. At its deepest point it is almost 2,000ft deep. That’s mental. There were so many tourists around. I’ve decided regular people are weird. Hikers are normal.

The Rim Trail was difficult and seemed to last forever. I was behind everyone because I got breakfast at the restaurant but I slowly began to catch up. There were so many Southbounders today! Whoa! It’s nice to be able to ask SOBOers about the water situation ahead.

We got some trail magic near the end of the day and then it was time to camp. This was my first time camping alone, ever. I’m an introvert but dang, I felt lonely. It was a bit creepy but I realized that this is the perfect time to spend time with just me and the Lord. This is my spiritual walkabout that my soul has been craving. I’ve never really been alone for the past four months (hiking doesn’t count because you’re concentrating so hard not to trip). I have to fully relay on God to help me plan my days, keep me safe, and not go mad.

Day 125

Miles: 25.6

Health: A new popper blister and an inflamed tendon, I think.

Currently reading: Mere Christianity & Hebrews

Well, I slept like a baby last night. I loved it. I left camp at 6:30 and thoroughly enjoyed my morning solo hike interrupted only by Sobos.

I took a break at the top of the first climb and was soon joined by lots of hikertrash including Kick, Twerk, and a bunch of people I don’t know their names. Shame on me.

Today was overcast and lovely. It was the perfect hiking weather. I even heard thunder at one point, but nothing ever came of that.

I had so much time to kill because I was only going 23-25 miles today so I took a lot of breaks and made them long.

My right leg really started to bother me today. I hope it’s only a little tweak and nothing serious. I also got a gnarly blister which then popped while hiking and made me want to just cut the foot off and be done with it. It hurt so friggin bad.

Hiking solo is forcing me to be more social which is probably good. Hen is the chatterbox of the two of us and I usually end up just listening but being a “solo hiker” has made me a bit more of my usual self.

I’m camped at mile 1974 and I have cellular signal. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Day 127

Miles: 30.6

Health: Great!

Currently reading: Mere Christianity & Hebrews

Hallelujah, my tendon felt great today! I left camp at 5:50am and saw very few people today. I had a four mile walk to a water cache and the moment I walked into the camping area I was hit by the overwhelming scent of weed. The cache is located just outside the National Park so it’s legal to smoke. I got my water and pressed on.

I pushed myself to only take a few breaks today and keep my speed up. I am training for a big challenge in a few days so I want to go faster and take less breaks. I went over eight miles twice without breaking which is pretty good for me. I ended up taking two longer breaks though because at lunch time a fellow hiker sat down and we talked for an hour and second I decided to rinse out my shirt at a stream and then had to wait for it to dry. All in all I still made good time and went over 3 miles per hour all day. I got my 30 miles in less than 12 hours which is good.

I passed the 1900 miles marker today as well! Woohoo!

I ended up camping at a lake all by myself and had the greatest time. It is so beautiful and peaceful. Moments like this is what’s I will miss about the trail.

Day 128

Miles: 24.8

Health: Feeling great

Currently reading: Mere Christianity & Hebrews

I tried really hard to sleep in but awoke at 5:45am. Someone ended up camping near me after I went to bed and the anti-social hermit in me waited until they left camp to emerge from my cave.

I walked the 1.8 miles to the turn off for Shelter Cove and then the 1.5 miles walk to the resort. I took a wrong turn at one point and ended up going an extra half mile.

When I arrived at the resort it was packed! Not with hikers per say but general campers. Also the birds of the lake were super loud and it was kinda magical. I plugged in my electronics to charge and went to get breakfast. I got three pancakes, a bagel & cream cheese, and hot chocolate. I got to chatting with the people working in the restaurant and mentioned I lived in Houston. The man immediately asked me what church I went to which I thought was interesting. Maybe he saw my cross necklace but how on earth would he know I was a good, church going lady? Anyway, he mostly just wanted to ask if I had been to Joel Osteen’s church which was a resounding “no.” He seemed pleased that my church was Southern Baptist, though.

I ran into Weezer, Daisy Dukes, and Tinkles and then Kick joined me. I got my box and organised my food. I left around 10:30 and hiked 20 miles to Charlton Lake. Kick and I found a nice spot away from noisy humans and with a good view. The lakes in this area are just gorgeous. We ate dinner and discussed how weird time seems to move out here. It’s only been four months but it seriously feels like so much longer.

Day 129

Miles: 15.4

Health: As a horse

Currently reading: Mere Christianity & Un-ashamed & Hebrews

Ugh! Today was so long because it was so short! I slept in and slowly, slowly packed up camp. I left around 8:30 which is super late for me. I’m doing the 24 hour challenge tomorrow so I can only go about 15 miles today.

I hiked so friggin slowly and took so many long breaks I was ready to lose my mind. I kept watching hikers pass me, hikers who I KNOW I’m way faster than, but maybe that’s just my pride getting the best of me.

Nothing much happened today. I got dehydrated because I realised I hadn’t drank any water in the morning and then hiked for eight nonstop miles. I walked through a burned area filled with wildflowers and views of blue mountains in the distance. I fear mongered myself as I looked ahead to the end or Oregon and Washington. I drank swampy pond water. I made camp at 4:00pm. I was hungry all day long.

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