Day 132: Smoke-Filled Views Are No Fun
Monday, July 30, 2018 9:41 pm
Location: Campsite 1730.1 (1730.1 miles)

Hanging out with people is fun, but the late night last night wrecked my sleep schedule. I didn’t get to sleep until much later than I wanted, and as a result, didn’t get up until almost 10 am.

The first order of business was to get to the post office to send a food box to Crater Lake, and put some stuff in my bounce box and send it on to Bend. Once that was done, I walked a few more blocks to a store that does Fed Ex shipping so i could send a food box to Shelter Cove, a resort just off the PCT about halfway between Crater Lake and Bend.

My resupply boxes dealt with, I started walking back to Janet’s house, stopping at Red Zone, a sports bar that had a sign advertising discounted meals for PCT hikers in front of their entrance. The discount wound up being pretty tiny, but it was still a nice gesture. And, the bartender (who may also have been the manager; I was unclear on that) also gave me my second beer free.

Full of food and beer, I returned to Janet’s to pack. On the way, I ran into Verde, who was waiting at a bus shelter trying to find a trail angel to get a ride back to the trail, and Jelly, who had just finished packing and was on his way to meet Verde.

At Janet’s, I packed, and then met up with Jelly and Verde. Verde was unable to find a trail angel, so we tried to hitch a ride, assisted by a sign Jelly made using an old paper grocery bag.

It took us a little while to get a ride, but eventually, a man named Roland pulled over for us. Initially, he was only going to get us as far as the interstate on-ramp (which would be an improvement in our location, so we got in), but Verde offered him gas money to take us to the trailhead, which he accepted.

We got to the trailhead for the trail between Callahan’s and the PCT at 2:15. Verde went to Callahan’s to get his free beer; Jelly and I began walking down Old Highway 99, which the PCT crosses, rather than walking back up the trail we took from the PCT. This cut off a small portion of the PCT, but the detour to Callahan’s meant we hiked further anyway, and where the trail was going, there’d not likely be any views between the turn-off and Old Highway 99.

Once we actually got to the PCT intersection with the road, we continued following Old Highway 99 for another half a mile before re-entering the woods. I’m not sure why this surprised me; it was pretty clear from the map that that’s what happens.

Shortly before re-entering the woods, two men standing next to a car on the other side of the road waved us over, offering beer. They were Chuck and Darryl, from Redding, CA. They had been evacuated due to a very large fire burning near the town, and for whatever reason, decided to spend today on the side of the road in Oregon handing out beer to hikers (and drinking some themselves).

We chatted for a short while, before continuing down the trail. Just into the woods, out of sight from the road, a small cache of half-liter water bottles lay on the ground. I chugged one of them to help compensate for the dehydrating effect of the beer. Plus, it was still hot out, and any water I drank now is water I wouldn’t drink (and then, have to collect and filter to replenish) later.

While the trail had climbed a bit along Old Highway 99, especially immediately after leaving Callahan’s, the day’s big uphill started once the trail re-entered the woods.

The main attraction for the day was Pilot Rock, a large rock formation with a Peregrine Falcon nesting area, so some of the side trails were closed. Smoke from the fires continued to fill the air, and while it was less dense than it was in Ashland, it was still thick enough to cast a haze in front of every view.

Pilot Rock
Pilot Rock

I stopped for dinner after a little more than ten miles, at the location of a water faucet and tentsites. However, there was no faucet, just a small spring, and the supposed tentsites were small, grassy, and not flat. It was a suitable enough location to make dinner, though, so I did.

Verde caught up to Jelly and I there, and then went on ahead. Jelly finished his dinner much faster than I did, and left while I was still cooking my macaroni and cheese. (Filtering water took a while.)

It turned out I wasn’t very hungry, and I didn’t cook my ramen. I think I was probably more tired than hungry; with my sleep schedule messed up from the late night last night, I needed sleep more than I needed food.

I continued on another two miles uphill to another campsite that was actually pretty nice, getting there just before sunset. It wound up being a short day, only 12.4 miles, but that was a direct result of the late start.