With more than 20 miles to my resupply in Trout Lake, I wanted to get up and get hiking early, to get to town as early in the day as possible. However, it was cool, foggy, and damp, which made me not exactly motivated to quickly get out of my tent this morning.
I finally started hiking at almost 8 am, through fog clouds. It was fairly cool out, and definitely wet. The trail was relatively gentle, and I made quick progress this morning, and despite the fog, at least it didn’t seem like I missed any views.
I stopped for a quick break on the side of what turned out to be a very busy dirt road. It was still cool and dreary out, so there was a pretty compelling reason not to linger any longer than necessary.
Around 3:30, I stopped at a small meadow about two miles south of the road into Trout Lake. By now, the sun had finally come out, and it was a nice picturesque place (that I forgot to take a picture of). The general store in Trout Lake has a few rooms available for lodging, and after being somewhat wet all day, I kind of wanted a room and a warm shower. I was able to call the store from the clearing, but their rooms were full, as was the camping space available behind the store, so the only real option available to me, if I didn’t want to immediately return to the trail after I picked up my resupply box, would be to tent at the county campground a short distance away from the store.
I made it to the trailhead at Forest Service Road 23 around 4:30. New this weekend, as a trial, trail angels from town are running a free shuttle service between the general store and the trailhead. The shuttle runs hourly, with a few gaps, and 4:30 was one of them; the next shuttle would be at 5:30.
Jelly arrived at the trailhead shortly after I did, along with Justin and his beagle Jesse, and Fireman. Separately, Soups, Bumblebee, and Luna arrived not long after.
Jelly walked down the road to see if he could get a cell service to call a trail angel so we wouldn’t have to wait until the shuttle came, but he returned not being able to get cell service.
While we were waiting, a van pulled up and a hiker got out. We asked if it was the shuttle, but it turned out it was jut a few hikers parking their vehicle at the trailhead so they could go hiking. They did, however, have a lot of apples that they shared with us.
A short while later, a pickup truck drove up and stopped, offering us (or at least, as many as could fit) a ride in his truck. Most of us at the trailhead piked in, except for a couple of new arrivals who couldn’t fit, and one of them who could, but wanted to stay and make sure the shuttle actually got utilized.
I picked up my food box from the general store, and headed to the hiker hangout area on the side of the store to repack my food bags. There were at least a dozen hikers there, many of whom were going to be tenting there overnight; I got there too late, and all the space was taken. Instead, I headed over to the nearby county park. I intended to set up my tent with Jelly, Justin, and Fireman, who had headed to the park before I did, but couldn’t find them; instead, I set up with the Polish group I had hung out with in Cascade Locks.
Once I found Jelly, Justin, and Fireman (or rather, they found me after a few exchanged text messages), the four of us went to the Trout Lake Country Inn for dinner. The food there was great (and all of us had two desserts!), but the service there was very slow, and we didn’t leave until after 10 pm.