a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles to 2228.9 to 2244.3. Trout Lake to Killen Creek camp.
We sleep in. Hikerish for sleeping until 8am. The only morning shuttle back to trail leaves at 9am. Too bad we didn’t check that yesterday, because now we get in kind of a hurry. I pack and buy some sandwiches and huckleberry rolls for breakfast while Dario gets the tents at the community centre. We are just in time for the shuttle which is packed. Haven’t seen that many hikers in one spot in a while! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, it’s kind of cool outside, so it’s the perfect hiking weather! We get off the shuttle and eat a sandwich and a huckleberry roll for breakfast. Yummy, these are so delicious! It’s like cinnamon rolls, but with the local huckleberries we’ve been picking for days and days. And loads of icing on top, so tasty! At home I could never eat this, it’s probably got 1000 calories at home. But here, who cares. :-)
We are all standing at the trailhead, hesitating to get going. The ambience is good, relaxed, we’re all motivated. There’s BigBro, Coach, Flat Earth, Benjamin Button, and a SOBO called HappyFeet. Anticipation is in the air. Only 4 more resupply stops until Canada!!! It’s getting real. Suddenly someone storms out of the forest. It’s Sasquatch! The last time we’ve seen him was after Bend when he was just about to go into town. He looks beaten, exhausted, tired. He joins us and says “that’s it, I’m done. I quit.” We all stare at him, shocked, but also understanding. He had a tough, rainy night last night, while we slept in the comfort of our rooms. He looks relieved. Happy to be able to have come to a conclusion. He’s made it so far! I feel sad for him. But also jealous. I’ve thought about quitting a lot in the last couple weeks. And it’s the hardest thing to actually decide to go through with it. He puts his pack down and takes out his stove and starts making coffee. “Might has well have breakfast here while you’re all here.” We stay with him a little longer and eventually get going, back on trail. Back on this ass-kicking, yet amazingly beautiful trail.
And it is beautiful today. The forest is still wet, rain drops dripping from the plants and trees, but the sky is still as blue as ever. It starts with a slight uphill climb, after the forest we hike through a burnt area, and then we see Mt Adams. One of the famed Washington mountains. It’s covered in snow and very pretty. We keep seeing it all day, except for some time that he’s stuck behind some local fog. We will only do 15 miles today because there is supposed to be a great camp spot there, with a lovely waterfall and space for all of us. We’ll catch up on the miles soon…
When we reach the campsite it turns out that Benjamin Button and Flat Earth must have pushed on. But Coach and BigBro are here, getting started on a sweet campfire. We set up camp, then Dario joins the guys to make the fire. I am way too cold now to join in, but enjoy lying in my sleeping bag when it’s still light out. I can hear the waterfall nearby and the guys joking. Coach has an awesome Spotify playlist on. We feel great. We feel we are right where we are meant to be.
Hopefully our next couple of days stay rainfree, but it looks good according to the weather forecast. And we’re really excited for tomorrow as we will be reaching the beautiful Goat Rocks Wilderness. And we’ve also been in touch with Wizard, our Australian friend we hiked with back in the desert, and she’s skipped up north to hike south a while ago. And tomorrow is very likely the day we will run into each other. So many things to look forward to!