Am I Hiker Trash Yet?

The last two days were interesting first days. And not the first days I expected. I have met my first tramily and they are all the most wonderful people! Dice, Matt, Galen, North Star, Danielle, Tom, Mousetrap, Dr. Dab, and Travis have already made this experience way better than I ever would have imagined. It really amazes me that a bunch of strangers can just meet, get a hostel together, and hang out for a few days and just be full of life and energy. I’ve heard of trail magic, but I hadn’t really heard of the magic the trail brings.

Getting to Mazama

Day one started out with last-minute errands I had to run. I sent home my zero-degree sleeping bag and sent shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a towel in a box to Stehekin. I’m not sure about showers at each resupply, but I imagine it doesn’t hurt to have this stuff when I get to each town. Then I jumped on the Yellow Blaze Transit Shuttle for the 4.5-hour ride to Mazama. I highly recommend taking the Yellow Blaze Transit to Mazama or Winthrop. The ride was easy and it was nice to talk about my gear choices with other hikers who have done this big of a thru-hike before.

I have arrived!

In Mazama, I immediately went to the bathroom and got geared up to start hiking. I figured I’d get dinner (not really sure where) and then I’d be on my way to Robinson Creek Trail. BUT someone (Galen) waved at me as I was entering the general store and instead of going in, I decided to go chat. There was a group of 6 SOBO hikers hanging out, 3 of which had already gone and tagged the border in the last few days. Here is where my plan takes a turn. They said the switchbacks coming back on the PCT after tagging the border were scary and one of the guys in their group had a near-death experience of falling off the mountain. He is done, he’s not finishing the trail. And I get it, which is why our little group decided to wait a day to head out.

Although not starting right away is unfortunate to my beautiful Excel spreadsheet, I really enjoyed going to Winthrop in Tom and Danielle’s van with a group of people I’ve never met before, getting pizza with them, and spending the night in my first hostel “on trail” in Winthrop. It’s been so interesting going to know everyone very quickly. We’re all here to support each other and as Pancake would say (whom I met today) we’re going to crush it! The best part of all of this is that everyone laughs. The start of my adventure has just been fun!

Day 2

I woke up fairly early and walked with Galen, Matt, and Dr. Dab to a bakery to get breakfast. I had a raspberry peach coffee cake that really hit my morning sweet tooth well! The rest of the day was fairly chill as we walked around town and chatted. I bought dog treats for the hostel dog (that she didn’t even like) and a better sunhat! I’ll keep the baseball hat I have with me, but I wanted something that would better cover my ears. For lunch, I bought a delicious sandwich from the gas station in Winthrop. We met a group of four that had just come back from tagging the border who also said it was all still risky to go north from Hart’s Pass.

For dinner, we cooked steaks, salmon, and asparagus. I can honestly say I was not expecting to cook salmon or steak on trail. When cooking the salmon, I decided on making my favorite salmon recipe ever which includes honey, lemon, and garlic. I could not have cooked as well without Travis’s help. He covered everything I wasn’t, especially chopping. Everyone seemed to like all of the food which was great!! I am not a cook by any means, but I will miss cooking these next five months.

What’s next?

After dinner, the five of us who still needed to tap the border figured out what our plan was going to begin as. I was reminded that the plan can immediately change while we’re out there. But, I did still like laying out all of our options and deciphering the best one. The consensus was that the snow on the PCT north of Hart’s Pass needed to melt more. So, we decided on taking Robinson Creek Trail (478) to Pasayten river trail (533) and then to the PCT, hike north and tap the border. No matter where we are we are going to wait out the 120-degree temperatures. We all have enough food for eight days so we can come back as slowly as we need to. I’ll get to Stehekin at some point—I’m not worried.

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Comments 4

  • Gs : Jun 26th

    “Dr. Dab” …..let me stop you right there…….

    • GS : Jun 26th

      ….unless you’re talking about Brylcreem…..?

  • John smith : Jul 4th

    I was impressed till you had to virtue signal. Weak sauce for an overly privileged person.

    • Morgan Balog : Jul 17th

      Hey! I don’t know what you mean by saying I virtue signaled. I’m not trying to push any agenda and if you’d let me know where you felt that I was pushing that I had better character than someone, I would love to hear it so I can improve my writing. I have been just trying to state exactly what I did with more interesting adjectives. Thanks for your feedback!


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