Fear and Loathing in Oregon
Day 50: 9 miles. Highway 138 – Highway 209
I was sleeping better than usually in a bed but woke up at 6 again. I went to do my laundry when nobody else was up yet and took another shower. My socks still looked dirty after washing them.
I had breakfast at the hostel and talked with a NoBo and called with a friend in Germany. I walked to REI when it opened at 10 and wanted to try out shoes, but they had nothing I wanted to order for my coming resupply towns. I bought some expensive trailfood that at least is nutritious as well as a chord to close my broken foodbag. I also found a new spoon since I had lost the old one a day before when I had to eat smash potato with a knife (it works out if the smash is really hard).
I went to another outdoor store to look for underwear that is boxer model. Unfortunately this is almost impossible to find in the USA. Some smart sexistic designer has decided that females need to hike in panties that constantly get into the crackhole while men are running around in comfy boxershorts. I considered buying boxers with a place for a package but then just ordered new panties online to next town that has mail service. Until then I’ll have to keep on hiking in panties that have more holes than fabric.
I ate some fancy hipsterfood and drank three coffees waiting for a second poo before I allowed myself to get back to the trail, to make sure my stomach was working. I walked in 85 degrees a long way towards a gas station. A man with a BMW asked if I was PCT hiker before I was even hitchiked. He had hitchiked when he was young and took me to a better crossing. There I made a sign at a gas station and a RV stopped again before I even crossed the street to hitchike. It was a family of five with a huge RV. I got travelsick because it was so hot inside the RV and I was sitting back, but fortunately they gave me some soda.
When they dropped me off I started hitchiking at another gas station. A bearded and very tattooed man drove by with a Harley Davidson and asked if I was a PCT hiker. He said he wanted to walk it too, but that he had too many children to take care of. Then he offered me a ride and somehow managed to tie my overfilled backpack behind the bike. I had never been on a motorcycle so it was pretty cool to get a 30 mile ride on one. The guy was passing trucks at 80 mph and I was holding fast on the seat like crazy. It was pretty fun and I felt I was not Lucy Jordan. All in all the best part of hiking is sometimes the time when you are not hiking.
I started the hike around 80 miles south from where I had gotten off before. I met Hooty from another SoBo group Slim-Mold. The Dolphines were 3 days behind me now, but would surely catch me at some point.
I started hiking only at 5 p.m. and was hiking a while after dark. Just before I got to where I was planning to camp I saw four green eyes staring at me in the dark. The animals would not be bothered even if I was shouting at them. I couldn’t see if they were deer or mountain lions (both have green eyes in the dark) but I didn’t feel like camping right there and so I crossed the highway to camp right next to it and a watercache instead.
Day 51: 18ish miles. Highway 209 to Mazama village
At night there were some people running pass my tent and screaming: “Oh my God!” and driving away with their car late at night. I thought they were attacked by a bear but then was too tired to care and fell asleep. No bears or mountainlions bothered me that night anyway.
I got up before six and it was dark. The mornings are just getting later and later with the sun. I started walking the alternate to The PCT, The Rim Trail that passes the Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the USA. The trail went high up, higher than the PCT has gone so far, maybe around 2200 or 2300 meters. It was chilly in the morning but the trail was beautiful. By the lake there were a lot of people who drove by with their cars. I was somehow still very tired. Somebody asked how difficult the hike was. Well it is all subjective, isn’t it? I think he meant just a few miles ahead and not the over 800 miles I had just walked.
I met with Fish and Sniffy from the Slim-Mold and they were also going to Mazama. After coming down the hill I had a luxury lunch with an avocado and a fresh orange. Then I fell asleep just two miles before the village on the ground, I was so tired. I met up with Fish again and we hiked to the village.
I picked up my package and gave away a lot of extra food to the Slime-Molds. I had Skratches and Pocas peanut butters in my box but of course they were not present so I left them in the hikerbox. I didn’t want to eat any tortillas, peanut butter or crisps anymore. The shop was very bad, they had no soap, no shampoo, no handsanitizer or anything a hiker would want.
I had dinner at the restaurant and joined The Slime-Mold and Fishes parents that were visiting. Somehow everybody seemed to have an interest in treeclimbing, I didn’t even know it was a thing but it surely sounds cool to sleep up in a gigantic tree.
I took a cold shower without soap and rinsed my socks a billion times but they were always as dirty as before. I camped on a PCT specific camping area in the woods that has bear boxes as campgrounds in The USA usually do.
Day 52: 24 miles. Mazama village to Seven lakes trail junction
I Had coffee in front of the Mazama store before I started hiking since it would be a long water carry again. The whole day there were almost nobody on trail. The hike was relatively easy although my broken shoes were bothering me. It was in total a 19 miles water carry, the longest so far. It started getting dark while I was climbing up the last mountain. When I got up the sun was down and I saw no places for a tent so I cowboycamped on top of the mountain at 7200 feet. A big bird was flying right above my head and the starry sky was absolutely magical.
Day 53: 24 miles. Seven lakes trail junction – Fish lake
I had the most amazing star sky at night, as if the whole sky was falling on me since it felt so close on top of a mountain. The mosquitoes were waking me up every hour, though. I got up around 6 and started walking as the sun went up. I went to Snow Lake to filter some water and had a chat with a couple camping there. They were going to hike 6 miles that day and when I told them about my thruhike they thought it was crazy and the fact that I was going to walk 24 miles that day. In thru-hiker standards that is not long so that gave me some perspective.
Slime-Molds passed by me so they were not ahead of me as I thought. They were going to camp at Fish Lake.
The trail was relatively easy but a bit boring. It got damned hot during the day and there was a long water carry, 11 miles. At lunch a NoBo told me there was no water in 10 miles so it would be a 20 mile water carry. I decided I would also go to Fish lake campground to get more water.
I was listening to the biography of Finnish author Kaari Utrio the whole day. The day went faster that way. 24 miles felt long, though. I got finally to a road and immediately a guy picked me for a hitch 2 miles down to the campground. I met directly with Sniffy and the guys showed me where the campging for PCT hikers was. The showers were coin-operated so still no shower for me since I had no quarters. I washed my superdirty feet in algae groving lake and camped in a little cove between some trees.
Day 54: 25 miles. Fish lake to Klum Landing Camp
I got up at six and had a breakfast by the camp since it would be a 13 miles water carry through lava fields. The lava fields weren’t as bad as the Farout comments said or the ones after the Big Lake Youth Camp. I met Slime-Molds passing by me again.
It went quickly to a cottage where I had lunch. The Slime-Mold were just leaving and there was a couple that gave me an apple and some snacks. Some NoBos also came in for lunch, as well as section hikers that gave us a lot of snacks: chocolate almonds, m&m:s and others. We had a nice chat and the NoBos said they are also still doing only 25 miles at most (yes thru-hikers have a different concept of “only”).
The other half of the hike was harder since it got really hot and I was planning to do a 25 mile day to get to a campsite with a shower. I finished listening the whole audiobook I had started the previous day though it was 19 hours long. It was an exceptionally interesting book to read.
I didn’t meet any people after the lunch and it was mentally exhausting to walk. My shoes were killing my feet.
Finally half past seven I got to a spooky campsite. Only a deer was passing by near the lake. There was nobody there, not even the Slime-Molds I thought might camp there. I thought that probably 25 miles had been too short for them. There was a white car just driving around and finally a guy in it drove by my table when I was eating my dinner. He asked if I was a PCT hiker and if I needed anything. I didn’t really get what he was doing at the empty site. After he left I took a shower and got some soap from the toilets. I ripped my blister that left an awful bleeding hole in my feet. I was so exhausted I started thinking of a zero in Ashland, I knew the Dolphines were coming there one day after me.
After I went to the tent the creepy guy was driving around the camp. I had just listened a podcast of women who had been rapemurdered while camping (yes, a great idea to do when hiking alone) and I just switched off my headlamp so that I couldn’t be seen between the trees. Fortunately my camo tent is hard to see in the dark.
Finally the car drove away. Probably the guy was just some weirdo volunteering to take care of the camp (according to Farout comments) but it was a bit freaky as he didn’t present himself that way.
Day 55: 24 miles. Klum Landing Camp to Tentsite at mile 927
I got up, packed up and started walking a bit late, half past six since my alarm didn’t wake me up. I heard a car when I was walking towards a dirt road and saw the creepy guys car again. Soon I heard it getting closer and just as the PCT turned away from the road into the forest I saw a car coming towards the dirt road. It was the same car again. There shouldn’t be any houses or anywhere to go that way so why was he coming after me? After another mile the path came to another dirt road – and there the car was again, parked but engine on. Was he stalking me? I took a picture and sent it to my friends in case he would murder me. I escaped into the woods quickly but was a bit freaked before the next dirt road. What if he would be there again? I even took out my knife just in case. Fortunately at the next road there were no more creepy stalkers and I could eat my breakfast in the forest with only bugs and ants bothering me.
Hooty and Sniffy passed by, there was a miscommunication and they had expected me by some cabin they had rented while I had slept at the spooky campsite.
The day was bloody hot and again there was not much water. I had lunch by a pond that had a bit suspicious water but it was the last water in 7,5 miles and it was very hot. I was dying with the climbs and was so thirsty. When I stopped for a stream Sniffy was videochatting with a friend and the friend was the only one to notice there was a deer right behind our backs staring at us.
Sniffy had also shin problems so he was slower than usual and almost as slow as me. A snake was rattling in a bush right next to the trail. The flora and fauna are turning more deserty now. I stopped at the last spring and cooled down a beer I had found in a register box earlier. It was very good and the last two miles went flying with Tom Waits in my ears. Sniffy had continued on despite his aching legs and I had the most epic view over the sunset and mountains from my tent all by myself. I had managed to hike at least 24 miles or 38 km in four consecutive days which was my all times record.
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Cool article. I would love to hike the trails for 100miles to start with. Good job!
Funny, I’m from Seattle and my girlfriend and I were actually at Crater Lake the same day you were and then I found your posts today when we got home. We got there the night of Thursday the 1st and hiked down to jump off the cliff into the lake on Friday leaving around 3:00 p.m. that day to go to bend. We might have passed each other at the Mazama store even.
Subscribed Good luck.
Holy crap, you are one angry human. You also possess zero writing skills.
You accuse someone of being “one angry human,” but your word splat is inexact, apparently based on an emotional reaction to something, and ugly.
I have been a journalist many years and find the owner of this hiker-blog articulate, observant, courageous and wise. Surely you weren’t referring to her?