The (mis)adventures of Juicy
Eagle Creek is a beautiful route and I highly recommend it to everyone. The trail workers have clearly put so much time and effort into fixing it from the 2017 fire. I also might need to pay attention to the junction signs better…
I left my hotel room at 8:30am and I purchased a breakfast burrito and a lemon loaf slice from the coffee shop. Eagle Creek Trail here I come!
I walk the first few miles on the road and then I enter the trail. Because it’s Friday the trail is PACKED with day hikers. One guy is behind me, and awkward distance away like he might pass me but he also might not. So I stop and let some hikers who are coming at me pass and I let him pass. Well, his name is Erik and we hiked through the whole section he was doing together.
This was the first time Erik had been back to Eagle Creek since it was closed in 2017. It was interesting to hear his perspective about how much has changed due to the fire. He also gave me a bunch of other trails with waterfalls to keep in mind to do in the future such as Malt Noma Waterfalls, Triple Falls and Walis Falls.
Well, we came upon the main attraction! By this point I had seen videos of the tunnel through the waterfall. But there is NOTHING like seeing it in person. This waterfall was so huge and going behind it was so fascinating! I could have stood there all day. This is my second favorite part of the trail so far (Goat Rocks it’s hard to beat).
At the end of Erik and my journey, I ran into Catmando, Guinness, and Num Num. they had been making it into town just as I was leaving so I hadn’t had the chance to really talk with them yet. We fished the rest of the day together and oh man can these guys scoot! I was sweating even more than I was before trying to keep up! For a few miles Guinness did slow down a bit to chat with me. It’s so cool getting to know everyone so personally.
Eventually I did get too distracted with the huckleberries, the salmon berries, and the thimble berries so I slowed down a lot. I figured I’d just see them in camp. But just when I think they’re gone, I turn a corner and they’re all right there either talking with someone or getting water. It was a pleasant game of catch up for me.
We get to camp at about 6:30 (the earliest I’ve EVER gotten in). Timberline Lodge is 33.5 miles ahead so we’re going to do 24 tomorrow and then a nice 9.5 into town. I made dinner, something I found out of a hiker box and did not like it at all. It seemed like it was supposed to be some oatmeal thing (I thought it was soup), but it was bland and had the consistency of throw up. I put it back in the plastic bag it came in and I’m going to throw it away in two days. So I ate my summer sausage, cheese, nuts and dried fruit instead!
I’ve been surprised, we went up 4,000 ft today and I still feel pretty good. I’m also VERY appreciative of the KT tape that B- gave me. My foot has been feeling so much better. I just need to keep on it. The North Cascades whipped me into shape!
At around 11 PM I slowly wake up to the sound of footsteps approaching and I see a head lamp coming in the direction of our tent. A voice says “woah, is anyone awake?” In my groggy state I ask him what he needs and he asks if anyone by the name of Shay is at this site. I answer no and good luck to him and I immediately regret my answer. I don’t know anyone’s real name here. I’ve met both men and women “Shay’s” (various spelling, I picked the first one I knew – best friend shout out). Either way he comes back and from in my tent I ask him if he just needs some place to sleep. He sounds kinda confused but answers yes.
I get out of my tent to speak with this headlamp and see if I can actually be more help. He said he appreciates the offer but he promised this girl he’d meet her. So my gears start running. I ask if she just one person, because I met and hiked with a Shayna who was with a dude just before they made camp along the Eagle Creek trail. And fortunately she referred to herself and said her name when telling a story at one point because I never asked her what her name was.
He exclaimed that is who he was looking for! So I showed him my Garmin map that shows more than just the PCT and directed him which direction to go. Hopefully this man finds them, and hopefully I can get back to sleep quickly.
Miles: 27 – it was supposed to be 24, I was a NOBO for 1.5 miles today
All of us started waking up around 5am and I was the last out of camp at 6m.
Today was FILLED with berries! I gave myself a stomach ache eating huckleberries, blueberries, salmon berries, and thimble berries all day.
It was a pretty mellow hike but I felt slow today. I’m guessing the heat and humidity had a little something to do with it. The coolest part of today was that every once in a while there would be a break in the trees and I could see how close I was getting to Mt. Hood.
At about 21 miles in, I took the Ramona Falls Alternate route. It was really nice to hike next to the river, I do love the sound of rushing water. Romona falls was beautiful, I’ve really been enjoying all of these waterfall alternate routes. I could just stand there and watch the falls all day.
But it was already 6pm and I still had 2 miles to go. I started down the rest of the alternate, until I came up to a sign that showed the PCT was straight ahead. So there I was, sending down the trail to my music, hiking as a NOBO for 1.5 miles until I became confused that I didn’t hit a river fording yet, and the sound of the water was fading.
My watch said I was on the PCT, my Garmin Explore app did not, Guthook was not loading my icon but it showed that I had backtracked (?). Finally, Guthook loaded and showed me that I had hiked 1.5 miles in the other direction. Well it was getting late and I had to now hike 2 miles to the campsite we all had ashes on.
I hiked faster than I had all day back to the junction I was confused about. I hiked toward the sign below and just read PCT straight. And I went straight not knowing to look for another sign that was behind me.
So now I come up to the river fording. I can hike 1,300 ft to some logs, or I can ford the pretty high current river. Dumb Juicy decision #2 for the day. I took off my socks and the inserts to my shoes, retied my shoes and forded the river. The water went up to my mid thigh and the current was pretty strong, but I was able to wedge my feet in the rocks in the water well enough so I wouldn’t get knocked over.
Well my shoes were now wet with rocks in them, the sun was almost down, and I had 0.2 to go. So I dumped out the water and put the shoes back on my feet and went for it. Luckily, I found the guys really quick – they were all in their tents probably about to sleep. I arrived at about 8:40 pm. But as I came up they heard me ask our campsite neighbors if the people in the three tents fit their descriptions. They exclaimed “Oh you’re the fourth hiker!”
Guinness and Num Num both seemed to be happy to see that I got to camp safely. Num Num gave me some Korean treats as well! Catmando was fast asleep – I’m happy I didn’t wake him up. Instead of trying to set my tent up in the dark, I rolled out my Tyvek and decided I was going to cowboy camp. There weren’t any bugs and it wasn’t super cold so it was the perfect night for it. This would be the second time I cowboy camped on the PCT so far, the first being in Stehekin.
We have reservations for breakfast at Timberline Lodge at 9:30 and we have 9 miles to go tomorrow. Wish me luck!
We all woke up at 4 am, packed up and were out by 4:30. We had a climb and it was interesting to do in the dark with a head lamp. I honestly enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The forest is so quiet that early in the morning and there were no bugs.
At about 8:30 I arrived and they took us right away. I had eggs, waffles, sausages, and fruit. Go figure, I’m still not sick of blackberries or blueberries.
Mousetrap and B- come rolling in at about 10am with Meghan and Lexi not far behind. We all discussed the fire closure at Olallie Lake and decided we’re going to hike as close as we can get and hitch out when we need to. I was glad that it would work out for us to not cut off 110 miles between Timberline and Sisters.
Catmando, Num Num, and Free For All decided they’re going to head out tomorrow morning. Guinness is going home for a few days. Mousetrap, B-, Meghan and I decided we were going to head out tonight and try to get 14 in. I hope we’re all able to reconnect after the closure and a zero or two.
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