I got to Sisters OR and resupplied. Then Matthew arrived from Redmond via San Francisco. I called a trail angel, Jim, who gave us a 15 mile ride to the trail. At the trailhead was Coppertone giving out Root Beer Floats! We said no thanks (we had just eaten lunch) and hiked in 3 miles through massive lava fields to our campsite. It is so so nice to have Matthew here – Woohoo! We are back on the trail and ready to start tomorrow.
I love talking to people about my thru-hike. I find their amazement that I’ve walked this far to be of great satisfaction to me. While I was at Crater Lake I went from overlook to overlook and talked to different people about the PCT and hiking it. Some people wanted to take my picture. At one overlook I had several different groups of people around me asking questions and listening to my stories. I probably spent an hour doing these stops. I even met a 1984 thru-hiker and I instantly felt the bond of shared experience. The jargon and trail locations were all common as was his wish for my safe journey. Then I was off to the next overlook and more curious people. What a blast I had there and everywhere I go when talking with people from the non-thru-hiking-world.
Around Mt. Jefferson were a number of glacial creeks and we had to cross them. First there was Milk Creek and then Russell Creek. Matthew stumbled a bit on the first one so he got his feet wet, but on the second he crossed it like a seasoned hiker (and my Halfmile maps noted that it could be difficult to cross!).
Due to wildfires the trail is closed by the US Forest Service from mile 2057 to 2082. As a result Matthew and I had to road walk about 20 miles. Although previous hikers have said that there was no water we learned that the people at Olallie Lake Resort have put water caches at various spots along the road. Thank you!
Next day: It was a long, boring, tedious road walk and our feet ached afterwards. The trail closure was obvious because at both ends it was blocked by plastic tape. Nearby the US Forest Service had copies of maps to follow. Matthew especially needed to rest after this walk.
I lost Matthew today. He follows me as we hike, in other words, I set the pace for us. Today he stopped to take a “nature break” and I continued on. I didn’t know he wasn’t behind me because my hearing isn’t so good. This has happened before and previously he would appear in a minute or two. Today I got to a turn-off toward the road walk and waited for 10 minutes and Matthew did not appear. So I walked back south on the trail for 15 minutes (one half mile), calling out and still no Matthew. Hmmm, that’s strange. So I turned around and walked north back to the road walk turn-off. When I almost was there here comes Matthew walking back down south on the trail towards me. I was surprised that somehow he had gotten passed me. Later I found out that he had gone down the wrong trail and had totally gotten turned around such that when he came upon me he thought that he was going north when he was actually going south. As a result we could have totally lost each other. That was a really scary thought since we’re out in the middle of nowhere.
To insure this not happen again Matthew will tell me when he’s dropping back or stopping. I will not continue beyond the next junction or turn-off, and if I walk back on the trail I’ll leave my backpack behind on the trail so he knows I was there.