Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Day 10: Trail Magic!

 Day 10: 27 miles

    Something that I really valued was getting to wake up with the light of day which typically was around 5am (ish). No alarm required! As the days went on, the light would slowly arrive a bit later and later.  What once was a 6am start time moved to 630am, which was the case today. Typically the process from waking to walking took roughly 45 minutes and we would eat breakfast as we walked. We both just munched on bars (healthy & chocolate varieties) until lunch time. Sounds yum right 😐. Actually a breakfast payday is pretty amazing 😀.

    We bumped into our friends Happy and Lucky at what would be the last water source for the next 14 miles. It was a scorcher of a day and the terrain was very exposed. Conserving my water for the next 5 hours would be a challenge. 

    The terrain today was unlike anything we had hiked thus far. We weaved and meandered our way through rocky lava flows and I couldn't help but think about how much work went into building a trail through this type of rock. 

    Around lunch time we decided to stop in a shady spot just before we crossed a paved road. Happy and lucky hiked passed us about 2 minutes later and decided to push forward. As they reached the road a car pulled up and asked if they were PCT hikers and said they had trail magic! This was music to my ears and I swiftly gathered my things, threw my pack on and b-lined it to the road. These 2 angels had hiked many sections of the trail in years past and were here to help feed and hydrate hikers. They had so many snacks for us as well as fruit, Gatorade, cider/beer and pop. We sat there chatting with them for over an hour. Another hiker named Neo joined us. He came all the way from Isreal to hike the trail! It was really hard to leave the comforts of all the delicious snacks and drinks but we had to press on. 

    The terrain ahead looked exciting and very challenging. It was basically miles and miles of lava rock. The footing was very hard on the feet and slow going but so stunning! It couldn't have been more than 5 minutes after leaving the road that we ran into a SOBO (south bound) hiker and told them of the upcoming trail magic. She laughed and said she just came from trail magic a mile back! After having spent over and hour at the last spot it wasn't ideal to be stopping again but these are the types of opportunities you just don't pass up. A mile later we see an older couple sitting in camp chairs by the trail head. They had a cooler full of water and Corona and little bags of chips. Lucky and I opted for water and Peter and happy guzzled down another refreshing beer. The gentleman must have been in his mid/late 70's and hiked the trail in the 80's! It was so cool to hear about his experience and the challenges he faced hiking the trail before it was even fully developed. It's crazy to think about how we navigate with  an app on our phones while he would have had to rely on paper maps, a compass and figuring things out as they came up. 

    This was a much quicker trail magic stop but one I am happy not to have missed. Meeting people and hearing their stories is one of my favourite things in life. The four of us hiked on and got to know each other a bit better. Although we had been leap frogging with Happy and Lucky for days this was the first time we hiked with them and got to know a little bit about what life is like in the Czech Republic. 

Love the way Mt. Washington was framed by this tree

    Eventually we went ahead and parted ways and made our way to the Youth Camp, which was the next place to get water. In non-covid times the camp was very hiker friendly and you could even purchase a meal here. But, due to covid, they had limited hiker access to just the water spigot. We filled up our bottles and cold soaked some noodles to eat at camp. As I went digging in my food bag I discovered the Trader Joe packaged olives that I found in the hiker box at Elk Lake. These were just what the doctor ordered on a hot day and I ate both packets. Highly recommend for a salty hit of goodness! 

One of the many stops to empty out sand from our shoes!

    We hiked a few more miles eventually reaching the last camp for the evening which happened to be at a lake. The lake wasn't quite big enough for swimming but it was perfect for rinsing off after such a dusty and sweaty day. The best camp spot was taken by the "Thruple", but luckily there were two other spots that would suffice. We had leap frogged a few times with the "Thrupple", who I so named because they always hiked together as a threesome. The Thrupple consisted of two men and a woman and we never did find out their trail names but I did learn that the woman was from Saskatchewan!

    The next day our plan was to hitchhike into the town of Sisters where we could re-supply and potentially organize a ride around the upcoming trail closure. To be continued....

Marathon and Pole Vault

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