Mile 1913 to mile 1941.5 (plus 2 miles from Shelter cove back to the trail)
Sleeping long on the gravelly ground waking to the overcast morning seven a.m., everyone still curled up fetal in their damp sleeping bags, rubbing the dust from my face, Susan (Guthrie’s mom) puts out French toast with honey, stewed apples, leftover chili warmed up. Mike (Guthrie’s dad) roasts sausages over the campfire. There’s a cooler of sodas in ice and we all pound mountain dew and dr. Pepper with our breakfasts.
It’s so hard to leave. There’s a two mile roadwalk back to the pct- we pretend we’re a gang, walking in a line and snapping our fingers in unison. I’ve got a sore throat and my head feels weird- I don’t like this morning so far. I think I’ll fall behind but as soon as we’re in the cool shaded forest I’m cruising, even uphill- maybe it’s the dr. Pepper. I pass Rosary lakes, muted in the overcast light- oh, the memories. We all stop for lunch at the Maiden peak shelter, nicest shelter on the pct. Made of yellow logs, big windows and a woodstove. We sit around the heavy wooden table in the dim, eating cheetos, mike & ikes, lays potato chips, respectively. I’ve got to ski to this shelter some winter, I think. Same thought I had last year.
Plodding on cruiser trail through the afternoon. Pine forest and stagnant ponds, that’s what some people say about Oregon on the PCT. I don’t mind, though. Except in July the mosquitoes are bad. But still, how can you hate on the forest? Even dry third growth. Nature always wins.
I get service for the first time in a long time in a burn and I make a phone call to an old friend, sit on the side of the trail and talk for a long time. When I hang up a weight has been lifted off my chest. Old hurts resolved, something loosened inside of me. I fly down the trail after that, feel like I can do anything. I reach Stormy lake to find everyone in their tents, the mosquitoes thick above the aquamarine water. I eat dinner safe behind mosquito mesh- hikerbox tuna, potato chips, rehydrated spinach and peas. Overhead the stormclouds curdle, there’s a little thunder. Twinkle is looking at maps of the fire closure.
Rain, I think. Come on rain.
Photos on instagram.