Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4th Fish Lake Resort

Last night as I was ensconced in my hammock I saw yet another hiker come into the shelter area. Young, male, beard. I didn't recognize him but his voice sounded familiar when he introduced himself as Cookie. Soon a woman walked in and she also sounded familiar when she introduced herself as Chief. So this is the couple I've been hearing about in the last few days. Still eaves dropping I heard Cookie talking about when they started the trail and he said "We started on April 15th with a woman named Shelly". It finally hit me that this was the couple I had started with way back at Campo but then their names were, geeze, I don't remember now. Anyway I unzipped my hammock and leaned out, shouting "Hey it's me, Shelly!" A wonderful reunion ensued and we caught up on the last three and a half months, at least until the mosquitoes broke it up. It seems they have been steadily heading north and having fun along they way. They both are way thinner than when they started but still doing well. How fun.

In order to attempt to beat the heat this morning I was on the trail by 5:30 am, having packed my stuff and left without eating. At 7am I stopped to make coffee and eat breakfast and was just finishing up when Cookie and Chief came along and joined me. We yacked it up for an hour and then we walked together for the entire morning, only parting ways when we reached highway 140 at noon today. They to continue on to Crater Lake to meet family and I to Fish Lake Resort to pick up more food as I'm depleting my meals with my slow going pace. Still, with the two mile walk here I made 14 miles today. Not too bad in the heat, which, BTW, is hotter than Hades. It must be one hundred million degrees outside today. Or something close to that anyway.

Having company, good company, certainly made the miles roll by this morning. We actually have the same pace but I can't keep it up all day long like they can. Still, it was quite enjoyable while it lasted.

Today's images are of Chief and Cookie, a sampling of our lava rock trail this morning and my little cabin for tonight.

Friday, August 3, 2012

August 3rd South Brown Mountain Shelter

Yet another dilemma. I am in one of those tough water and terrain situations I seem to find myself from time to time. From my starting place this morning it is eight miles to my current location. Here there is water, shade and a cabin/shelter, generally used in winter I believe. The next water source is 13 miles away, through open territory, some of it lava fields. It's well into the 90's here in the trees and looking to be even hotter out in the open. The question is, shall I stay here and only get eight miles today or do I go on and broil in the sun while trying to walk another 13 miles to get to water? A third choice would be to walk another six or seven miles and dry camp in a lava field. Hum. Only one of those choices sounds good to me.

I don't reckon it's hard to figure out which choice I made here today. First I took a nap, then I chatted with other hikers, fixed myself dinner and now I'm back in my hammock, hiding from the mosquitoes. It's supposed to be getting way more buggy from here on out.

Images are of some kind of Lilly (can you see the spider?), the shelter here and me hanging in the hammock. What a life.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2nd Mile 1762

It's supposed to be a hot day today. I'm currently at about mile 1753, having walked only four miles since 9:30 when I left the resort. I'm hunkered down in some shade resting up for the upcoming climb and in the last few minutes, three deer have run by about ten feet from my tree. Pretty dang cool.

I'm camped this evening just past 1762, also known as Big Spring. It actually is a small pond with an outlet. Needless to say I'm treating it, just in case. I got here sometime after 6pm having walked a total of 14 miles, two of which were road miles getting back to the trail this morning. So I am shy of my goal of 16 miles but I really had no more gas in the tank. I guess this means I will be one day later getting to Crater Lake. This really doesn't matter except this means I'll be later getting to my planned exit for Eugene and visiting friends there. Since they are picking me up it does matter to them. Oh well.

This evening as I was filling my bottles from the spring I looked up and who did I see on the trail but Train, Mr. Wedding Dress. He came on down and we had a really nice chat and catch-up. He even donned his dress and posed for me. He's such a hoot. He's moving fast so it isn't likely I'll see him again but I've invited him to visit in Santa Cruz anytime. I hope he takes me up on the offer.

Two images, one in dress, one without. Poor guy, he's lost so much weight he can't keep his gown up very well.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1st

I thought for sure I would wake up at first light but no, it was 6:30 when I opened my eyes. Slacker. Because of this it took me almost till 7:30 to get back on the trail. Before starting off I went back down to the spring and pond where I filled up on water. This must have been where the coyotes were cavorting last night at dusk, and again at 2:30am. That early morning event was spooky. Yikes.

The walking today has been as beautiful as yesterday. Unfortunately my IT bands are acting up and the downhills are slow going and kinda painful. This tells me another short day is in order. I'm currently having a rest/food break at highway 66. If I hike to Hyatt Lake Resort I'll arrive there in a couple of hours... around 2pm. Clearly I have time to hike more but I think I'd better stop and give my legs time to adjust. I hope this isn't an indicator of a long term trend. If so, I'll never get to Washington much less Canada.

First thing this morning I met a woman named Karen and her wonder dog Lola. Lola is a shelter dog and is quite a mishmash of whippet and some other stuff. This time of the year they come up to the mountains after work, stay the night then go hiking before going back to work the next morning. Seems like a nice life. Sorry to say their photograph is out of focus...

So I managed another chunk of trail today but find myself at Hyatt Lake Resort, first for lunch then I got attached to watching the Olympics so I got a cabin (with TV) for the night. I did get ten miles in but no more. Tomorrow all bets are off and no matter what I have to do 15+ miles daily. No more slacking. I hope my legs can tolerate the miles. Am I tough enough?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31st Mile 1738

Mother Goose was right. I have indeed lost most, if not all of the conditioning I had when I got off the trail six weeks ago. I also did myself no favors by hauling six days of food in my pack rather than break it up and send some part way to Crater Lake. Instead of carrying 3-4 pounds of food I'm carrying 10-12 pounds of food. My bad. So, since I'm one day ahead of my scheduled entry date I guess I'll only go 10 miles today instead of the planned 15. This'll give me time to eat more food before I head out again tomorrow.

Oregon is stunning. Lush green with wildflowers galore. I didn't stop to photograph much as really, how many images of shooting stars does one need to have? But it is all eye candy and restful for the heart. I really do calm down inside when I am in this kind of environment.

I want to give a shout out to Daniel who drove me all the way from his place outside of Talent to the trailhead near I-5 this morning. In addition he is generously letting me park my truck at his place where he has his home and business, Plant Oregon. What a sweetie he is. Thanks Daniel! BTY, he's the one with the Grizzly Adams beard taking a photo of me.

Tonight is the first time I've hung my food and other smelly stuff in order to keep it out of the way of bears and other curious critters. I don't think wild bears are as clever as park bears, at least I hope not. Yosemite bears would get to my food in a New York minute the way I've got it hung. Let's hope the local bears haven't been doing some distance learning.

Tonight's images are of Pilot Rock, Mt Shasta, Daniel and my bear hang. Way too much food ;-(

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30th Renie's House

I'm at my cousins house in the hills above Talent, Oregon just hanging out with Renie and her wild cat Jesse Cat. A domestic cat but prone to fits of attacking.

We spent yesterday afternoon and evening yacking up a storm, only slowing down enough to eat dinner when it got dark. It was so nice out on her porch that I didn't mind the mosquitoes too much, until I tried to sleep and the itching began. Oh well.

Today I went town to wash my cotton clothes and pick up some last minute foods for the coming six day stint. Wow, that's a lot of food to schlep on my back. I'll have to eat the heaviest stuff first. Renie is leaving here tonight to begin her three flight trip to Africa where she will spend the next 22
days. If you want to check out her website you can find her at She is extraordinary artist!

For myself I will stay here tonight (hoping to see some Olympic action on TV) and drive down to Dan'l's house tomorrow morning to park my truck for the next two months (if all goes according to plan). He has kindly offered to take me the 20 or so miles to the trailhead tomorrow morning. And so it begins.

I've included here images of Renie's house that she built herself. It's octagonal primarily with an add on for her working studio. Wow. What a great home she has made for herself.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 29th Talent, Oregon

Yesterday I penned a long tale regaling the adventures I had getting from Lassen to my home for the evening, Beaver Creek. When I finished my job I pushed save, knowing I had no reception and I'd have to publish it today. Somehow, probably operator error, my post disappeared into cyberspace and it is no where to be found. Frustrating! And it was a good one too. Grrrr. Needless to say I won't try to reconstruct it again.

Having said that I will commence with today's activities and say I slept like a baby last night and woke up around 6:30, quickly packed and drove off into the sunrise. My choices were to return to the highway from whence I came or to continue on the forest service road and see if the map was right and it would indeed take me back to highway 5 by the adventurous route. Eighteen miles via dirt/gravel road seemed fine to me but when I got to where I thought the road should be coming near the end, a sign said the road ended and it forked at that point with private property signs on both forks. What the heck? No matter how many times I looked at the map, even upside down, it still seemed like it should work but finally I gave in and started back. Not too many minutes later I saw a guy coming the other way in a cloud of dust and I asked him about the road. Yes he agreed it looked confusing but my way was correct and I could follow him out! Yea! So I spent the next ten minutes following a billowing cloud of dust till we passed into farm land and I could see the highway in the distance. I gave him a hardy thanks and away I went. Relieved for sure.

Pretty soon I got to the Mt Ashland exit and I pulled off to see about getting some food. Callahan's, famous with hikers, was right there and I went in to eat. After I sat down a tall hiker bounced over and what do you know but there was Stride. I hadn't seen her since Big Bear and here she is, ready to "crush some miles". She only has five weeks to get to Canada before she has to get back to work so it'll require 25 mile days from here on out. She's big and strong, not to mention young, so she can make it I'm sure.

Stride has been hiking with a section hiker named Blue Yonder who is finishing up at the end of today so I gave her a ride back to the trailhead before I got back on the road to Ashland. A couple of garage sales and outfitter stores later I now find myself at a burger place in Talent killing time till I go to my cousins house at 2pm.

I'll include the photos of Blue Yonder here as well as yesterday's images from Lassen.