Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 1 - Heading towards Cascade Locks

The car is packed for today's adventure. My gear is loaded - I'm carrying six days of food and one liter of water. Only one liter of water!!! Woohie! J and G are delivering me to the trailhead then going off to have an adventure in Portland. I've had my last shower for 6+ days and I'm ready to roll. The weather is supposed to be coolish today but slowly heating up until it hits the 90's later in the week. Oh well. At least I'll be walking under the trees. 
1:30 pm - Trailhead
All righty then. I'm off! Don't know if I'll have any reception in the next week so don't worry if there are no posts forthcoming! Woohoo!

6:15 pm - In the Rain Forest

Lush is what my campsite is for the evening. Green, all shades, moss on rocks and hanging in trees, little trickles of water where none is noted and lots of water where expected. In fact this campsite is listed as dry but there's enough in the nearby creek for tomorrow morning. Crazy, in a real good way! What a big difference...

After dinner I began to see a few mosquitos but so far they aren't problematic. I'm ensconced in my tent now, stretching and trying to get organized so the little suckers can't reach me even if they wanted to. 

All together a very good day back on the trail. I must say I am glad I only walked six miles this afternoon as I can tell I haven't had a pack on my back for two months. Well no matter...I'm only hiking 13 miles a day in this section. Half in the morning and half in the afternoon with lots of rest time in there. I got no plane to catch...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mighty Tieton, WA

Yet another long day on the road. I left my rogue camp spot at 5:30 am and rolled in here to J&G's place right around 5pm. It wasn't hard driving at all because there was so much to look at. Early in the day I got to Oregon and the land started looking decidedly green. Even between the volcanic rock and sage there were patches of brilliant green. Rain will do that for you. 

My first stop of the day was in Lakeview, which has a full on grocery store and two gas stations! But I was hungry so I picked Jerry's Cafe for breakfast. Bacon (yum) and eggs with hash browns, but the thing that cheered me up?
I love presentation...

My next stop was Paisley, OR. I didn't know there was a Paisley, OR, but it seems there are many things I don't know. My only sadness was that I didn't arrive there on the last weekend of July, when they have the Paisley Mosquito Festival. I wonder if they have special booths for West Nile mossies, or possibly Malaria suckers. (This is what happens when I travel alone for 12 hours via auto.)

I came to the last likely campsite (on the map anyway) at 1 pm so rather than sit around in an established campsite for seven hours I decided to push on to see my old friends in Tieton, WA. I arrived when they were unloading a truck from Eugene into their storage unit but soon my bladder dictated I get over to their new home. 
After dinner we went visit D and S to see S's garden. She's a Master Gardener and her garden shows it. It's about a quarter of an acre and way more food than I can imagine growing. So far, no gophers, rabbits or deer. The sunset was beyond wonderful. 

Modoc National Forest

At nine this morning I was pulling out of Trader Joes parking lot, headed to highway 17 north. At nine this evening I pulled over on the outskirts of an official campground to camp for the night. It's too dark to be driving around looking for an official spot and this part of the world is so sparcely populated no one will bother me tonight. 

So today I drove. First to South Lake Tahoe where I picked up a resupply box that was sent there for me earlier in the summer. Then east to highway 50, where I dropped over to 395 and just pointed my van north. 
Great clouds today!!!

Two things I found out today. First the forest service campgrounds I looked at had no water. Since I was foolish enough to leave home without a big jug of water I could only cook dinner with the last of my water at the first campsite, then I needed to move on. Secondly this part of the state is without many services. I'm used to looking at a map and seeing small towns along the way, assuming many of these towns would have at least a gas station or small store. No so. Many, many miles went by and still, no stores, no gas. I was sweating bullets, and the little gas indicator was lit up, when I finally pulled into Altruas, CA.
Not too much there...but a gas station and c-store for buying the needed water!

By then it was 8:30 and the closest campground was about ten miles up a side road but that was all I could do for today. It looks like it's pretty here (dark and all now) and I know it rained quite a bit as the ground is soaked and there's some standing water here and there. I'm looking forward to the morning so I can see where I am in daylight. 
5:30 am. Nice.