Racing Winter on the Pacific Crest Trail – Day 124

​Day- 124

Date- 8/17/16

Location- Fish Lake

Elevation- 4,967 ft

Distance Traveled Today- 10.1 miles

Distance Traveled Total- 1,770.9 miles

Weather/Temp-  clear 70s

Injuries- none

Pain level- low

Spirits/Morale- hopeful

Days without shower- 3

Hunger/craving- low


Slept in again…the cowboy camping is already becoming too comfortable to get up earlier like I wanted.

Hit the trail a little before 8am and had over 6 miles by 9:30. This morning was a lot of walking through lava rock, more than I’ve seen on the trail up until now.

At around 10 am,  my plans for the day, as well as the state of Oregon completely changed. I got a phone call with some welcomed news,  so I’m making some adjustments to my timeline to meet a mystery guest in the town of Cascade Locks at the beginning of September. Cascade Locks is the final town in Oregon,  right on the border of Washington, and the mystery guest will be hiking with me until Canada.

They can only meet me on the 3rd of September, so I basically have 17 days to get to Cascade Locks; more than a week later than I originally wanted to get there from my current location. Not a big deal,  but it will be worth it.

I don’t want to lose my ability to do big days comfortably, so I’m still going to hike big, however I’m going to spend more time on side adventures, as well as checking out anything just off the trail (towns,  campgrounds, resorts, lakes,  etc). This will help to buy more time.

So 10 miles into the day,  I saw that there was a lake called “Fish Lake” about a mile and a half from the trail down a road, that also had a cafe nearby.  Anything with the word “fish,” or the implications of food, piques my interest,  so I put my side quest plans into full gear  and sauntered that way.

French Dip roast beef sandwich with Aju sauce for lunch, playing with disease carrying chipmunks, laying around in the grass,  then some fly fishing in the evening.  A relaxing day well spent.

I have a special fly fishing travel set up that I recently got,  and I’ve been eager to try it out.  I’ve never fly fished before in my life,  but I had a fantastic time figuring it out this evening!  I got a bit of a late start,  after 8pm,  but still managed to catch 5 decent trout before darkness enveloped me. I released them all.

I think I’m going to get up early and fish some more tomorrow. If I catch any decent fish,  then I’ll pack them out to eat tomorrow night.  A little feast just for 1.

I’m sure some of you are wondering what happened to Trigger, and why we didn’t continue hiking together since we had the same unique pace.  His girlfriend met him in Ashland and will be hiking with him for the next several weeks,  so his pace will be very subdued while she acclimates.

I’ve been hiking solo for nearly 1,100 miles now,  and while I must admit that I get incredibly lonely, I can’t imagine it any other way.  It almost feels like my freedom has doubled. I would take Katana back in a heart beat if I could,  but that’s just not an option presently.

For now,  I’m content with the random and sometimes familiar faces that appear on trail and around campsites; enjoying their company for the time that our own unique paces and routines afford,  then parting ways.  I almost feel sorry for the people that have reserved themselves exclusively to “group hiking”…almost.  I know how rewarding and amazing a trail family can be,  but I’ve lived that experience already on the AT and part of this trail. Extended total solitude is new, and it’s opening my eyes and teaching me new things every day as well…

Hopefully the fish are biting in the morning.  I’ll try and get some pics.

Go to Day 125.


  1. Kyle – the suspense is killing me. I had hoped that your mystery guest in Sept. would be Katana, but then later in this post I got the feeling it wasn’t her 🙁 Went hiking in Rocky Mtn. Natl. Park this weekend and thought of you and what it must be like to be in your great shape. My feet were aching after 7 miles! Spectacular views though that feed the soul 🙂

  2. I’m here at Blue Mt. Restaurant having breakfast and reading your blog…. darn near spit my hot tea all over my husband as I was hit with a burst of uncontrolled laughter as I read the words … playing with disease carrying chipmunks.

    Thanks for the laugh Kyle…

    Linda Wurst

    1. It’s important to not sip on any hot liquids while reading Kyle’s writing. It can be dangerous.

  3. Hi Kyle,
    Since you are taking your time through Oregon, if you’re still around Crater Lake on Tuesday August 30 my husband and I would love to take you to dinner at Crater Lake Lodge. I think you will be father both by then, but I would we would extend the invitation. Would love to meet you and hear some stories after reading your book and following your blog. Safe travels on the rest of your trip!
    Lacey Loveless

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