Location- campground near road
Elevation- 5,285 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 25.3 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1980.1 miles
Weather/Temp- clear 70s, breezy
Injuries- sore hip flexors
Pain level- moderate
Days without shower- 5
Didn’t start walking until almost 8, and my hips flexors were the most painful thing on me. Regardless, I pushed steady all day, and as a reward, saw my favorite parts of Oregon so far (that weren’t Crater Lake).
I got to see the (peaks more dramatic than Mt. Thielsen) Three Sisters mountains rising above the terrain in majestic secession. Walk through fields of lava rock (ouch) for miles. Cross rolling yellow plains while being overlooked by snow covered mountains; and generally look at landscapes that seemed as if they should’ve had dinosaurs roaming across them. It was like looking back in time.
My original plan was to hike 32 miles today, but fate intervened once again. As I was taking a break in between lava rock fields, a day hiker in his late 20’s stopped to talk to me. Turns out he was a former PCT thru hiker several years ago, and also hiked the AT; his name was Scrub. Scrub offered me a ride into the town of Bend if I wanted it; I accepted, but had to hike another 7 miles before we got to the trailhead parking lot.
Discovered some more cool coincidences once we were on our way to bend (over 30 miles away). Turns out Scrub was a contributor to the popular “Yogi’s Guide” for the PCT, and also has some big mentions in the popular PCT book, “Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart.” So after he told me all of this, I thought it was time to hit him with a little surprise, and let him know about my book, and that he would probably be getting a mention in any book that I (maybe) end up writing about this hike. I could tell that prospect really made his day.
After getting into Bend, I had a first dinner at Jack in the Box, then a second dinner at Chipotle; nothing beats double dipping. I’m taking a zero tomorrow, no question about it. I’ll be cutting my deadline into Cascade Locks fairly close now, but I’m up to the challenge. Another 150 miles that’ll have to be done in 5 to 6 days…