Day 95: Out of Food and Water . . .

July 21, 2017

Total daily miles: 14.8 miles (14.0 PCT + 0.8 to Mazama Village)

Total PCT miles: 1411.5

Start: mile 1804.5

End: Mazama Village (Crater Lake) (mile 1818.4)

Total elevation gain/loss: 1835.3/243.3 ft

Today was a town day! We hit the snooze button a couple of times… even with the allure of town, it was tough to get up! We normally keep our inReach turned off over night and when we turned it on this morning there was a message from Tom waiting for us. He told us to go ahead and sleep in because he wouldn’t be able to make it to Crater Lake until later in the day. Oops! I guess it didn’t really matter though because we needed to get to Crater Lake by lunch anyway because we were almost out of food. We both had a couple bars and that was it… not enough these days.

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Day 94: And Then The Murders Began.

July 20, 2017

Total daily miles: 25.9 miles (25.4 PCT + 0.5 side trail from camp)

Total PCT miles: 1397.6

Start: Squaw Lake (mile 1779)

End: mile 1804.5

Total elevation gain/loss: 3514.1/2923.9 ft

A while back we were listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and they asked the guests what one sentence, if inserted as the second line of a book, would improve any book. The answer: “And then the murders began.” That pretty much sums up our day. I’m afraid that I graduated to serial killer status today. The number of mosquitoes that I killed was beyond counting. If charged, I’ll claim self-defense. I pretty much did fear for my life… or at least my sanity. In short, the bugs were horrific today.

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Day 93: We Found the Lava Fields!

July 19, 2017

Total daily miles: 26.8 miles (26.3 PCT + 0.5 side trail to camp)

Total PCT miles: 1372.1

Start: mile 1752.7

End: Squaw Lake (mile 1779)

Total elevation gain/loss: 3115.2/2984.6 ft

Getting out of the tent this morning took courage. We could hear the buzz of mosquitoes outside our tent door and it was clear that we’d be swarmed immediately. We packed up the tent as quickly as possible, but still couldn’t move quickly enough to escape the bugs. As soon as the tent was away, I was off!

It’s hard to get the perspective on this, but that PCT marker on the tree was huge!

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Day 92: Easier Miles in Oregon

July 18, 2017

Total daily miles: 27.1 miles

Total PCT miles: 1345.8

Start: mile 1725.6

End: mile 1752.7

Total elevation gain/loss: 4297.6/3931.8 ft

Looks like we’ve found the bigger miles that we were promised in Oregon. Hurray! That said, it seemed like we spent much of the day in the trees and on relatively level terrain. Because of this, it seems like our water stops and the people that we chatted with defined much of the day.

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Day 91: It’s Tough To Leave Ashland

July 17, 2017

Total daily miles: 9.5 miles

Total PCT miles: 1318.7

Start: Ashland (mile 1716.2)

End: mile 1725.6

Total elevation gain/loss: 2270/1159.8 ft

Sleeping in is one of the most glorious parts about hotel stays… even if I’m only able to sleep until about 6:30 before waking up (convinced that it’s actually 10am). Oh well.

We took advantage of the hotel’s free breakfast and 11am checkout time to take our time completing our internet chores and packing up. It’s amazing how quickly town time can pass. After checking out, we started trying to hitch to downtown Ashland so that we could check out the outfitter there (Mountain Provisions) for Altra shoes. We were told by another PCT hiker that hitching around here would be tough, but that there was a bus that ran to the downtown area leaving soon. We headed toward the bus stop and ended up running to catch the bus as it pulled away (and then kindly stopped to wait for us).

Ashland’s public library

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Day 90: Race Into Ashland

July 16, 2017

Total daily miles: 10.4 miles

Total PCT miles: 1309.3

Start: mile 1705.7

End: Ashland (mile 1716.2)

Total elevation gain/loss: 751/3139.4 ft

We only had about 10.5 miles this morning until hitting the road from which we could hitch to Ashland. When we woke up, it was actually pretty cold for the first time in a long time. I wore my wool beanie for the first several miles — something that I rarely do!

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Day 89: A Magical Oregon Welcome

July 15, 2017

Total daily miles: 25.0 miles

Total PCT miles: 1298.8

Start: Alex Hole Spring (mile 1680.8)

End: mile 1705.7

Total elevation gain/loss: 4601.4/4524.6 ft

We’ve finally made it out of California and are officially in our second state of the PCT! Took long enough… Oregon welcomed us with open arms and while I may not yet have found the magical easy miles that I was looking forward to, we did find some magic.

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Day 88: Goodbye California

July 14, 2017

Total daily miles: 24.9 miles

Total PCT miles: 1273.9

Start: mile 1655.9

End: Alex Hole Spring (mile 1680.8)

Total elevation gain/loss: 7281.5/3193.9 ft

This morning started out with the big climb that we began yesterday. While yesterday’s segment had fairly decent tree-cover, this morning’s portion definitely lived up to its reputation for being exposed. It’s yet another burn zone. Luckily, we managed to stay in the shade for much of the morning because we remained within the mountain’s shadow.

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Day 86: Snow Bowl Danger or Hype?

July 12, 2017

Total daily miles: 26.5 miles

Total PCT miles: 1232.3

Start: mile 1612.6

End: mile 1639.2

Total elevation gain/loss: 4131.6/7419.3 ft

Today started out with a stretch of snow that we’d been hearing hype about for weeks. We’d heard that there was a large “bowl” that we had to traverse, although people had different opinions as to how difficult it would be. Would it live up to the hype? Would we be glad to have kept our microspikes and whippets since Chester? Not really…

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