I woke up this morning to Dana making a lot of noise, I thought she was frantically packing up her stuff but it turns out it was raining. I was under the trees so had some protection but she was out in the open. We threw our flys on and went back to sleep for a bit. Damn you Oregon!!
The rain didn’t come to much and we hiked out at 7:30am. We could smell smoke.
The first few miles was a 1000ft climb, gentle and not normally that hard but I struggled so much with the smoke. It made it hard to breathe and my mouth and throat so dry. 8 miles to the creek. I passed a friend of Smokey who had spent the night with Smokey and Halfslow at the creek and they hiked out this morning, they are only 8 miles ahead of me!
I stopped at the creek for some food and some ice cold water 17 miles to the next water. Hoarder came by and we talked about the fire. Are we heading into it or away from it? No idea. Sometimes the smoke was worse than others throughout the day but it was mostly just obstructing the limited views. The sun was behind cloud and smoke today so at least it was a bit cooler than is it has been, still humid and sticky.
7 or so miles in and we reached the highest point in Oregon on the pct. We were just walking through forest today. This section it tough mentally, it’s all the same, just endless forest. I also miss my friends. Sometimes I enjoy walking alone. Sometimes I don’t.
I caught up to Gene the machine just as we arrived at the spring. It was a half mile down a steep slope to get to a small pool of water, we had heard from some southbounders that there was a water cache 6 miles after the spring. It was running low but they called the number on the sign yesterday and let them know. We were sure it would be restocked but you cannot rely on caches so we went to get water from the spring anyway. I had already gone 25 miles but it was only 5:30pm, 6 more miles, 2 more hours. Doable.
As I hurdled another log there was a smouldering piece of bark on the other side. Weird. No idea where it came from. So I mashed it up with my trekking pole and felt the ground. It was red hot. I dug the earth up and turned it over like the crazy Canadian said we should do. So I have now saved Oregon from another fire. Feeling good!
So I carried on, the smoke seemed to get a bit worse again. I was convinced that we might see Legend on the road but when I arrived Dana was already there and there was no Legend and no water in the cache either! I’m glad we went to the spring. Hoarder arrived and he was totally out of water. Dana an I donated him some of ours. I have just under 1 litre to get me the first 11 miles tomorrow. I had my dinner – a freeze dried meal that had 920 calories in it!! 920 calories! It was a Pad Thai and although it wasn’t as lovely as I was expecting it to be I still ate the whole thing.
Dana, Hoarder and I then all pitched our identical tents and blew up our matching air mattresses. I hate blowing that thing up every night, it takes ages and I get really light headed. Hoarder said it could be done in 6 breaths. So he tried to prove it. It can’t. He did it in 10 which is still pretty impressive compared to my 60 or so.
And then it started to rain…again. We heard a car coming. Someone to stock the cache? No.
31 mile day.