Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Panther Creek

Captain's log - 7/7/2017 - 7/9/2017
Blister and Weezer reporting...
We stumbled into Panther Creek campground about 1:30. We are done. That is as far as Anita's feet will go.  They look like hamburger.  We are so proud of ourselves.
the camp hosts - Josh and Heidi are lovely, helpful folks.  They knew right away we were PCT'ers.  They don't have free spots anymore.  We paid for 2 nights and 2 bundles of wood. We were going to have a fire tonight!  We had dreamed of showers at the camp ground.  Nope, it's a primitive one.  BUT the pit toilets are super clean!  We set up camp and rested.  Just rested and talked and and relished in not moving.  Not having to pick up that pack.  I'm working hard to not be disappointed about not making it to Trout Lake.  The snow and ice are things I can't control and neither of us wanted to hike on an ice field.   I am proud of what we accomplished.  I feel very strong and able.  Up hill with 50lb packs was just something we didn't know.  You wouldn't until you've done it.  We will know next time.  There will be another over night hike in the future.  Probably not a week though.
Neither of us wanted any of the options for dinner so we had a few snacky things and tea. We both kept waiting for someone to offer us a hotdog and some chips.  LOL Didn't happen. AND neither of us eat hotdogs.  Anita built a wonderful fire for the evening.  It helped keep the mosquito's away.  We would also find out later it helped mask our smell. :)  That was good news.  We made our selves stay up and awake until after 8.  Then we went to bed.  It feels strange to be around so many people, barking dogs and cars.  I don't' know if I felt safer with people around or if I did when it was just us alone.  It felt weird I think.
I slept well. Well until my hips said GET UP!  We just had tea and bars for breakfast. Then we closed up our camp and were headed to find cell service. We wanted to let everyone know we were off the trail.  Make sure our pick up plans were all in place and to make sure Frank was still healing well.  We filled our water cups, each had our necessities and off we went.  Josh and Heidi said we would have to go about 2 miles to the highway to find cell service.  It felt funny being in our hiking clothes but not carrying our packs.  Just before the highway it seemed like we might have a bar or 2, but nothing went or worked.  Sigh. On we go.  Anita's feet hurt but it did help not carrying the packs.  We got to the highway and NOTHING.  I thought Anita might sit in the dirt and cry right beside the highway.  We set off towards the town.  About 4 more miles we thought.  A sheriff drove right by us.  Trust me, we were out of place.  It was weird he didn't even slow down.  All of a sudden a car pulls up and asks if we were looking for cell service. We both look at each other and go HUH?  He explained he had just dropped his son off to do a section of the PCT and was going to go with but had a medical problem and wasn't able to go.  So he had been at the camp ground and talking to Josh and Heidi and they told them we were just off and headed to find cell service.  He needed to make some plans and needed the internet for it so was headed to town. Would we like a lift?  UH I have never hitchhiked or picked one up so it was a moment for me! Anita turned her back and said we have our weapon's, I'm risking it.  LOL  His name is Scott, he's our trail angel!  Could not have been a nicer guy!  He asked about our hike, he was so proud of us and told us over and over.  He under stood it wasn't an easy thing we had done.  He dropped us off at a brewery in town while he went to make his arrangements.  We had the best ice cold drinks and pizza EVER!  I wanted something green so bad.  I had a wonderful salad.  When we were done we sent a message to Scott and he took us back to the camp ground!  Some day I will pay that forward and be a trail angel.  He was truly a gift to us that day!   We even had left over pizza for dinner!  It was so lovely only having to walk 2 miles instead of 12.   Anita is napping as I'm writing this (journal).  Her feet are so mad at her.  We realized all the people we saw hiking except the guy with Roxy were all women.  Interesting thought.
Frank will be here in the morning.  He said Noon but we both know it will be earlier then that.  We had a lovely fire again in the evening to chase the bugs away and for warmth.  No one offered us a burger or a hotdog again.  LOL BUT we had pizza.  We are both content and satisfied.  Now for a shower.
Frank was there to get us about 9.  It was lovely to see him.  We were all packed and ready.   We are both ready to be home.

Things we learned on the PCT..
~ Hold on to your trekking poles.
~ You can pick up your dropped pole by sticking the other one through the strap and lifting it up.
~ Don't put your sleeping bag bundle on a hill.
~A clean pair of socks and panties and a bandana brighten the outlook of the day.
~Brushed teeth are amazing!
~Don't over pack
~Nice people are every where!
~Don't let fear stop you.
~I hate being dirty
~Stand tall
~Look where you are going.
~A licked spoon is a clean spoon
~Carry a celebratory beverage in your pack.
~Don't put your trekking pole  through your shoelace
~Don't under estimate a well placed penis.

Weezer out........

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Foot bridge of Trout creek

We got up and got going at a good time.  We only had to go down, and down and more down.  Since we have changed our destination we only have to go about 6/7 miles.  The first order of the day is water.  It's a never ending issue when you are hiking.  We had started out earlier trying to beat the heat.  It was just hot and getting hotter.  We were in the middle of no where BFE and my phone started buzzing with texts.  Carmen asked about bears AGAIN!  NO BEARS.  I sent a few texts, Anita sent some and we started off again hoping they went.  We went about 20 steps and Anita's phone rang!  It wasn't a call she wanted to answer but I said HEY call Frank!  She talked to him and he's doing well after his surgery! That is good news!  Because we talked to him we don't have to hike out to the ranger station after all.  YEAH!  He's set to pick us up Sunday.  Still feels like a 100 miles away.  We will get there one step at a time.
We passed the highest point of the day and it was BEAUTIFUL over looking Trout water falls and creek and the valley before.  It was beautiful. That was where Chicago had sat on the cliff ledge and decided she was going to be good!  It was a beautiful spot.  
We walked about 4 miles to water.  Since it was hot we both took our shirts off and were sitting in our pants and bra's with our feet in the water trying to get cool.  Our shirts hung out to dry a bit.  We had a hot lunch since we had lots of water and time to relax. I said you know we are going to get caught in our underwear one of these times.  So far so good!  As we were putting our packs back on to get moving a Southbound guy and his dog Roxy came by.  Anita and I laughed so hard inside!    We showed him where we had found water with my app and compared it to his info and he was on his way.  He loved Anita's name.  It was his mama's name.
Onward march.  We also passed a women who was a PCTA volunteer with her dog.  We got to talk to her about the first leg of our hike.  They are needing to get out there and clear some trees.  We told her it wasn't bad but there was trees over the trail. Because the PCT is open to horses they have to keep the tree's off it.  It's all done by volunteers.  She was pleased she had run into us.
We got to Trout creek about 3 something.  It was nice to be not moving for a bit.  We both dropped our packs and wadded into the stream it was deep and cold!  We set up camp.  We rinsed out the things we wanted some what clean, and then hung them around the camp to dry.  It looked like a laundry basket exploded.  LOL SO us.
Another hiker came by and asked if she could camp by us.  She was so excited to actually meet someone.  She's been alone for 2 days.  She passed the people we had today.  She had gotten scared in the night and just really felt the need to be around people.  Well we were it. She was very interesting and fun to talk to.  She took our picture.  I was sitting in the dirt and there was underwear hanging in the bushes.  She asked if she could blog about us.  Oh sure.  LOL  As we were settling down for the night I started laughing because I knew our funny picture would be on her blog.  And it was!  She was talking as fast as we were and excited about her hike and meeting us. She all of a sudden sighed and said I think I finally got my 10,000 words in!  She was funny and nice. We had a lovely dinner and an early night with the thought that tomorrow we should get to the camp ground!

The dreaded shoes have to go back on. 

We are ready to greet the day!

The trees were HUGE in this part of the hike. 

Weezer out!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Blister and Weezer reporting

After falling asleep to the sounds of fireworks I slept really well!  I don't know if it was the break down, crying it out or being that close to a road.  But I slept well! Finally.
We woke up 7 ish and tried to get our day started.  Anita is not feeling it today at all!  Bless her heart.  Her husband is having surgery this morning.  (it came up after our plans and we were encouraged to still go - he's covered!) Her feet are killing her and now her guts are mad at her.  Neither of us are loving the processed food.  It tastes fine.  It's just a lot of stuff neither of us are used to eating.   We finally got us both situated and on the trail about 10:45.
The first order of the day is water.  It was a very rough start!  Up up up again! Then down then UP.  OH MY WORD!   We met a lovely young women headed South.  She started in Seattle 10 days ago.  She has had to bounce around to dodge the snow.  She graduated from college and this trip was a gift to herself.  She confirmed that Indian Heaven is still covered in snow so we were glad we have changed our plans.  We have named her Chicago.  That is where she is from.  She told us to stop at the ledge at the top.  She said she had sat there this morning and she KNEW she was going to be ok.  Her phone and watch had both broke. She was free styling it!  We told her how proud of her we were.  We offered her food but she wanted to finish what she started her way.  She was headed to friends in Portland after catching the bus in Bridge of the God's.   I hope she feels the love and is proud of herself too. She seemed to be overcoming her own ghosts.  Walking them off!
While we were getting water 2 women walked by us heading North.  They barely nodded.  It was a very slow hot climb today.  We stopped for lunch and to top off our water by a stream.  I had my pack off and shoes and socks and pants off before Anita had her back off.  I stood in the water and panted!  It was so hot and it felt so good! I washed parts and cooled off.  I soaked my shirt before putting it back on.  Not really hungry but ate a bar but drank gallon's of water I think.  It was a long hot climb back UP!   Anita really has struggled the last few miles.  Our solar chargers are crap so we are conserving our batteries.  We aren't using any apps except Guthook for water and camping info.  At one point I got several texts and sent some. We are never sure they go.  We are pretty sure it's over 100' today.  Since we changed our destination we don't have to hurry.  It was Anita's turn to have a break down today.  It's ok I've had mine. :)  I'm pretty sure if you asked us today, neither of us are ever doing this again.   Ask after we've had a hot shower and a real bed.
We camped on an abandoned road.  There were lots of camp sites.  There was a fire ring.  Neither of us are comfortable with a fire though.  It's just so hot and neither of us want to risk the fire or use the water to put it out.  It was a really nice spot. Tomorrow is a new day!
Blister and Weezer out..

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Happy Birthday America!

Blister and Weezer reporting.......
I'll just be honest from the get go, today was HARD!  We had a hard time getting going.  Doing chores and getting it all packed up was just a struggle. I slept very poorly.  I was hot then cold and awake often.  It was a bad night.  We went back to the spring to top off our water.  While we were filling up all of a sudden I can hear Anita talking to someone.  It was 2 gentlemen and a dog.  A ginormous husky. He was beautiful.  They filled up their water and talked to us while we did ours. They were day hikers.   After we filled up and finished packing it all back up we ran into them again.  Yes we were just that slow.  It was ok.  Last night we sat with my app and with Anita's map and figured out where we are going. We just can't make the miles we wanted. We are the only ones here and the ones doing the hike. This is for us and we have nothing to prove to anyone but ourselves. We are Hiking Your Own Hike.  HYOH.  
As we headed down the trail we ran into another day hiker with his dog.  We went down and down and down then up a bit and down some more.  I HATE going down.  My hips and knees were screaming at me.  The more we eat and adjust and move the heavier my pack seems. It is awful today. It was rather disappointing to go down so far after climbing UP for 2 days.  So much work.
I have had a really hard time controlling my thoughts.  Anita's feet are so bad and she is being so strong to keep moving.  I feel awful.  The cesspool of awful thoughts just circled and circled my brain and I couldn't make it stop.  What have I gotten us into, what if something bad happens, what if what if what if.... it was awful.  I had a really big meltdown.  Anita is so patient.  She let me cry, talked me down off the wall.  Anita is such a wonderful daughtersisterfriend.  I love her with my whole heart.  She was so strong when I just couldn't be.  All I could muster was one foot in front of the other.  I have not ever experienced not being able to control my thoughts like that.  It wasn't fun.
So we camped at Forest Rd 2070.  Elevation 1460. We cleared a spot just off the trail and off the road.  We stopped early. About 6:15.  It was a short day.  Since we have a new destination in mind we will have to hike off trail to a ranger's station we found on the map in hopes of cell service to let the guys know the new place. We just aren't going to make the miles and so we are doing the best for us.
Blister and Weezer out....

I told you, right in the middle of the trail.  Anita was D.O.N.E

No hitchhikers! 

Soaking her very sore feet. 

We are going to be OK!  


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Day 2 OR the one in which we wonder WTH!

We had a shortish night.  We both were awake every few hours.  But the sleep felt wonderful. We got up and had a bit of trouble moving. We both were stiff.  No surprise though.  Hot tea fixes things!  We shared an oatmeal breakfast.  Anita did such a good job with the food.  We did our morning chores and packed up.  In the middle of it all a women hiked through our camp. Remember I said we camped in the middle of the trail.  She had room.  LOL  She was the last we'd see for a long while. If we would have known we might have talked to her more.  We hit the trail at 10:30.
Some words for the day... BRUTAL, up hill, UP UP UP.  Beautiful fields of flowers.  Meadows, Bush whacking, Mountain goats would have been proud.
We know from my app that water was scarce.  So we were careful and moved with a purpose.  We had lunch on an abandoned logging road just beyond some power lines.  You could see people have camped under the power lines. Weird, they make a irritating noise.  So we walked beyond them a bit and sat on the road.  LOL  We didn't cook a hot lunch and that turned out to be good.  More on that later.  All day we have been visited and brushed by butterflies.  They are so beautiful.  All different colors and kinds.
The trail is so strange.  It changes directions all the time.  Seemingly without cause.  It seemed like we walked West forever before heading North.
We were just beyond a rock slide, in a semi wooded area and we heard it..  We aren't sure what IT is but we heard it and it freaked us out!  It sounded like a huffing in a hollow log, but really loud!  We never got our eyes on it but it made the hair on my neck stand up.  We moved off with a purpose clacking our poles!  My dad thinks maybe a badger?  NO clue.
We were on the trail just below a FSR and we heard 2 nasty boys talking.  We were worried they might be shooting so we talked loud and clanked our poles together.  They stopped talking when they heard us.
Anita is better at drinking while hiking then I am. So she ran out of water first.  Then I was out about 2 miles from our destination. We both could have panicked but we knew we could do it.  We found water at the Three Corner Spring.  Elevation 3350!  We filled our waters and walked back down the trail a bit and Anita said this is flat enough I'm done.  We set up camp again in the middle of the trail.  We were a bit off the PCT and since we hadn't seen anyone we weren't to concerned.  So off came the packs and up went the tent!  Anita almost lost her sleeping bag down the steep hill. Thank God for a well placed tree.  Poor Anita.  Her feet are a mess.  She has blisters on top of blisters.   We had dinner and she took care of her feet and we went to bed!  Mosquito's forced us into our tent after we did our chores and hung our food.  I don't think either one of us cared if we got ate by a bear or not.
Our list from the day was several different suspicious poops, Stellar Jay's. Red butt spider, green bug, banana slugs, and we heard an owl and the raccoons from the night before.   We only made just over 10 miles today.  We are going to reassess our plans/pickup place tomorrow night.  

Those did not load in order and I have tried to fix it and it's not working... The night one is the sunset through the trees as we ended our day.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Day 1 OR The one in which we have a reality check.

Let me back up, A month or so before we were slated to leave Anita and I went on a search to have the EXACT drop off and pick up point. The Husbands wanted to KNOW!  So that set us off on a 15 hour drive in the longest day ever!  We ran into closed roads due to snow and  trying to figure out a way around and so on. SO we drove down to  Bridge of Gods and headed North trying to get to Trout Lake that way.  NOPE not happening. On our way back towards home we stopped at the Trailhead on the WA. side of the bridge.  I said Oh man it's all up hill from here. What a ugly place to start.  Well guess where we started??? RIGHT!  All up hill from here.  NO joke!
We had an Odark30 meeting time in Seattle.  As we were meeting Anita realized she forgot her poles.  No worry we would just go get them. Since nowhere was open at 3:30AM.  So an hour plus detour put us a tad late, but no worries it's just us and our time so not a problem at all.  It really wasn't.  We got to Oregon and had breakfast for our big send off.  MAN were we full.  It was delicious! We knew it was as good as it was going to get for a week.  :)  We would not be hungry we knew but fresh wasn't on the menu.
We drove to the drop off and started sorting and putting the finishing touches on our packs.  Both of us have food issues.  One of us might have had some big ones surface in the planning of the week.  Not a problem.  We packed what we could.  Did some quick math of meals and left all that wouldn't fit in the car to come back home with Dh and Bugs.  Really not a problem.  It was just a moment of frustration and a little big of clarity from the get go that we might have packed to much.
Dh and Bugs left us at the Oregon side of the bridge.  It was 10 am. Our packs are so big and heavy neither of us can pick up put on without help.  Not cool!  LOL  So cinched up until you feel like puking and we are off!
The BOG is not a solid bridge.  It's GRATE.  OMG I thought!  trekking poles in one hand and the other on the rail.  HUGE wind gusts all the while walking on a see through bridge into on coming traffic.  OH GOOD TIMES!  Aren't we off to a grate (see what I did there) start! Once that was over I thought we are golden!  Right up until we posed under the sign at the trail head.  LOL  It's started off a nice sloping UP!  It just went more UP from there.  It was green and shady though so  a nice start to the day.  We were both a little surprised at how long you can hear traffic.  It was days before we stopped hearing trains though. I hike Up faster then Anita does.  So I put her in front.  She sets a nice pace.  I pant really hard the first hour.  It takes me a long time to get my breathing under control.  Once that happens we have a good rhythm. Anita decided I did it so she got the spider webs first.  Well that too.  LOL  We passed lots of day hikers or hikers heading back after the weekend.  We missed a sign post at a crossing but that only lasted about 100 feet when we decided that wasn't right.  We went back and TADA there was the sign.  I used the app I have a LOT for just that.  It was an amazing help. Anita has strengths in my weaknesses and visa versa.  We got to Gillett lake and I miss stepped and almost went ass over teacup down a cliff. Scared us both!  I hurt and my knees were knocking so I had to sit for a bit and gather myself.  Then we pulled my pack to an uphill spot and got it all back on and situated and off we went.  We wanted to have lunch at the lake but neither of us wanted to hike down to it. So we opted to keep walking a bit.  We found a lovely spot by a feeder creek and stopped and soaked our hot feet and got our water refilled and had lunch.  It was lovely.  The afternoon before us.... so off we went.  We didn't want to stop in the dark so we were looking at the app and map and had a goal. Table mountain.  Oh what we wish we would have known.  The last 2 hours were straight up and brutal.  We passed a few day hikers then nothing.  We got to the Table mountain trail head and it intersects with the PCT.  We set our packs down and we were done!  Right in the middle of the trail.  We were just fine with it. Walk around folks.   LOL I think that was the longest 11.88 miles in my life.   We had to organize and set up in the dusk.  We didn't like it and will try not to do that again.  We were so proud of ourselves!  Day 1 in the book!  We had dinner.  Not to shabby!  We did decide that a bar and a snack pack were not enough lunch and tomorrow we will have to do better mid day. We figured out how to bear bag our food and get it in the tree. We know it's not high enough but it's in the tree and away from the tent.  We were exhausted!  Off to bed.  Bring on the raccoons.  Those things are Chatty Cathy's!  We were so tired We didn't care for long.  We slept!  about 2 hour intervals but sleep!  It was awesome!

Bugs and Anita hugging it out. 

Us on the bridge

Out of order, before we crossed the bridge. 

Made it!

Gillett Lake, just before the fall. 

To be continued.........

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You just have to start....

OR, the one in which I ramble.

In 2013 I stumbled upon a blog by a guy who was walking the PCT as a through hiker.  He posted the most amazing pictures.  I have always loved walking and hiking.  I love taking pictures.  I thought Wow!  What a cool idea.
Time passes ... Then I saw the previews for the movie Wild.  A group of ladies I know had a book club and they picked Wild to read then we were going to see the movie.  I loved it.  So it started a spark.  I thought I would love to do something like this.  Not the whole thing.  I have no desire to hike in California where it's so hot you have to walk at night.  I don't want scary snakes and lots of other creepy crawlers. I also don't have a life I can just check out of for 5/6 months.  As lovely as that sounds, just not an option for us.  But wouldn't it be lovely to hike a section.  Just take a week or so and hike and take pictures.  Hmmm.  It did to me.
Last year a cousin and I made loose plans to do a small section.  She ended up not being able to go.  I was super sad and frustrated.  But life goes on.  We had our own issues and it was probably best in the long run to wait a year.
So my DaughterSisterFriend Anita is my hiking buddy. We have hiked so many miles together.  We started talking and training and planning and shopping. We decided we were going to do this! We are going to hike a section of the PCT.  We drug the boys on hikes they didn't want to go on.  We hiked hard hikes.  Every month we were hiking! Miles on our feet and packs to our shoulders. When we started planning our section we never took into account that we would have the biggest snows in years!  Sigh...  so we changed plans, again and several times again!  We were on plan Z.  But we were READY!  We decided to start on the Oregon side of the Bridge of the Gods and walk North to Trout Lake.  We wanted a 100 miles. I use the term WE loosely. I for some reason was fixated on 100.  For some reason that number was super important to me.  Anita and I both had lesson's to learn this week.  More on that later.  
My family was as supportive as they could be. They didn't understand the want to.  But they thought I could do it, mostly. :) Everyone was worried about people.  I wasn't at all.  I was worried about bears.  Cougars came into it too but mostly bears.  We took precautions. We had what we needed.  I think I was so preoccupied with allaying everyone else's fears I didn't really work on mine. Yet.
THE day came for us to leave.
A very short night and a super early morning.  Bugs and Anita sleeping on the way to the drop off site. 

Breakfast before we go. 

Cinch it up!

As ready as we are going to be.....
To be continued.......