Ice and a trip to Portland
Pacific Crest Trail Quest '08 - Page 25
It was foggy when I woke up this morning and I kind of enjoyed it. It's interesting to have
weather other than sunny every now and then, although I'll probably hate the fog by the
time I get through Washington. It didn't take long for the fog to burn off, and I was glad it
did, since I was hiking by some outstanding mountains, including Mt. Washington. I
cooked lunch at Highway 20. My foot hurts from walking on lava rocks, but I've seen mile
marker 2007, which is less than 150 miles from the Washington State line.
I fought the snow again for much of the day, but was able to keep track of the trail pretty
well. There were a few super steep crossings where a fall would probably be fatal, but I
made it through without any problem. I really hope I get out of the snow soon.
It's cold and really windy tonight. I found a spot that's out of the wind to pitch my tent, but
it's on a bit of an incline. Actually, it's on the side of a hill. I'm going to be sliding to the end
of the tent all night, but at least I'll be sort of warm.
It was way too cold for a good night's sleep last night and I set out exhausted at first light. I
immediately ran into nearly vertical snowfields covering the trail. The snow was too hard
slid nearly 200 feet before I was able to stop myself. Luckily, aside from a sore rear, I was
I managed to climb back up and find the trail again, where I met a hiker who was just
finishing packing up his camp. He'd had an equally bad experience with the snow. It took
me two hours to cover the next two miles of trail. I reached tiny Shale Lake and decided to
look for a way out. It was just too dangerous to continue. I found a trail on the map that
led to the highway. It was two miles east, but all down hill. I decided to go for it after I ate
The other hiker showed up as I was eating, and he was more than ready to head down as
well. We set out on a steep 2,000 ft. down climb. We crossed a creek at the bottom and
started looking for the trail. It was tough going. Everything was overgrown with thick,
thorny undergrowth and walking was nearly impossible. We had crossed the spot where I
thought the trail should be a while back, and I was just about to apologize to Danji, the
other hiker, for dragging him into this mess, when he yelled he had found the trail.
I hadn't expected it to be much of a trail at all, but it was really nice. We hiked about a
quarter mile when we ran into the last thing we expected to see, two ten year old boys. We
then ran into their parents and about 20 other people on the next 4 miles of trail.
Apparently, this pretty little trail with all its lakes is very popular.
We reached the surprisingly busy trailhead just as some people were leaving, and scored
a ride about 30 miles to a town that I think is called Grove. We had an excellent dinner at a
Mexican restaurant, and Danji set off to hitch back to his home in Portland. I got a $45
room at the nicer than I expected hotel down the road.
I slept in, enjoying the warm clean bed, then walked to the Mexican restaurant for lunch. My
foot still hurts so I'm getting an ice pack. After lunch, I set out to hitch to Salem to buy an
ice ax. It was an easy hitch, but there wasn't an ice ax to be found in Salem. I called Danji
and he said he would take me to REI and I was welcome to stay with him at his parent's
house if I came to Portland, so I took the Greyhound to Portland.
Danji and his parents were great. I got my ice ax and Danji's mom was really happy to be
a trail angel. I had plenty of good food and beer and spent my second consecutive night in
a real bed. It was great!
Danji's mom cooked a great breakfast for us. Then Danji and I took off in his car for the
town of Government Camp. I thanked Danji for all of his help and set up camp in the
woods outside of town.
I've been asking around town about the next section of trail on Mt. Hood. It sounds like it's
really dangerous, and a climber was killed on the mountain yesterday. I really want to hike
Mt. Hood, but it's not worth getting killed, so I think I'll hitch to the back side of the mountain
and pick up the trail where it should be less snowy. It's not worth getting killed for a nice
view. My foot's better, but it still hurts. I've gone 2155 miles so far!