PCT Day 81 – Tipsoo Peak

PCT Day 81 – Tipsoo Peak

19.9 miles, near 1861.8

• Woke up to a cooing and chirping chipmunk, couldn’t tell if it was a bird or what at first, just a few feet from my head in a tree.

• We hiked past a smoldering fire just off the trail, likely a duff fire started by lightning a few days ago. We used as much water as we could spare to douse hot spots, then called the forest service to report it. No flames, but definitely hot with potential to get worse.

• We got to a major road and had an opportunity to get a ride to diamond lake resort, but decided to hike on through. Too soon for a break like that. (Wow look at us being good hikers!)

• It was all uphill in the morning. We stopped for lunch on the north side of Mt Thielsen, the mountain looming large above us.

• It got even more difficult in the afternoon. We trudged through thick snowfields and followed footsteps in the snow through exposed areas, then traversed smaller drifts in the forest.

• We reached a river flowing from the mountain with a sketchy snow bridge. The water was flowing pretty fast, but we didn’t have any issues. (Actually, the issue is my water filter flow and how awfully slow it takes to fill a liter)

• The snow slog continued uphill through clouds of mosquitoes. We navigated more snow drifts with 16 miles of water on our back.

• We hit the PCT high point of Oregon (and apparently Washington?) at 7560 feet. All down hill from here boys.

• We made dinner when we got to camp, but couldn’t eat it before taking refuge in our tents from the mosquitoes. 730pm and no plans to leave the tent until morning.

• We have some cell service from our spot on the ridge, which is always nice. There’s also a nice view to the east, partially blocked by trees.

PCT Day 80 – Grouse Hill

PCT Day 80 – Grouse Hill

11.7 miles, near 1841.9

• We ate breakfast and got ready for the 9am trolley to take us the 5+ miles to rim village. There was a sign on the info board saying the trolley wouldn’t be running today, but nobody in the store knew anything about this, cool. The trolley came on schedule anyways ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The rim village store didn’t have deet either.

• We hiked a few miles around the lake before Twinkle and Nibbler told us they were bailing out, getting off the trail for good. This was a surprise, we were all sad. We said our long goodbyes and 4 of us continued hiking.

• We moped along and took a break to play some cards and drink some leftover beers.

• We crossed paths with Yardsale’s friend “Beerback” and stopped to talk a while. He and her hiked the desert together before she flipped north with us.

• The trail continued north away from crater lake and flattened out with lots of places to camp. We picked a spot next to a meadow, hoping for a breeze to keep the mozzies away. This strategy didn’t work and we were in bed before sunset. Their buzzing is audible outside the tent and the crickets are chirping extra loud and high pitched.

• Camp is definitely a little depressing without our 2 friends, but it’s still nice to have a good group of 4.

PCT Day 79 – Crater Lake

PCT Day 79 – Crater Lake

• Checked out of the hotel on time, that was a first. We scheduled a taxi for 230, so we killed some time at the diner and saloon next door.

• Yardsale got a milk shake at lunch, same sassy waitress from yesterday gave her extra extra whipped cream, which yardsale aggressively inhaled.

• Got our ride back up to crater lake, and it’s raining out. The campground hiker/biker site was closed due to fallen trees. Someone was offering extra space at their site to hikers, but we opted to rent a room. We are really good at hiking.

• The entire Mazama Village experience is generally awful. The cafe food is expensive and mass prepared, the store was out of deet and didn’t offer fuel canisters, the ATM was broken, the campground was full and didn’t offer any solutions for thru hikers, the shuttle to the rim only runs in the morning, the post office is miles away, the backcountry permit office is miles away, you basically need a car to get anything done.

• Back at the room, God and Bradley got their legs shaved by the ladies, because why not? I think they may come to regret it.

PCT Day 78 – Prospect Zero

PCT Day 78 – Prospect Zero

• Went to the diner for breakfast. We had a very sassy waitress, she wouldn’t take our order unless it was spoken perfectly with correct grammar, like “may I” not “can I” please get the 3 egg scramble. She cut her teeth in the breakfast business in Georgia. Down there, you say “shake that egg” if you want your eggs scrambled and “fry that pig” if you want bacon.

• Met a guy at the table next to us who flew his small plane from Medford to Prospect, just to eat breakfast at the diner. After he left, his friend waved us outside to watch him fly by on his way out. Still 500 ft up, but pretty neat.

• Went to do laundry, but needed quarters. A sign said to get them at the visitor center. An old man at the center asked “hope y’all have a gun?” That will forever be the worst thing a hiker could pack out.

• Another noteworthy item from the visitors center, mark your calendars, there will be a “goodbye to Joyce” BBQ dinner on 7/20

• We made reservations to eat dinner in the hotel restaurant, another treat from yardsale’s parents. The wine was flowing and I turned in for bed early again.

PCT Day 77 – Prospect

PCT Day 77 – Prospect

12.0 miles, near 1820.9

• It was colder than expected last night, didn’t sleep too great. It also could have been the “midnight mocha” drink mix I had at dinner with instant coffee listed as an ingredient. There was absolutely no indication of caffeine on the packaging, so I assumed it was just hot chocolate.

• Found the road around noon, lots of cars but nobody stopping for a hitch. We walked about a mile and into Crater Lake National Park, stopping at mazama village for lunch.

• It’s yardsale’s birthday this week, turning 25, and her parents wanted to treat her and our group to a night in town. They found a bed and breakfast in a town called Prospect, about 45 min west of crater lake. They also found a taxi cab that would come pick us up and bring us down to Prospect. We told them we were at the Annie Creek restaurant at crater lake, but the taxi misunderstood and went to the Annie Creek restaurant in Medford, which was in the opposite direction. This confusion pushed our ETA back to 7 or 8 pm, so her parents booked a second night in Prospect to make the whole trip worth the time and effort. All of this is happening on very limited WiFi FaceTime and multiple levels of phone tag.

• We sat on some benches in front of the restaurant, all of our stuff surrounding us. We bought a 12 pack of Coors from the general store just in case we couldn’t find beer in Prospect, but ended up drinking the whole case while waiting. We were pretty sure the gas station would sell us beer, but bought another 2 cases just to be safe 🤞🏼

• The taxi finally showed, and somehow we fit 6 packs in the trunk of her Buick, and 6 dirty hikers inside. Luckily the car had a spot to sit in between the driver and front passenger, otherwise it would have been 5 in back.

• On the ride down, we somehow got to singing the do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do song from sound of music. I told everyone about the drinking version we sang at the bone haus in college, they got a kick out of that.

• We arrived in Prospect, checked in to our room, shotgunned a beer in the parking lot, realized there was a family getting in their car, and hid behind the corner.

• We walked to the bar, they weren’t serving food, so we continued down the road to a pizza place. I think we would have been eating camp meals if pizza wasn’t open, there’s nothing else in town. The family we saw in the parking lot was also at the pizza place. We ordered 3 ‘zas to share, they brought them out one by one as they cooked. We hurried to eat the first one just to impress the waiter. He said “wow, y’all must be hungry”. Nailed it.

• We had a couple pitchers and stumbled back to the hotel. A truck came to a stop sign perpendicular to us and turned onto the road behind us as we were galloping like dinosaurs. The driver rolled down his window and asked “y’all okay?”