Wednesday, 26 August 2015

2400 stony miles 😀

25/08/15 33.5 miles in the bag, leaving only 92 miles to Steven's pass. Little news on the trail about the fires apart from 3000 volunteers have stepped forward and the military have stepped in. I did hear that highway 20 opens then closes then reopens (this is great news). However its all jumbled messages that appear to be out of date as soon as they are said. I will pit stop in Snoqualimie Pass to see if there are any updates. I have to say, I maybe a little disappointed to have already reached mile 2380 (soon to be 2400 miles), feeling strong and currently injury free to have to make a detour around the last bit of the trail. Nonetheless, the fires are massive and I have several clear views of them.



23/08/15 stopped in White Pass for a quick feed and resupply (4 hour stop). Although there weren't any showers, I did manage to wash my clothes, send some of my not very often items to Manning Park (to lighten my backpack) and successfully demolished 2 egg and ham muffins, mountain dew, 3 snicker bars, a small burrito and a bag of apple rings (a fab breakfast). By noon I was back on the trail and looking to clear x2 hills.

After a spectacular fall that ripped my trainer and bruised my finger and ego things started to change.   Very quickly the Mount Adams (I think) smoke was all around and getting thicker by the moment- it should have not been in this area. It certainly wasn't bad enough for me to turn back and assured that if the fire was close, helicopters would be buzzing overhead but having yet another day (its been 5 days) without signal or wifi at White Pass - getting updates on the fire situation is difficult especially as it changes minute by wind changing minute. Smoke fills the valleys (and lungs) and the big (its closed 100 miles of the trail further up) seems to be moving and the detour route that I was hoping to take (via highway 20) has been also closed and evacuated- without phone connection I cant look for another plan or route. At this stage, my thoughts turn to those who have been evacuated and the fire fighters. 

22/08/15 woohoo! Back to the mountains again with stunning smoke screen views. It was so great to be back in the open but jeeez it was hard stony work!! I may have even got my first beginning of a blister for the whole of the now 2300 miles completed 😀 The smoke is definitely in the air and does make it hard to breathe at times.

21/8/15 another 33 miles in the bag! So good to be back there again. I really thought that the flat Oregon days of bagging the 30+ were over! I got very close to the start of the 10 mile mountain climb but I can smell smoke. Funny seeing the public order that closes the trails leading off the PCT. 


19/8/15uggg 10 miles of up and by'eck it hurt. Perhaps it was the beer mid morning given by two angels ( and burger and chips!! - so fantastic and totally perfect in every way) .... but more it probably was because of the relentless up up and more up .. without views!! 

18/08/15 of course I had to stay for breakfast! Hmmm breakfast burrito and coffee - it set me up a treat. I walked across the Bridge of the Gods which was an amazing experience in itself! It is a bridge high up but it's holey! This means you walk on a metal grate!! Sudden flash backs of getting stuck half way up a shop stairs (because they had no backs and therefore were holey) .... but gripping my phone in one hand and walking poles in the other  ... with my eyes firmly on the 'bridge of the gods sign' ....I wasn't struck down with lightning and the bridge didnt crumble so I made it to the other side with the biggest grin ever!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Patchwork bivvi 😀

17/08/15 well with a hop skip, walking behind a waterfall 
and 7 miles into Cascade Locks (and patching up of my bug net and bivvi from the nights activity) .... I have reached the end of Oregon. So, that means I have only Washington State to cross. It is now so exciting and just so close but confident I shouldn't be as the next and last stage is back to the big elevation climbs/ascents. It will however be great to get back to the high mountains... but for the rest of the day - its shower, laundry, rest and refill food and energy. Tomorrow I will cross the Bridge of the Gods 😀

16/8/15 after leaving the communications tower and beautiful sun rise at Timberline lake - today might well have been a 36 mile day -I can't be sure as it was an alternative route n the PCT so that I can go on a prettier trail that has a waterfall that you can walk behind.

15/8/15 20 miles of up, up and more up , I thought that it would be difficult and harsh. In fact it was only until I reached the 1 mile sandy climb just before Timberline Lodge that that the sweat poured and I made the decision that I would only do 29 miles and stop at the lodge for a beer and pizza(and cheesecake on the third floor). Timberline lodge is an amazing place, unique and I was very pleased (aside from the sandy climb) that I stopped. Sadly it does mean that the route tomorrow will be even longer 😀😀😒

14/8/15 stunning views and hiking today again and it turned out to be a long haul ... The over 30 miles a day are now a must .... but hard on the feet.  I finished the day drinking hot chocolate at the lake and awoke after an amazing sleep to the misty lake in the morning .... stunning.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Got to mile 2000 😀😅😀

11/8/15 2000 mile mark reached!! Woohoo! Decided to celebrate this marker by booking into a hotel aka place with a super bed that I have not slept in for a couple of months!

I was picked up by a wonderful lady at the trail junction at highway 20, just as i reached it (so no waiting at all). What a great day (apart from running out of water - but yep ... that's another story. So time for bed, sleep, rest, big breakfast tomorrow before carrying on the trail ... Just 670miles to go.... 😀 

10/8/15 33.5 miles in the bag but I had hoped to get to 36.5 mile mark. Feet were starting to hurt and I came across a great stopping place.

Highlight today was going through the lava field. The scale is off the wall and its like being on a different planet.

 It is a little hard on the feet ... Walking on lava rocks or uphill in sand is never the best. More tomorrow .... But.... Drum roll please .... Mile 2000 is also tomorrow too 😀😎😀

9/8/15 a surprise trail angel station today... Like a kid in a sweet shop. They had set up a table with eggs, BBQ, lemonade, beer, fruit, cakes, m&ms ... The list goes on. Absolute magic!

I stopped for a good hour or so but still managed to complete 34.5 miles today! Landed up next to a lake ... Great to have so much water and to be able to soak the feet 😀

8/8/15 a quick as I could, 13 miles into shelter cove resort, got me to the door, after a late start (another freezing night again), morning break (to dry my bivvi and sleeping bag, at 11.30am. After a little frustrating 'resupply' and half charging my phone and charger at 6pm I left the resort to do another 8miles to the top of the hill.

7/8/15 no alternative routes for me, even after a super cold night. Any thoughts that I had of ditching my sleeping bag to make my load lighter were erased last night. Hat, gloves and down jacket were on last night but made little impact! 
Nonetheless a great days hike although slowed by spending an hour collecting water from a spring that was down a side trail (but the last water for 20 miles!). Of course when I say 'down a side trail' - i mean 1 mile down a gulley that had its own switchbacks because of the steepness! How the chimpmonks that were happily playing at the top must love us hikers ..... Watching us leave our bags (containing food) at the top of the trail, long enough for them to rummage around, set up a stall for others and have a party! No matter, today I completed 34 miles - the longest day for miles so far. 

6/8/15 crater lake was amazing and I took the rim trail so that i could see it in its full glory. Simply amazing!

5/8/15 stopped after 16 miles at Mazma and went straight into the restaurant without a shower ir laundry. In, started with a salad bar, lemonade, ale .. Then had the biggest burger the had - with more lemonade, ale and finished it off with a ice-cream milkshake. I guess that is what you get when you run out of food but still hike 30miles (with a sleep in the middle) - so hungry - I am not sure that I have eaten so much in such a short amount of time! Needless to day I didn't leave the resort until 6pm and only managed 5 miles up the hill to the crater lake village (rim village) - but it was great to see the magical sun set, fires burning and crater lake at its best. 

4/8/15 green tunnel uggg! But in one spot towards the end of the day .. as I approached the stream, the floor was covered with tiny frogs jumping out of the way. Amazing! 

Earlier in the pm, as I was climbing yet another hill, there was a helicopter with a water sack going backwards and forwards filling up from the near lake. Although it looked tiny and looked like trying to put a fire out with a thimble - clearly it was working. However I was amazed to see (when I was at the top of the hill) how close the fires were and how many! 

3/8/15 a round 32 miles today but it was mentally hard. Views were of trees only, little sunlight, hot, humid and after lasts night fiasco I was tired. Last night was a night of thunder and lightning (USA stylllee) and rain that meant that my bivvi bag was doing a Zippy  and George reenactment for most of the night. When eventually the rain stopped I had the great pleasure of listening to two owls who were twooing to each other (it sounded as though they were either side of my bivvi) for the rest of the night. 

2/8/15 uggg sleeping in the garden next to a highway is something that I will try to avoid in the future ... Although in this case the lure of 'eat as many pancakes as you want breakfast' was just too great! This meant that I finally got onto the trail at 9.30am (not the best time to start a 30 miler!). Nonetheless, belly full, coffeed up with plenty of sugar  in my system (and rolling hills) - I was able to complete 28.5 miles by supper, 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

29/7/15 next stop is saied valley - this one is on trail but has a 6 mile road walk leading to it. So after a couple of 30 milers with today meant to be an easy down hill (it wasnt) - we were met at the river by a couple who gave us a beer and later a lift to the rv camp. We accepted the beer (numbs the pain!) but declined the lift. 

30/7/15 new shoes!!! New shoes!!! As soon as the post office opened at midday - I was hot footing it through the door to collect the parcel that I sent myself. Hmmmmmm the feel of new trail shoes, soft, cant feel the stones underneath and no holes for the stones to enter the shoe. Heaven! Pure heaven. So in the pm a quick but extremely hot! 15 miler up a hill .... 

31/7/15 got to the Oregan border!! Less than 950miles to go. Wooohoooo!!!