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Graniteandterrapin - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2010

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Granite & Terrapin Flyer
City: Northampton
State: MA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 15, 2010
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Fri, Sep 10th, 2010
Start: Ollalie Lake Yurt
End: Joe Graham Equestrian Camp
Daily Distance: 29
Trip Distance: 2,098.8

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 684
Journal Visits: 108,425
Guestbook Views: 2,237
Guestbook Entrys: 82

Gear list Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Hiker-Equestrian Relations

The yurt was warm and cozy overnight, with a temperature of 70. I
actually had to crack the window in the little room where Granite and
I slept. Sleeping outside most of the time has made many of us very
sensitive to stuffy environments. I'm sure Doublecheck felt better
with the heat, as his sleeping bag spent the night slung on a
clothesline we'd rigged up near the heater. Clothes and gear were
draped on every available hook, nail, chair, and curtain rod. It's
amazing to see dozens of belongings find their way to the appropriate
backpack after an event like this when seven soggy hikers share a 300
square foot space. Despite the apparent chaos, we all managed to get
packed up by 7:30 or so.

We walked down to the store where most of us had coffee before setting
off for the trail. The sky was clear, and we had a fantastic view of
Mt. Jefferson beyond Ollalie Lake. We'd been hiking in clouds for the
past three days, and this was our first glimpse of the snowclad peak.
The Ollalie Lake Resort is definitely a place we would return to,
especially after having to essentially "yellow blaze" around a section
nearby - it would be a great base camp to launch a backpacking trip
around Jefferson Forest. There is no electricity or plumbing, there
are no phones, the boats are powered by oars - it's very peaceful.

We continued to follow the Forest Service rules and roadwalked from
the store for about three miles to the area where the PCT is open. It
turned out to be a glorious sunny day - Granite and I took a long
lunch and set up our tent to let it dry out. The boys we'd stayed
with at Ollalie Lake got ahead of us early, and we never saw them for
the rest of the day, but Goat hiked with us all day.

We made good time in the afternoon, reached and Joe Graham horse camp
around 7:30. We'd expected this to be like all the other horse-packer
camps we'd seen along the trail - a primitive campsite with hitching
posts for stock. We were surprised to find that this was a developed
campground with road access, dumpsters, pit toilets, picnic tables,
water spigots, and (we later learned) a camp host overseeing it all.
The place was packed with equestrian folks in car-camping mode. There
were vehicles and horse trailers everywhere, and many enclosures with
multiple horses in each. Apparently the trails around here are a
popular destination. OIt was dusk, so we found a site and began
pitching our tents, but we were interrupted by the camp host - a sort
of civilian ranger who collects fees and nudges folks to follow the
rules. She told us we can't camp there - it's for horse campers
only. She was rather brusque about it, and suggested we hike a mile
south along the PCT, and take a half mile side trail to the backpacker
camping. We weren't going to backtrack, and were planning to camp
alongside the trail in some marginal spots we'd noticed on the short
side trail to this campground. But first we had to get water.

We took turns at the nearest spigot and the three of us were almost
done when a gentleman in a cowboy hat came over to chat. "Are you all
hiking the PCT?" We answered "Yes". "Do you want a beer?" "YES!". He
fetched three beers and apologized that they were Coors Light, but we
were happy and enjoyed chatting with him while we sipped the
unexpected treat. His name is Tom, and eventually he asked us where
we were staying. We explained that we had to find a spot elsewhere
because we'd been asked to leave by the camp host. He was indignant
and immediately marched over to her trailer, returning with permission
to add us to his compound of campsites. As we followed him to their
kitchen area he listed off all the food options we were welcome to
enjoy. We pitched our tents and then joined the gang. There were
about 8-10 people there, and several left the campfire to serve us hot
dogs, potato salad, beers, fruit, brownies, and strawberry rhubarb
cobbler. Carla, Carmen, Anita, and Mark were particularly interested
in hearing about our experiences and methods, and comparing these to
the horse packing life. After making sure we'd had enough food, Tom
sat back and watched the socializing with a contented smile on his
face. Everyone was so kind and easygoing, we had a wonderful time
chatting with them all and felt so welcomed - it was a complete
turnaround from those moments when we'd been asked to leave the
campground. We thanked them all repeatedly before going to bed - we
knew we'd be up and out before any of them stirred in the morning,
though they'd invited us to stay for breakfast. We would have been
tempted but the ever present need to cover miles won out.

Goat has called this a breakthrough in hiker-equestrian relations.
These are two groups that don't always understand each other's needs.
Each impacts the trail in different ways, but we are all out here to
enjoy the beauty of natural places, and the company of like-minded
individuals. We found we had a lot in common with these folks, and can
respect their different approach. We certainly enjoyed their company
and they were very kind to us.

Terrapin

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Granite & Terrapin Flyer

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org

 

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