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State: The Shire
Country: Middle Earth
Begins: Apr 9, 2014
Date: Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Entry Visits: 903
Journal Visits: 17,412
Guestbook Views: 3,643
Guestbook Entrys: 84
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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It's a good thing I don't blog for a living; at this rate, I'd be eating once a week. To be perfectly honest, I've never enjoyed writing that much. But sitting here in my tent by a stream, very much alone, I feel a little less so by sharing my experiences with you. My hope is that you get an ounce of enjoyment while reading about them.
In central Oregon I had as close a call with wildfire as I'd ever like to experience. 22 miles north of Hwy 58, on the boundary of the Three Sisters Wilderness, I crested a ridge to see smoke billowing out of the trees to my northeast. As of the day before, there were no reported fires in this area, so I was surprised and concerned. A surveying plane and a water helicopter flew directly over me, confirming my worries. Relieved to have cell signal, I was able to reach Jeff, who found the fire dispatch phone number. A friendly dispatcher said "Yep, you're close to a brand new fire; you need to turn around". At this point, the thought of heading south is incredibly disheartening. I looked at my maps and saw I was near a forest service road which led west, away from the fire and toward a popular car campground. Dispatch ok'd this alternative, and I headed that way. Thankfully, Jeff was able to pick me up and shuttled me around the new closure. "Better safe than crispy" was our verdict on the whole situation.
The Three Sisters were a beautiful sight once back on trail- snowy, jagged peaks with lava flows all around. They faded as Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Hood appeared, white peaks dotting the horizon.
Nate joined me at Santiam Pass and we hiked the last 160 miles of the state together. Northern Oregon held true to its reputation and put our rain jackets, tent fly, dry bags, and patience to the test. Instead of cleaning out dirt from between my toes at night, I started inspecting for mushrooms. And the matter of clean vs. dirty quickly became dry vs. wet. On the bright side, rain does make things grow...and we happily stood surrounded by wildflowers picking raspberries, thimble berries, huckleberries, and blueberries while the rain pattered on our hoods.
Now I'm in Washington and earning beautiful views during days of 5,000' of climbing. Today I passed through the Goat Rock's Wilderness. In the picture, see if you can find the trail...it follows the ridge between the glaciers, a stretch aptly called the Knife's Edge. Mt. Adams is behind me, and a snow covered Rainier is in my sights. Less than 400 miles to Canada!
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