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BassBoneBob - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2018

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BassBoneBob
City: Grand Rapids
State: Michigan
Country: USA
Begins: May 23, 2018
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Jun 23rd, 2018
Start: Campsite at mile
End: Campsite at mile
Trip Distance: 438.3

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 756
Journal Visits: 7,814
Guestbook Views: 73
Guestbook Entrys: 10

Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

View: 1  2  3  4  5 
(Click image for full size)


Note to self... never eat anything bigger than your head!

Day 31 & 32 - 2018 PCT Epilogue

Friday & Saturday, June 22 & 23
Emily and I arrived at The Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks at about 5
p.m. To recap, She had joined me for the final 111.1 trail miles starting
at Brietenbush Lake, where Jenny dropped us off on Father's Day, 6 days
ago. This was our planned stopping point for this year and I was certainly
ready for an "in town" stay. Emily was experiencing her first bout of
"hiker hunger" and was also ready for a big (veggie for her) burger and a
beer! Jenny had been working all week at Newport Beach, on the Pacific
Ocean with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or OMSI for short.
She would be driving in later from Portland to meet us for a weekend
camping trip to Mt Rainier National park in Washington. Our PCT hiking
companions, Riley and Brian had already arrived in town around noon and
were staying a couple nights at Shrek's place, a Trail Angel in Cascade
Locks with a shower and laundry!

We wasted no more time celebrating at the bridge and high-tailed it down
the street to the Cascade Locks Ale House, a hiker friendly restaurant that
offered a free first beer to thru-hikers. Jules runs the place and she was
awesome, offering us a place in a back room for our packs and a custom made
"hiker box" to peruse. She made Emily and I feel like celebrities seating
us at a table next to the window with a pitcher of ice water and outlets to
charge our devices. My free beer disappeared before I had a chance to look
at the menu, but when Jules told me about the PCT Hiker Special, the menu
wasn't needed. This is no joke!...

A 7 inch personal pepperoni pizza as the bottom bun, 3 - one third of a
pound hamburger patties covered with a thick slab of cheddar cheese, 3
strips of bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and another inverted 7 inch
pepperoni pizza as the top bun... all for $ 15!

I have no idea how many calories were in this gargantuan burger, but I
ended up eating the whole thing without feeling stuffed! However... for the record, I wasn't
interested in eating again for the rest of the evening. With full stomachs,
Emily and I made our way to Shrek's place, just a couple blocks away and
set up camp in the large fenced-in back yard. I took a shower, started my
load of laundry, and temporarily changed into some clean shorts and a tee
shirt from a stack of clothing available for hikers to wear while your
clothes were in the wash. Emily walked to Thunder Island Brewing with Riley
and Brian, while I waited for my laundry and for Jenny to get there... we
joined them a short time later.

The brewery also had a cool thing going where local patrons can
"pay-it-forward," buying a beer for a PCT thru-hiker. We each ordered our
"free" beer that came with a coaster that had a message of encouragement
and congratulations from the unknown benefactor. It is yet one more example
of the incredible generosity, thoughtfulness, support, and love from
complete strangers along the trail. The surreal part of the night was yet
to come on our walk back to Shrek's house... no, we did not see Big Foot...

Thunder Mountain Brewing is literally on the other side of the tracks from
town. Jenny and I got there by walking along the road a half mile to a
trestle, crossing under the tracks, and then a half mile walk back to the
brewery. The other 3 had followed a hidden trail down a steep embankment
that cut across the tracks, saving them a mile of walking. A few minutes
before we were to leave the brewery a freight train approached very slowly
and eventually stopped completely, blocking the shortcut back. Emily
jokingly said "let's just climb over the the coupling between two boxcars."
Everyone, especially me, said an emphatic "NO WAY!" But young minds and
tired legs overcame common sense, and before I could protest, everyone was
climbing up a steel ladder attached to the end of a box car, crossing over
the train hitch, and climbing down another ladder on the other side. We
were technically trespassing and could have been arrested, or killed if the
train started moving. It made this irrational moment in time more
terrifying than anything I did on the trail this year!

On Saturday morning my girls and I packed up our camping gear, loaded the
van, and went to breakfast at The Bridgeside Restaurant with big windows
and great views to The Bridge of the Gods and the Columbia River... with excellent maple bars and
coffee too! After breakfast we met Riley and Brian to drive over the bridge
to Washington, park the van, and walk back to the middle of the bridge for
photos. Riley and Brian were taking a zero day in Cascade Locks, so we said
our final goodbyes and continued on to Mt Rainier National Park.

It was great to be together again with Jenny and Emily starting a new
little weekend camping adventure in another incredible national park of the
west! The plan was for us to camp one night together at Mt Rainier NP, then
on Sunday they would drive back to Portland for work and leave me by myself
until Tuesday night when the rest of my family would arrive by car from
Michigan. For me, the euphoria of hiking the PCT had not yet worn off
whatsoever. I was eager to do a couple more days of hiking with my two
Oregon girls, and a couple days of solo hiking a part of the famous Mt
Rainier Wonderland Trail and several other day hikes at the park.

We got there just in time to get the last site at the "front-country"
Ohanapecosh Campground, then set up quickly, and drove up to a foggy and
very snowy Paradise Lodge and Visitors Center. We picked up some maps and
talked to a Ranger for advice about our hiking plans before driving back
out of the clouds to a wonderful late afternoon sun and views of the
extraordinary alpine scenery at Reflection Lake. We had just enough
daylight left for a hike to Silver Falls with raging whitewater coming off
of Mt Rainier and funneling through a gorge with 30 foot drops. A nice
campfire put the finishing touches on a busy day of travel, sightseeing,
and time together in this beautiful area of southern Washington.

For more pictures and videos go to my Instagram page: @bassbonehiker

*(COUNTER-clockwise. Valid values: 90, 180, 270)*

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Pacific Crest Trail 2018

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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