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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
Begins: Jul 17, 2010
Entry Visits: 1,703
Journal Visits: 8,577
Guestbook Views: 340
Guestbook Entrys: 7
Photo note: I realized that I had photos for the 16th entered on the journal entry for the 17th. That has been corrected and new photos have been added to the entry for the 17th.
After a great breakfast, and after Nancy drove the hikers up to the trailhead, we prepared for our ride down to Chico. Buzz and Lucy offered to take us to their home in Magalia for the day and then take us to the Chico Amtrak station later that evening. We accepted their offer and loaded our packs into the back of their pickup. After thanking our hosts we head down to Oroville, then up to Magalia. The road between Bucks Lake and Oroville is your typical twisty mountain road and I start to get some motion sickness again. Reminder of last year heading back to the trail after the Kickoff. Buzz takes it easy (which he was anyway) and manages to find a place to pull off and stop several times for me to take a breather and let my stomach calm down. I guess I should add dramamine to our backpack first aid kit....sheesh. We manage to get to their house without me losing my breakfast and all four of us decide to catch an afternoon nap. That helps a lot and I wake up feeling back to normal.
We offer to buy them dinner and we head into Chico, getting there about 5pm. After a good steak at Roadhouse, we head over to the train depot. Like the depots in most towns, it's not in the best neighborhood but the waiting room is open and we claim a bench when one opens up. There is no Amtrak personnel here, only a single Greyhound clerk who, 15 minutes after our arrival, announces that he is leaving for the day and locking the station doors. He allows us to remain inside since we have Amtrak tickets but if we go outside we will not be able to get back in. Well, OK. There are bathrooms, and we have food and water with us which is a good thing because the two drinking fountains in the waiting area don't work. The few people who stay in the waiting room leave on the next Greyhound bus, except for one guy who is catching the next bus. We don't visit with him much but we do learn he is 48 years old, on his way to Redding, and has been in and out of prison since the age of 16. Seems nice enough and says he wants to get off the alcohol and drugs and go to college. Realizing and admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it, so we wish him well and hope he is successful.
So, after he leaves on the 9pm bus we have 5 more hours to wait until train time. Did I mention the northbound Amtrak comes through at 2am? Ah...correction...it's SCHEDULED to come through at 2am and sometimes it's pretty close to that. Today it's running over an hour late. So we end up with a nine hour wait in the station and then an eleven hour train ride. Silver lining? Because it was running late, some of the trip south of Dunsmuir was in daylight instead of darkness.
We had breakfast in the dining car again like we did last year. The food is pretty good and the service is great. We were almost back to running on time when we pulled into Klamath Falls but then we got a delay. There were five drunk passengers that the train crew was removing from the train and one threw a punch, which resulted in assault charges. The Klamath Falls police needed to get a statement from the Conductor so we were delayed about 30 minutes. Other than that, it was an uneventful trip home and we arrived at the Eugene station a little after 1pm. My parents once again picked us up and provided us a ride home.
So, an early end to our hike and we are sad it turned out this way. We are again very thankful to those who helped us this year. We are thinking that our next attempt will be someplace in Oregon or Washington where we are more familiar with the conditions. We will likely give California a break for a while.
Snowplow & Rubber Legs
Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2010
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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