Day 77: 15 | 2144.1

Got moving at six and all I had to do was the Eagle Creek Trail. I believe this is the only day where I hiked and zero miles of it was the PCT. I’m estimating the 15 miles since the ECT is four miles shorter than the PCT. The tunnel falls (which ECT is known for) was awesome. It was sweet to see it for myself after seeing it so many times on the Internet. 

Got to Cascade Locks at 11. I think this is the final trail town. It also happens to be very expensive. All the lodging was 100+. I contemplated just getting back on the trail but I bit the bullet and stayed in town. It cost $139 to stay at the Bridge of the Gods Motel. I pulled big days so didn’t even expect to be in Washington before August so I don’t feel guilty. I also plan to sell some of my belongings when I get home so I’ll make my money back.
Sonics family came to see her so I got to meet them. Nice people, they drove almost five hours to get to Cascade Locks. They took me out to lunch and dinner which was awesome. They also brought a ton of food and drinks, even laundry detergent
I bought some Epsom salt and took another foot bath like I did in Ashland. I’ll probably do that every day when I get home. Even though I’m tired I always stay up too late in town. It’s past midnight now so I think I should get some sleep. 


Day 76: 30.7 | 2125.1

Could not sleep last night. My body was so tired but my mind was like it was on caffeine. It was kind of loud by the lodge and hikers came by a few times past midnight. I still woke up at 5:30 and got to the lodge a little before six. I immediately go to the bathroom and then plug my phone in. The buffet didn’t open until 7:30 so I used the free wifi which was awesome.

At 7 I went to go pick up my box. Only 1.5 days of food in there but I already have too much left over. Oh well, only about 45 miles until Cascade Locks where I’ll spend less money because of this. 
The breakfast buffet was incredible. Definitely worth the wait. It was only $15.95 and the food was made by legit chefs who knew what they were doing. They had a pancake topping station with an assortment of fruits, butter and chocolate chips so I had two plates of that. My giant coffee mug was constantly being refilled as well. I would love to go back there again
Got back on trail at 9:15 and felt great with a full stomach. I wanted to get to Eagle Creek Trail so I pretty much just walked the shoe day. At 5ish I really hit a wall and got tired. The past few days have all been long and I got no sleep last night. I started to get the raw spots on my feet again so I had to walk on my tiptoes for the second half of the day. 
Got to Eagle Creek Trail at 8:40 and there were a lot of people camped there. I filed up water and started walking. Turns out this trail goes straight downhill so I couldn’t find a tent spot, just my luck. Ended up finding one around 9. 
I’m planning on spending the night in town tomorrow. My feet definitely need some rest. 

Day 75: 42.3 | 2094.4

Slept in for about 15 minutes after the late night. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna make it all the way to Timberline until I met a SOBO who said their breakfast buffet was incredible, I already knew it was good but that gave me the motivation to get there. 

It was a really hot day but I spent most of it in the shade, thank god. At 3PM I crossed a stream and saw the perfect chance to soak my feet so I did just that. The cold water felt awesome. Also took the time to rinse off my legs. I still had 18.5 miles to go so I didn’t stay long. 
The last mile or so was miserable. It was soft beach sand that pretty much slower me down to a mile an hour. This was at 9:30 at night so I was pissed. I end up getting to Timberline at exactly 10 and decide to just cowboy camp because it’s late. I saw a bunch of tents around so I didn’t want to make too much noise. 
I heard Timberline opens at 6AM but their buffet doesn’t start until 7:30. I’ll try and do at least 30 tomorrow. 
These bugs are already annoying me as I type this…

Day 74: 40.5 | 2052.1

Pretty normal day of hiking for the first half. Finally had to do a real climb in Oregon, the first and only. At 5PM I hit a wall. Just felt insanely tired and could probably fall asleep standing up
I decided to hike until 6 and find a break spot. At 5:58 I came up on a dirt road, perfect timing, but it got better. Turns out there was a little store called the Olallie Lake Store only .1 away. I knew this store was here but I wasn’t planning on going there. There was another sign that said there would be a PCT hiker dinner from 6:30 to 7:30. This was too perfect to pass up. So even though I had nine more miles I decided to get some caffeine, sugar and free food in me
The general store there ended up being very well stocked. I could have done a solid resupply. I grabbed a can of Mtn Dew and some other snacks and head over to the dinner. It was these trail angels that said they only do this one week out of the year, lucky me. They had taco salads do I devoured a couple of those. I could feel the energy coming back. 
I end up leaving at 7:30 and made it into camp by a little before 10:30, late day but worth it. 

Day 73: 34.3 | 2011.6

Got moving at 6 and went straight to Big Lake Youth Camp to pick up my box. Had to go through some annoying volcanic rocks that killed my feet. Made it there by 11:30 and they were very hiker friendly. I also had my final pair of shoes sent there. They should last me the final 650 miles. 

I immediately jumped in the shower and did laundry. Had mosquito guts all over me along with the blood. Gross. Felt amazing to be clean. They had lunch at 1PM so I got on that as well. Had a sandwich with chips, brownies and carrots. Felt good to eat something heathy, kind of. The great thing is that they do all this for only a donation, pretty incredible since most places would charge for shower, laundry, food and packages. 
Got back on trail at 3PM. I hiked until 5 when I stopped to take a piss. Took out my phone to see where I was and I was exactly at mile 2000, what are the odds? I was surprised there wasn’t a marking on the ground. I remember hitting 1000 like it was yesterday. It was the day I went into North KM. 
I ended up pushing until 9PM. I’m going to try and get Oregon over with ASAP. 

Day 72: 40.2 | 1977.3

Got moving a little after six. Bugs were bad from the start. I wore my rain jacket, head net and even gloves for the first half of the day. These mosquitos are relentless. It got better though, when I got to the Elk Lake Resort junction at 11 the mosquitos just vanished. I couldn’t believe. I definitely took the opportunity to sit down and take a break. I also had amazing cell reception there so I updated my blog and surfed the web. 

Sonic came up from Elk Lake while I was breaking. Turns out she did a 50+ mile day and got ahead of me. She hadn’t done any miles at that point so she took off. It was incredible to hike with no mosquitos finally. I guess they were right about it getting better after Elk Lake. However, I heard they’ll come back later on. Oh well. 
My goal was to hit a flat 40 and find a tent spot. The trail was pretty easy but had some small climbs at the end. Finished the day at 8:45 when I walked by a small lake. There’s other non thru hikers here as well. It was great to be able to set up camp without the bugs. I even got to sit down and eat my usual dinner. Also didn’t have to murder a dozen mosquitos in my tent. 
I only have about 15 to Big Lake tomorrow. I should be there by lunch time, I heard there’s no store so I hope the food is good. Also can’t wait to shower and do laundry

Day 71: 35.1 | 1937.1

Actually slept pretty good last night. Got up at 5:30 and the mosquitos were already waiting. Got moving a little before 6. At 6:30 I got to the Shelter Cove junction. The side trail only took about 25 minutes. I got there right as the store opened at 7, good timing. I plug my phone into the worlds slowest outlet and pick up my box. It’s weird seeing the things I bought months ago. I pigged out of course but not as much as I normally do. They had wifi there but it was pretty slow. 

I got back onto the trail by 9:30 so I only missed about three hours of hiking. I drank more water than I normally do today, I was just really thirsty for some reason. It wasn’t even that hot out. At 5:30 the mosquitos from hell came back up. I bought a $3 head net at the store so that came in clutch. Had to throw my rain jacket on so now the bugs only go after my hands, which is still annoying. I have gloves that I will keep ready to go starting tomorrow.
I called it a day at 8:45. Set up my tent and skipped my normal dinner again because of the mosquitos. Instead I eat two tuna packets, spoonfuls of peanut butter and some trail mix I found in a hiker box. Still a good amount of calories. 
I hop in my tent and of course a ton of mosquitos make it in too. I spend about 15 minutes killing them all and throwing them out. This is becoming routine. I am getting these raw/tender red spots on my feet again. This usually happens when I hike big days or all day. Hiking on it isn’t bad but when the shoes come off it hurts like hell. I hope it gets better, I really want to get out of Oregon. 
Rumor has it that the mosquitos die down after Elk Lake which is around 13 miles from me. I hope it’s true but I don’t see it happening. Gonna try and do a big day tomorrow so the following day is shorter going into Big Lake Youth Camp. 

Day 70: 42.7 | 1902

I. Fucking. Hate. Mosquitos. 

From 2PM until I stopped around 8:40 I was devoured by mosquitos. At 3PM I put on my rain jacket and wore it the rest of the day. It made me sweat like a hog but it was worth it. Around 6 I got to some water finally. When I left my head felt like I got out of a boxing match against Mike Tyson. 
I didn’t even bother to eat dinner. I just set up my tent and hopped in. And it doesn’t matter how fast you go in because at least a dozen mosquitos will find their way in with you. I spend about 15 minutes killing them. There’s also blood all over my pants. Whenever I kill one that has blood in it I always wipe it on my pants. 
Being from Maine I’ve seen some really bad bugs but I have to admit that Oregon has been way worse. It’s driving me nuts. 

Day 69: 40.1 | 1859.3

Couldn’t sleep last night. Stomach was aching really bad for some reason. Fell asleep around 2AM and woke up at 5:30. There was a warm restroom so I definitely took advantage of that. Got back to the trail at 6:30 and about a mile or so in took the side trail to Crater Lake. Got to a cafe/store there but it didn’t open until 9AM. Oh well, saved me some money. 
Sonic and I started walking the Rim Trail at around 8:20 and the view was awesome. This is the best side trip off the PCT so far. I’ve seen so many pictures of Crater Lake so it was weird to finally see it for myself. Taking photos of it didn’t even do it justice. I wonder what it was like 7,700 years ago when that mountain collapsed on itself, must have been deafening. 
Anyways, I didn’t really do 40 miles today. The rim trail cuts off about 4-5 miles of the PCT. Well worth it though. Got to camp at exactly 8PM, I was thinking about pushing more but whatever. These mosquitos are driving me nuts though. Swarms and swarms. I really hope this doesn’t keep up or I’m going to lose my mind. 

Day 68: 32.3 | 1819.2

Got moving a little before six. Mosquitos weren’t as bad as the night before but they were out. To make matters worse I really had to shit. After about an hour I got above tree line where there were no bugs. I immediately hopped off trail and took care of business. If anyone saw what came out of me they would have mistaken it for bear shit. 

Anyways, I hauled ass 32.3 miles and got to the side trail by 5:25, made great time. Side trail took about twenty and I was at the store. It was much better stocked than what I was told so I regret sending a package there. I had too much food so I gave some away to hikers that needed some. They saved money, I saved weight. I still have extra though. 
I of course start pigging out on soda, chips, ice cream and had some canned spaghetti for dinner. They had a microwave so might as well try something different. There was a restaurant but I heard bad things about it. I charged my phone, brushed my teeth and back flushed my Sawyer while I was there. I ended up melting my PB jar in the microwave, I thought it would be fine. Kinda pissed me off to be honest. I had to buy an $8 jar of Folgers coffee and dump out all the coffee to just use the jar to eat. 
I also found out you can’t camp in the Crater Lake NP or risk a $500 fine. Kind of ruined my plan to get back to the trail. I decide to just camp at Mazama. I’m doing the rim trail tomorrow where I’ll miss about 5 miles of the PCT so I guess doing an extra mile back to the trail in the morning won’t be bad.