Day 91 – 8/3/16
Bend 1998.53 to 2006.16
Total miles: 6.63
Woke up at 3:45 so that we could ride on Portland’s light rail to the greyhound station. It was so early and I only got abut 5 hours of sleep. Although I did fall asleep right away. We got onto the light rail at 4:15 and wouldn’t you know it there was a crazy person. It doesn’t matter what city you’re in or what time of day (or night) it is; there is always a crazy person talking to themselves. After about 45 minutes of jerking back and forth we get to our stop and make our way to the greyhound station. We stop at Starbucks then we walk over to Voodoo donuts. The last time I was in Portland I learned of Voodoo Donuts but didn’t go. It was after the bars closed and we were walking to the light rails when my friend told me that apparently Voodoo donuts is a thing. We walked by it and there was a line out the door and around the corner. Keep in mind it’s about 1 am. Why? Can they be that good? Well I got one and it’s pretty good. Not sure I would stand in line for an hour while drunk but you never know. They did have good names such as “triple chocolate penetration.” Kinky.
We make our way over to the greyhound station. It’s a large building with a waiting area and a few benches and 14 numbered doors. There is nothing indicating which door our bus will be at. We are an hour early so we sit on the bus and admire the typical bus clientele and watch CNN on a very blurry TV. A couple crazies include a very skinny teen boy and a very large and barely clothed teen girl. She is constantly switching between yelling at him (to buy her stickers) and crying on him. They can’t be over 18 and look like possible runaways.
The boarding time comes and goes. Then the departure time comes and they finally let us board. Although apparently they don’t follow there own rules for boarding. There are signs saying they board by group number and stanchions with signs saying were to line up by group number. Jeremy and I line up in our line and then everyone else doesnt. OK then.
We get on the bus and that’s when everything goes to shit. Skinny enabler and barely clothed large girl get on. She starts crying for no reason. Something about power outlets and sitting by herself. I have no idea. They sit a couple rows back on either side. The bus fills up and this dude walks by me and up to skinny enabler and asks to sit with him. Enabler doesn’t say anything. Dude asks again. Nothing. Dude gets angry and says “hey! I’m talking to you! Move your shit so I can sit.” Enabler says he doesn’t want to sit next to anyone. Then the nuke goes off. WW3 is about to go down. Dude starts yelling and telling the kid to move his shit and that if he doesn’t he’s going to beat the shit out of him. Kid refuses. Another guy standing behind dude says “no you won’t. You’ll go to jail over a bus seat?” Dude says he will. The other guy talks him down and dude finally just walks by. Crisis averted. We start moving and skinny enabler gets up and tells the bus driver about his near assault and battery. Always something memorable on a bus.
We get to out first stop and the bus driver comes back and talks to kid. Kid says “he assaulted me!” Which by definition is true. Dude threatened to kick his ass but never touched him which if he did would be battery. Bus driver goes back and talks to dude. Five minutes later comes back and says he’s hearing a different story from dude and the people back there.
We get moving again and I fall asleep for about 45 minutes. I woke up and looked at the time and was confused since I never sleep on planes and doubted in could sleep on a bus. I drift in and out and next thing in know we are in Salem. We get off the bus and jump on a smaller bus. I sit down and look around. No crazy looking people. There is a girl a couple rows behind me wearing a down Jacket and has a pack. I can spot a PCT hiker a mile away. She is using her tent in the stuff sack as a pillow.
The second bus ride is uneventful. The driver doesn’t know what partial throttle is. The bus is constantly jerking back and forth. Hard to take a power nap with that going on.
We get off the bus and see Tami texted me; I tell her I’ll see her at Deschutes brewery. Jeremy and I start walking down the street and come across a lot full of classic cars. I start looking at them drooling about how I want some of them.
We get to the brewery and I look for Tami but don’t see her. I tell the hostess we need a table for 3. I see obvious PCT hiker walk in. I ask her if she’s a PCT hiker and she says “are you Wrong Tent?” Holy crap, I think, am I trail famous?! “I’m Rose or Mayfly, I know Tami.” Then Tami walks in and gives both of us big hugs. I look back at the hostess and say I guess there is now 4 of us and can we sit next to an outlet.”
Mayfly is from the UK and hiked with Tami in the Sierra for awhile. We order food, catch up, and tell each other all of our ridiculous stories. It was so great hanging with other hikers and especially Tami. We started the same day and had dinner at the Malt Shop near Lake Morena. We hung out at Warner Springs and hiked a couple days after. Then separated. She was going to catch up to us after Big Bear but had to get off trail awhile because of infected blisters. Her feet were a mess. Even though we hiked together for just a bit it seemed like we had been hiking together for months. I really like Tami. I met her husband in Big Bear and he is just as cool. So I was super excited to hike with her for awhile.
We decide to pay for a ride and a guy named Geraldo picks us up. He’s pretty cool. He moved to America in 1999 from Costa Rica. He’s in the army reserve and is a single full time dad. Just a nice friendly guy. He said he’s lived in 20 some states and all over Oregon but says Bend is the best place to live. I only saw a little but it was pretty cool and had some great views of what I think is 3 Sisters mountains.
We get to the trail and there is a wooden board that says Pacific Crest Trail. I’m back! And it’s a giant burn section! Hooray! We are standing in the parking lot getting situated when a guy walks up and says he is with search and rescue and they are looking for a young kid. He shows us his picture and info. We take pictures of it and say we’ll look out for him. We walk over to the sign and get our picture taken. After standing around and joking about watering the trail we actually start hiking. Not only are we in a burn area but we are on loose sand. Uphill. Welcome to the PCT Jeremy, she’s a cruel mistress. I’m a bit slow at first. After 10 minutes everything loosened up and I kept having to slow down since I was starting to get ahead.
After about 30 minutes of slowly hiking on the sandy trail I see “2,000” on the trail. Woo! I’ve gone 2,000 miles! Wait…dang… Was hard to get excited about a major milestone since I had to skip 400 miles. Oh well. I was feeling so much better and was so happy to be hiking with 3 people I liked. I only planned on 2 and Mayfly is really cool and I enjoy talking with her. So it’s like a bonus!
After an hour and a half we make it out of the massive burn area and into some trees. I have to say it is so nice not being in California. Even with the burn Oregon just feels much nicer. We get into the trees and I turn around and don’t see Jeremy or Tami. Mayfly is a bit behind me. I figure they stopped to take pictures of something. I keep on going and totally forget to tone down my speed. I start heading up some switchbacks and I can see them behind me. Jeremy used to kick my ass up hills. Then stand at the top and watch me stumble up. Now whose watching who?! I get to the top and see a pretty cool rock formation and what looks like a trail going almost straight up rock skree. I know the trail won’t go that way so I ask Jeremy if he’s ready to climb up that. Then I had a panicked moment when I didn’t see the trail in the distance and thought oh crap what if it does go up!
Luckily it didnt. We kept going and came around a corner and there is a pointy snow capped mountain. Which we think might be Mount Jefferson. We sit down and have a snack break. Jeremy asks me “how do you do this everyday?” Good question I think. Tami calls Timberline lodge about a room on Sunday but there is only one for three people. Dang. We sit for about 30 minutes and finally decide that the trail probably won’t hike itself. It’s so nice hiking with people again! We keep talking and telling stories and next thing we knew 30 minutes went by. I get up and my but is soaking wet from sweat and numb. There’s even a sweat mark in the dirt. Awesome. Tami chants “Wrong Tent” so that I’ll lead. I bet they just want to look at my sweaty and dirty butt. Hot right?
We keep walking and come around a corner and see something I did not expect to see on the trail ever again. Snow. What the heck! It’s August! We are at 6,300 feet!
We had to have a little fun and Tami said I should lay face down on it. They went over a small part but I went up and over it towards the trail. I told them in honor of 5 Star I had to do a Montana hat liner and put snow in my hat. I then showed off my mad skiing skills. Tami gave me a 3/5 for lack of cutting back and forth.
We hiked for a bit more and then came across some flat spots 50 feet off trail. I went to investigate and said it was doable. We set up our tents. Jeremy and I in one spot and Tami and Mayfly about 20 feet away.
We ate our not looked forward to trail food together and told more stories. Usually about all the characters we have met along the way. After we eat and the sun starts setting we all start getting a bit silly. I put my jacket on and the girls put on sleeping clothes. Mayfly looks like a plum. Purple down Jacket and purple baselayer pants. I take a picture of the site for the night. Tami photo bombs the picture and the plum stands in the background.
I walk over to Tami’s tent and she walks behind me to take a picture. In front of me Mayfly is brushing her teeth. I’m looking at Tami’s tent and I scratch my hip. She tells me to scratch again so I scratch my but while looking at her tent and Mayfly is off in the distance brushing her teeth and looking back in almost the perfect iconic sasquatch pose. Tami and I bust out laughing and then Tami is taking pictures of Mayfly, back from brushing her teeth, telling her to scratch her self. Mayfly poses a few times and makes funny faces while wearing her hat all loose and askew.
Mayfly hangs out some socks and underwear that was still damp from washing or something. She hangs them on her trekking poles that are standing up in the dirt. Tami goes over and starts taking pictures of it of course. Mayfly is on her knees leaning into her tent. I tell Tami to take a picture of the underwear with her in the background. We bust out laughing and tell Mayfly to ignore the camera beeping. Then Tami tells me to stand next to Mayfly and point at her butt. Laughter ensues. We show Mayfly and laugh at how ridiculous it all is.
Today was awesome. I’m so happy to be back and so happy to hike with a friend I’ve known for almost 16 years, a friend I met on my first day, and a new friend. Perfect day on the trail. As I was getting situated in my tent I told Jeremy that it feels right being back in my little home. While I was back home in Phoenix something felt off. It just seemed weird to be home and I felt the tug to get back on trail. I didn’t even feel dismay from having to sleep on my tiny pad again. Feels good to be back.