Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2400 down, 260 to go.

Unfortunately it's been way too long since i've posted pictures but just a total lack of time and a push to the border, along with lack of good access to a computer that I can monopolize for an hour or two has prevented me from doing that. I promise I will get all the pictures for the rest of the trip up when I get home.

As for a quick update - we've been having a great trip through Washington, even with all the craziness of the constant rain. I'm looking out the window right now and it appears to be completely clear and sunny, which would make this the second day that i've seen that. Count me as excited. We're traveling in a group of 9 at the moment, which makes us a certifiable war party. The Sobohobos - Barrel Roll, Steiner, Gangles, Moosie, along with Hee-Haw who's doing all of Washington, and we're hiking with Grinder, Swiss Miss, T-Bone and Bigfoot who have also become part of the extended S.H. family. Needless to say it's bee na great time and we're sort of pulling each other along to the border. We're almost there.

Shout outs to Keith Nelson and John Drollinger for meeting up with us and giving us some awesome trail magic, and also to Kevin Lee and all the gang at Adventure 16 for taking such awesome care of us.

Our bodies are weary, but our minds and spirits are strong. Can't wait to see the border.


PS Please see Steiner's post below for information on our last mail drop, which is very soon, so if you want to send something I would get it out ASAP.

At Snoqualamie Pass; Last mail drop: Stehekin

Heading out today from Snoqualamie Pass.  Next and last mail drop will be Stehekin on October 4th:

[real name] - hold for PCT hiker
c/o General Delivery
Stehekin, WA 98852-9999

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rainy day at White Pass. Washington goes by slowly. Goat Rocks knife's edge was spectacular and terrifying

Rest of Washington

"You know, every now and then
I think you might like to hear something from us
Nice and easy but there's just one thing
You see, we never ever do nothing nice and easy
We always do it nice and rough

So we're gonna take the beginning of this and do it easy
Then we're gonna do the finish rough"

Monday, September 20, 2010

WWIB shout out!

Thanks Sheezan for the shout out on the WWIB page.  I miss you all, capable Wharton women.  You would rule this trail.

Happy hiking and non-hiking adventures to all of you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

4 days in Washington, 4 days of rain

Water water everywhere... We crossed the state border when we crossed the low point on the PCT, the Bridge of the Gods.  Since we crossed the bridge, we have had rain every day, some days with multiple sessions of rain punctuated by moments of blue, and other days a steady grey drizzle.

We are currently at the Trout Lake Abbey drying out in the warmth of Buddhist hospitality.  Kozen and Denise have been wonderfully welcoming.  We were treated to hot showers and laundry, and a warm dry interior.

The hitch in from Road 24 was surprisingly easy.  The first car picked us up, after a comical slowdown, acceleration, screeching of brakes, and driving backwards.  A pair of elk hunters picked us up, and took us to Trout Lake.  I'm used to apologizing for my smell.  The fellows had me riding up front, in the cab, between them.  I was shedding mud and pine needles all over.  The two apologised for their smell, which is new to me.  One reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a small bottle to show me:  Hot Cow Estrus.  One dab behind each ear will do.   

Also!  I finally saw an elk.  They have the most luxurious, creamy, fuzzy behinds I have ever seen.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bridge of the Gods - OR-> WA

Greetings from Cascade Locks!  A lot has happened since my last post.

First, we are done (more or less) with Oregon!  From this town, along the Columbia River, we can see Washington across the border.    But, like Orpheus, I try not to look at it yet, for fear of jinxing our exit from Oregon.

We are currently at the low point of the PCT, about 150'.  Tomorrow, we will climb to 3000', and then roll on to the rest of Washington.  With a full pack, weighed down by a full food resupply and winter gear, it will be a heinous climb.

We picked up speed during Oregon, trying for 30s every day.  We got out in about 17 days, including 2 unexpected days off for injury.  We will be trying to maintain this pace into Washington, but are planning 25mi/day for the state.  We should be able to make our drop dead finish date of 10/15 comfortably.

After reaching Canada, Emily/Gangles and I still have the 400mi from LA to Mexico to hike.  So, this is a penultimate homestretch push.

Thanks to all of you who have sent e-mails, texts, and letters of encouragement.  Appreciate the support.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Also, we reunited with Swiss Miss here at Timberline! A shout out to her mom who has been checking out our blog : )
Leaving Timberline Lodge this morning. Incredibly beautiful wuth Mt Hood in the background. Cascade Locks on Tue.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

War Party

We are currently traveling in a war party of 8 people, and growing by the day.  The current roster includes the four core hikers (Moosie, BR, Gangles, me), and we have the momentum and appeal of a giant rolling snowball.

At beautiful Porcupine Lake, Bigfoot found us at dusk in camp.  In Etna, we picked up Grinder.  T-Bone was with us on and off, and caught up in Sisters, OR.  We finally caught Swiss Miss at Timberline Lodge.  We are chasing Heehaw (another AT '05 sobo), and Hiker X may catch us in a day or two.

So far, finding camping for a group this large has not been a problem.  We have been able to find sufficiently large campsites and sleep comfortably.  The trade off in space and resources is emotional and psychological support.  The physical challenge of finishing this trip is achievable by most people--people of all shapes, sizes and ages successfully thruhike the PCT (and AT) every year.  The larger challenge is mental--being able to endure the sheer length of the hike.  Though beautiful, thruhiking can be isolating and monotonous.

My hope is that hiking together, we will be able to keep each others' spirits up so that we can finish Washington and the PCT.

- Team Stubborn

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Headed for Timberline Lodge tomorrow. Cascade Locks on Tuesday. Making our way through Oregon. Under 600mi to the Canadian border--I can hardly believe it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At big lake youth camp for resupply last night, 2000 miles down! 160 to the washington border.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sisters, OR

Emily/Gangles and I made an unexpected stop in Sisters, OR.  The original plan was to run through Oregon in 17 days without a day off.  During the heavy rain after we left Ashland, I tweaked my knee.  My knee felt more and more sore.  The lava rocks a few miles from McKenzie pass were the last straw.  Gangles and I hitched out to Sisters, OR.

We were dropped off in the center of town, near Bronco Billy's.  I was pretty glum, so we went to get ice cream at Ali's.  As we walked in, we were greeted by a petite Ukrainian woman with the most perfect tapering braids.  Em and I ordered quiche and a cone, and Ali came to sit at our table.  She brought us soup, and asked us how we were doing.  She held our hands, and told us she was proud of us.  She likened our hike on the PCT to her experiences in Siberia.  (For the record, I think Siberia is tougher than the West Coast).

She was a beam of pure sunshine. and the exact kind of trail magic we needed for a glum mood and bum wheel.

p.s., The huckleberry ice cream was phenomenal.