I first hiked the Pacific Crest Trail over the course of 1994 and 1996, then I hiked the whole thing in one go in 2013. During the latter hike I kept this website updated as I progressed up the trail. I still have about 45 hours of video to edit, but in the meantime there is a lot for you to look at here. Over the course of the 168 days I wrote 143,823 words and put 13,644 photos on this website.
Alarm did not go off for some reason this morning. It had the whole "snooze" button and all of that, but there was no audio...despite the ringer being turned up.
Saw a guy this morning walking down the trail a brisk speed past our camp. I saw a little hand trowel in his hand...it looks like he had a very angry caller holding on line 2 judging by his speed. He was going up the river canyon somewhere. Ah...and all that stuff will later end up in your water folks.
I got packed up and Beorn was still sleeping. We got to the Sandy River and it was just as high as it was last night. It might have been raining up on Mt. Hood but not down where we were. Freddie decided to follow the guy's lead and poop. I bagged that up and put it in her dog packs.
I found a place to cross the river that was spread out a bit more. Although I was carrying her packs today, I put Freddie's harness on. I also had to spend a minor eternity getting the light Beorn had given Cora and I to put on her harness...I didn't know if it was waterproof or not.
I waded out into the river with her to the deepest spot. She started swimming and realized I had a hold of her so she didn't worry too much about going down river. With a good fling I got her across the river. Then of course I had to get my pack across, and then my camera which had recorded the whole thing. Beorn came by a bit later.
A few miles later we got to another creek crossing. This one had a cool little bridge that Freddie loved running back and forth over. About a half mile past that we reached the Muddy Fork. There were a couple large trees that had fallen which hikers used to cross the river on. It was a good 10-12 foot drop down to the very spooky looking glacial river. I didn't want to try and get Freddie over that. There were large tree roots at the end and I knew I would have a hard time getting her over that.
I decided to play it safe and just ford the river again. Beorn came by and offered to help Freddie over the roots but I said we were just going to wade the river. He went on by and I searched out a place to cross.
We tried one spot and it was too deep. We went back to the shore while I figured something else out. It sure is different having a dog with you on this trail. I turned my head for a second and couldn't find Freddie. When I went around the corner back towards the trail, here she was walking back across the high log!
She had seen how Beorn had crossed and decided that would be easier, only she couldn't figure out how to get over the tree roots. So...she simply turned around on the log, 12 feet above the raging river and walked back.
Upstream I found a fallen tree that I could use as a railing and we crossed there. Me of course crossing three times (Freddie, my pack, my camera).
At one point when I was getting Freddie ready to cross, I had visions of my camera and tripod being knocked over. Sure enough there it went right on queue, but I caught the camera as if I was expecting it to fall.
It was a good feeling of accomplishment getting across those two creeks, I hadn't had something like that happen since I crossed the Stand By Me bridge in Northern California.
A bit up the trail I stopped and wrung my socks out. Freddie started smelling the air and then perked her ears up...she was watching (and very concerned about) some people crossing the log.
When the people got to us they asked us where so and so was, I told them I had no idea. They knew where they wanted to go, just had no idea how to get there. Man, if there was only some way of diagramming out trails and land features onto a sheet of paper. A guy could make a living selling those things.
I put Freddie's packs back on her even though I had most of her stuff. I ended up taking them back off because she was acting tired and I didn't want the packs to tire her out mentally.
It started raining pretty good for a chunk of the morning. We got to Lolo Pass and I had Freddie stand in for me when I retook one of my 1996 photos.
A bit up the trail was what looked to be the last on-trail water for some time. I had enough but wanted to make sure Freddie had enough.
Phone call on line 2 meant I had to go up the hill to answer it, yet stay in sight of Freddie. I tied her up to my pack and eventually she laid down on the trail. As the call was ending Two Hats came down the trail.
He said I had passed his camp but he didn't realize it was me due to having a dog. We walked together for a bit and I finally got cell service, so I was able to tell everyone I was on track for meeting them this afternoon. Because of this (and the fact that Freddie was not on her cell phone) Two Hats and I got farther apart. This caused Freddie to run back and forth between us, really tiring her out. I ended up taking a break so Two Hats could get far enough ahead of us.
Despite me giving her water, Freddie would constantly check the culverts for water. She got pretty good at finding where water was and/or should have been.
It started to get really humid when the sun came out. I ate some frosted animal cookies, whoo boy did they make a mess of my beard.
We saw Two Hats up the trail again at the abandoned Indian Creek Campground, this time Freddie started wagging her tail like she knew him. This is the cutoff where most PCT hikers cut down to the Eagle Creek Trail and take that to Cascade Locks, rather than the official PCT. I have been out Eagle Creek Before and it was going to be logistically easier to take the PCT out so I was going to miss Eagle Creek. (don't worry, I'm hoping to do it as an epilogue to this trip since I live so close to it)
Finally, finally we got to the last mile before Wahtum Lake. I had "The Last Mile" by Cinderella stuck in my head the whole time. (yes, really). I put Freddie's packs on so she could make a grand entrance.
Got to the campground and didn't see my friends. There were several campsites on the lake, but I knew the road was about 1/4 mile away. After some time I ended up finding the last campsite and asked the people if there were any more. The guy said there were a bunch up by the road. Ah ha! I thought.
Freddie and I climbed the zillion stairs up to the road. I was having visions of not finding them (nor knowing how to contact them since there was no cell service). I thought I was done when I got to the lake and here we were having to climb this steep hill. I had told Freddie we didn't have much farther and I was wrong.
Got to the top and I saw my friend Jannika sitting by a campfire! (she is #27 on my humancalendar.com website)
Instantly I felt relieved. Our friends Chris and Allyson had just driven down the hill to check phone messages. My friend Jez showed up a few minutes later.
We talked a bit and then Chris and Allyson showed back up. "Ah...this is like being at a restaurant and your food showing up when you go to the bathroom".
It was really good to see a lot of familiar faces and to be done with the day around 5:30pm. More friends showed up. Cora showed up a while later with a couple of my other friends.
Freddie was really really tired and spent most of the night sleeping on the ground, or with her head on people.
We had a good night drinking beer and talking. Tomorrow a few of them are going to hike the PCT with me out to Cascade Locks. My friends Kyle and Lela were unable to get a campground at Eagle Creek, so they camped at the Marina campground in Cascade Locks instead....so we are good to go for tomorrow night too.