Hoosierdaddy had been asking if I would have the time to go and do trail angel-ing for PCT thru hikers this summer. He had injured his leg this month so isn’t able to hike real miles right now. I took him up on it this past weekend and we headed down South to Cascade Locks, the border of Washington and Oregon.
We picked up a section hiker who was walking Wind River Road, from Stevenson to the PCT and gave Chris a ride. It was about 50/50 on those who do the true PCT to Stabler and those who road walk. Road walking cuts more than 1/2 of the miles off but is hard on the feet.
On Saturday we split up, with HD leaving me out in the wilds all day, near the crossing of Panther Creek. I found a road crossing, far from anything and found a spot in the woods where I was hidden from passing cars. It was indeed fun as hikers came hurtling through the woods and came to a halt as they saw our table there.
Lucky Larry came through:
I met day hikers (two were a great couple Steve & Yvonne from Sherwood, Oregon out for the day with their poochie, Sadie), campers from nearby Panther Creek Campground and then thru’s Stacey and Bernie, the nicest couple:
In the late afternoon HD came back – he had been down in the Cascade Locks area at the Marine Park, where camping is free for thru’s – on the lawn behind the RV area. A number had come in and HD did his thing for them. After HD came and got me we went and checked on water caches.
On the PCT in a remote area:
Looking North on a section of the PCT – I did some snooping and checking out. It was a fun road in – probably the most wash-boardy one I have been on this year!
On the way back, we were heading down Wind River Road and passed these 4 guys and stopped. They were coming from Stabler Store so we checked to see if they needed a ride. They didn’t, they were near the turn off for the PCT. They did though love getting a cold beer 😉
I believe they are: Just Bill, White Fish, Coach and Peter Pan:
A shot of our register:
That night we drove over to Oregon and went out to dinner to the Pacific Crest Pub where unlike the reviews I had read on UrbanSpoon we got great service (really nice waitress!) and fast/good food. When HD and I came in The Lone Ranger and his wife were there. HD had met them earlier that day. They invited us to join them and we had a great dinner! It turned out T.L, Lone’s wife, knew who my mom’s family were and also my uncle, etc. It made the world feel so small to meet a stranger who had known my maternal grandfather, who died 4 or so years before I was born. Somehow though I did not get a picture of them. Boy, do I feel dumb!
Due to SOMEONES cell phone going off at 5:30 am I was awake early (boy is HD lucky I didn’t flush his phone) 😉
We got up and headed back over to Oregon to find breakfast. As we crossed the Bridge of the Gods we passed Bethany and Steven walking over the bridge and we/they waved. HD mentioned I-Spy and Booty – HD had met them the day before, but they left even earlier – right at dawn.
Charburger was the only place open (we could find only one place that did breakfast in Stevenson, Washington and it wasn’t open yet). OK, I have this thing why I won’t eat there but it honestly wasn’t bad – if you can over the really awful “Indian” scupltures from back in the day. I was able to get a huge bowl of strawberries/blueberries, ice tea and sausages so I was happy. Just don’t get me going on the canned mushrooms they use ;-p
After breakfast we headed West on 84 to Eagle Creek Trailhead. A big majority of PCT hikers use Eagle Creek instead of the “true” PCT as it is VERY scenic (we did as well in 2007!) I cannot imagine taking the “true” trail. It just isn’t scenic nor is water easy. Eagle Creek though is not open to stock – and the PCT has to be horse friendly.
The start of the trail, before you enter the canyon with the dripping moss and waterfalls – and steep drop offs:
HD and I picked a spot near the trailhead. EC is one of the most popular trails in Oregon so by 9 am is nearly full – there are parking lots upon lots here and the goal was to be close. We snagged the first picnic table and set up – with a sign on the truck and a sign at the trailhead.
First up was Basil – who is fun beyond belief to yak with.
IDO and Woodie The Stick:
Sailor and Pasta Alfredo (Sailor knows my friend Teresa “Dicentra” so we had plenty to yak about)
We had a couple coolers full of beer, soda, ice tea, oranges, apples, carrots, tomatoes. Chips, cookies, chocolate and I emptied out my backpack of nut butter, veggies and more. Also gave out freeze dried meals and coffee that had been sent to us by the manafacturers (and as well ProBars that we had been sent). For lunch for me I made up a PackitGourmet Pecan Cajun Chicken Salad. HD and I shared it on buns. Yum!
We had brought plenty of chairs and they were well loved. Eagle Creek is about 3 miles away from Cascade Locks and hikers have to walk the road out of the never ending parking lots then find the multi use trail (which is the old single lane road of old days). It isn’t the greatest as it follows 84 the whole way. 84 is a loud fast highway – not easy on the eyes or ears. Many thru’s take a zero day in Cascade Locks or at least spend the night there – so they are not in a big rush when coming out at the Eagle Creek Trailhead.
Pasta Alfredo, Sailor, Basil, Wolffman and Hop-Skip (a section hiker who did a 30 day section in 15!)
Wolffman had finished up his last big section to for the most part complete the PCT (congrats!) and had his car there. Between him and us we gave everyone but IDO a ride to Cascade Locks (IDO is walking every mile, be it road).
We took them down to the Marine Park and dropped off, where I got to meet Happy Feet and Hatman – who have hiked with our friends Tom and Tori this year!
We left not long after and headed to Stevenson to visit the Walking Man Brewery so HD could get a refill to take home in his collector jug. Hop-Skip was going to hitchhike into Portland but due to us heading that way anyways we offered him a ride and dropped him off at the BART near the airport.
Next weekend on Saturday the 29th is PCT Day in Cascade Locks. There will be a number of thru’s coming in (Tom and Tori!). Looking forward to it.
I have to say it was very enjoyable and I can see doing this again.