Day 110 – Coast Starlight

We said our goodbyes and Britt drove me to the Amtrak station. 

I would be transported back to where we left the trail and she would rest for a couple of weeks at home. 

The depot. 
The depot. 

I love that trains are still a viable source of transportation, at least along the coasts.

Time to ride the rails. 
Time to ride the rails. 

See you in a few weeks, Britt! 

I watched the evolving landscape from the observation deck and got some work done on my blog. It was a really, really, nice ride back to the trail. 

I reached the Dunsmuir depot after midnight and walked over to the nearby river, where I found a nice flat spot to rest my eyes.

❤ Will

 

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Day 109 – Portland, OR

We spent the day across the mighty Columbia River in the storied land of Portlandia. 

Our first order of business was to visit my lifelong friend, Zach Oldham.  

I hadn’t seen him in 6 years and his roommate in 10. It felt so good to be in their presence.

We are still witty, just not as pretty. 
We are still witty, just not as pretty. 

From there we went to a gear store for some camp stove fuel and a stocking cap that actually fits my head. We found both! 

Tummies growling, we made our way to one of my favorite burger chains. 

My sister, Megann, introduced me to Burgerville almost a decade ago. Local ingredients, seasonal menu, good service, and STILL fast. 

Wala Wala Onion Rings? In season! 
Wala Wala Onion Rings? In season! 

Blackberry smoothies and shakes?! In season! 

When I close my eyes I can still taste it. 

Mmm... 
Mmm… 

We stopped by and visited Bob and Wendee, who have been sending Britt’s packages to her. They are also the parents of her best friend and fellow PCT hiker, J Walk. It was wonderful to visit with them.

Once home, we made pizza for Britt’s parents and enjoyed an evening in with them. 

❤ Will

 

Day 108 – Vancouver, WA

It felt SO good to wake up in a bed. 

Britt’s mom made us eggs for breakfast and then we enjoyed a day on the town.

I picked up food for the next week of hiking at my favorite hiker food store, Trader Joes. 

So much shelf stable and caloricly dense deliciousness, yum! 
So much shelf stable and caloricly dense deliciousness, yum! 

In our months together, Britt and I have fantasized about eating Thai on multiple occasions.  

Today was our day!

She loves the red curry and my taste buds prefer the green. 
She loves the red curry and my taste buds prefer the green. 

Bellies full and to go container in hand, we made it back to her house where I spent the rest of the evening relaxing, still dumbstruck at my good fortune.

❤ Will

Day 107 – A Hitch to Where?!

The day started out as any other, but there was added excitement from the prospect of picking up some goodies a nearby gas station and a trip into town.

The abandoned jeep road we and several friends camped on.
The abandoned jeep road we and several friends camped on.

It was a brief downhill jaunt to Castella, a town that seemed to consist of a gas station. 

We reached the road to town and crossed over a river.

And just after making it across, were offered a ride by this kind local. 

We picked up our packages from the store and stuck our thumbs back out to hitch to the larger town of Mount Shasta. 

We waited and waited, frustrations mounting. Our friends were already in town and enjoying a pizza buffet and it was now after 1 pm. We might miss it! 

And then she arrived. 

Jaqueline offered us a ride to Mount Shasta and when she told us she was heading straight to Washington State to be at work the next morning, we accepted her invitation to head north.

Several hundred miles later, we were in Britt’s hometown of Vancouver, a suburb of Portland.

Thanks Jaqueline!!! 
Thanks Jaqueline!!! 

You never know what the future holds. Just last night we were fantasizing about making a trip up to Portland and even checked out the mileage.

One day later, we were there.

And we’d made a new friend!

❤ Will

Day 106 – Shasta Fever

Our morning started with a hike through a lively green forest.  

And during our morning break, a loud rumbling sound grew louder and louder until this gentleman appeared upon his many horsepowered atv. 

He shared some ice cold bottles of water and after asking if we were packing heat, showed off a massive handgun he kept holstered at his side.  He also had a less threatening but no less intriguing lithium battery powered chain saw that he kept handy. He was an enchanting fellow.

We were treated to clear skies throughout the day, thankful to be free of the haze that surrounded us for days. 

I was hiking with some buddies when we reached a compelling view of Mount Shasta. I told them I’d see them up trail, entranced by the beauty of the mountain. 

I took several photos of this gorgeous monolith, and once Britt caught up, we shared the view for a while. 

The clouds shifted as we watched the mountain. Toward the end of our rendezvous, it looked like smoke was rising from its depths.

We eventually got up and hiked on into the slowly setting sun. 

❤ Will

Day 105 – McCloud River

I started my day at a relatively high elevation, near Gold Creek.

We seemed to be just above the smokey haze, able to benefit from its beauty yet safe from its harm.

I never went down to Gold Creek, perhaps I should have scouted around. A little further down the trail was Deer Creek, where there was evidence of why it was so called.

By mid afternoon, we reached the Ash Camp Campground, nestled in along the McCloud River. It seemed like a perfect place to camp but with several hours of daylight left, we pushed on. 

There was an outhouse and picnic tables, high class living to us at this point.
There was an outhouse and picnic tables, high class living to us at this point.

There was a very old, seemingly abandoned truck nearby, too. I wondered how it got there and how long it may remain. Some of the tires still held air.

We crossed the McCloud River on a sturdy pedestrian bridge. 

And stopped to take a couple photos. 

We cleaned up in the chilly mountain water, had dinner, and hiked on into the evening.

❤ Will

Sunday Serenades #13 & 14

Where does the time go? 

Where does it come from? 

It has a powerful effect on us and I’m grateful for its effect on me.

Today’s first song reminds me of how I once felt and the second one reminds me of how I generally feel now. 

Here is my rendition of “Wayfaring Stranger”

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ufo701d7iqnjnvo/wayfaring%20stranger.mp3?dl=0

and  “My Life Flows On”

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8pri2n1fkk7nzr8/my%20life%20flows%20on.mp3?dl=0

I hope they find you well on this late summer Sunday afternoon.

❤ Will

Day 104 – A Most Beautiful Day

The haze cast a gentle glow upon the horizon, giving the waking hours of this morning a dreamlike feel. 

I listened to my Sunday morning gospel songs and caught my first glimpses of Mt. Shasta. 

And saw flowers unlike any I have yet seen. 

A butterfly licked me while I was having lunch, left and then came back for more.

Throughout the day, I was treated to some of the most rewarding views of the trip.

A most beautiful day, indeed. 

❤ Will

Day 103 – Burney Falls

The falls were within a mile of the PCT campground where we rest our heads for the night. 

The creek, at this point, was no longer dry. 

There was a pavilion near the visitor center that offered free electricity and wifi. Many hikers congregated here.

But oh, the falls! 

This barely does them justice. 
This barely does them justice. 

It was one of the most spectacular thighs I have ever seen. 

Wow. 

I soon reached another marvel, this one engineered by human hands. 

I marvel at human progress, but not as much as I revere nature’s bounty. 

❤ Will

Day 102 – Wild Bird Cache

I slept well last night.  

After a leisurely morning at Lois and Bill’s, I headed back to the trail with clothes, shoes, and sleeping bag cleaner than they’ve been all trip.

It was such a treat to be in their presence.

Thank you Lois and Bill!!! 
Thank you Lois and Bill!!! 

It was easy hiking to the fish hatchery, located 4 miles down the trail.

Lunch time! 

There were MILLIONS of trout in various stages of development. 

There were some albinos big enough to feed a small village. 

Just up the trail was Crystal Lake, the namesake for the hatchery.

Pelicans strategizing how they’re going to get inside the hatchery. 

I soon came across another curious sight. 

The most glorious trail oasis I’ve ever seen. 

A Trailside pantry full of food?!
A Trailside pantry full of food?!

Here’s the full tour of what we found at this thoughtfully and creatively prepared form of massive trail magic.

And down the trail I went, cold soda slowly entering my bloodstream. 

I reached Burney Falls State Park and crossed a bridge over the dry creek bed that feeds the falls. 

Not far from here, water is said to seep from the earth and then fly down the falls. 

❤ Will