Day 89 | mile 1979.7 - 1999.0 | 19.3 miles

I had to kill a potato bug during the night. It crawled on my face and left me no choice. I do feel bad about it.

Slept really well. Up at 5:30. Packed up and hiking at 6. I decided I’d have breakfast at Mckenzie Pass. I heard there might be trail magic there.

I was walking through burn area. There were twigs snapping or branches falling behind me and I was on high alert. I was 2.5 miles from the pass when I saw I hiker going SOBO. I didn’t recognize him or didn’t believe my eyes, but it was Philip. I’m getting all kinds of visitors in Oregon, of all places!

He drove from SF after work through the night. We hiked to the pass (where he parked) and talked about his plan. Phil wants to hike to Cascade Locks with me and then hitch back to his car. That’s a long way to hike with someone!

Stopped at the cool lava castle at the road. It has these neat windows with signs next to them that show which mountain you’re looking at.

I had my breakfast. Oatmeal, cheesy bread. Even though we had access to Philip’s car and could go to breakfast, I thought it would be better to eat quickly and hike the rest of the way to Big Lake Youth Camp before it gets too hot.

Lunch is served at 1 there. We got going at 8. I knew a long uphill lava rock section was coming up and I was mentally prepared. We rocked it. Philip says he has been training for this trip with a 45 lb pack and San Francisco hills, so this was easy for him too.

Rolled into camp at 12:15-ish. Checked in. Everything is really streamlined and organized at the camp. They have a whole PCT building. You can’t stay there overnight, but there are showers, washer/dryer, and a full kitchen here. I picked up the package that Forrest sent, took a shower, and started laundry.

We headed to lunch: bean and cheese burritos, apples, brownie. I don’t think I’ve ever had a vegetarian burrito, but it was good! I loaded up mine with all the goods: tomatoes, corn, salad, sour cream, salsa. Yummm.

Chatted with the camp chaplain - Cayenna. (This is a Christian camp.)

Back at the hiker hut, I hung up my clothes in the hot hot sun. They dried instantly.

Went to check out the lake. Swam and laid out on the black sand. The view from the lake shore is great. Mountains and buttes next to a lake full of squealing kids engaged in all kinds of activities. Sailing, jet skiing, flying off a blob into the water, a diving board, tubing - what a fun camp. The cafeteria hall is a beautiful chaos. All the kids are picking at their food and yelling across tables. After mealtime everyone helps clean up.

It was dinner time by the time we headed back. And the hiker hut was full of smelly hikers now. Glad I got my laundry done early!

Dinner was some kind of breaded vegetarian patty, mashed potatoes, broccoli, salad, and gravy. It was pretty good! Turns out the camp only serves vegetarian food.

Decided to hike out tonight to get a bit of a head start and not get tempted by breakfast. Breakfast is at 8:15. And even if we start hiking at 9, it’s going to be hard to hike 33 miles. And that’s the mileage we need to do to make it to Cascade Locks on this resupply.

Man, it helps to talk this through with someone instead of having his conversation in your head.

I had some coffee and dessert donut. Chatted with Alex one last time. Finally headed out at 8:30.

Camping at a lake at mile 1999.0. So close to 2000!!