INTO TROUT LAKE
PCT DAY 30: Tuesday July 25, 2017
Mile 2216.2- Mile 2226.4
10.2 miles (16.3 km)
Being an early riser I was concerned about waking up the rest of the hikers with my early morning coffee habit. I woke later then usual and as quitely as possible made my morning coffee and enjoyed the stillness and the silence of the forest before breaking camp. Luckily my neighbour Don Diamo was stirring by the time I started to pack. It is not easy to be quite when every item in my pack is noisy to fold. Without too much disturbance I was on my way by 6am.
It was going to be a short morning to the road where I hoped to get a ride to one of the most popular stops on the PCT, Trout Lake. Luckily one of the readers of this blog, had given me a list of Trail Angels who may be able to assist when I got to the trailhead for the 14 mile ride into town. Early morning hiking is always pleasant and this morning was no exception. Cool and crispy the early miles just roll on. I was soon joined by Trash Man who camped at the same site last night. He was from Lowe in Massachusetts. We spent the next few hours discussing a range of topics ranging from the Australian anachronism of our head of state being British. That was started by a discussion of why Canadians were so different to Americans, Trash Mans girlfriend being Canadian. I loved his courage to walk away from a job he got straight out of college because it was not right. And he chose to hike half the PCT to figure out what next. I loved that he asked questions about what his generation could be doing to help heal the rifts being created by the current political climate. We could have hiked and talked for many miles more. Meeting people like him gives me so much hope for the future.
We reached the road in what seemed like no time. Two miles earlier just before the trail starts to descent to the road I had AT&T service and rang one of the numbers on the list. Amazingly the phone was answered straight away and off course he said I’ll be there when you you get there at 10. At the road junction I was surprised to find 5 other hikers. Our Trail Angel arrived and we all piled into the pickup. I said goodby to TrashMan who was hiking on.
In the ride to town with Garry, our Trail Angel, I met three guys in their late 20’s, Bryce, Jonathon and Michael – who were from Albany in Oregon and were doing a section hike finishing here in Trout Lake. I ended up sharing lunch with them and having a conversation about many things including life choices…work, travel, career, money, security and all the things I never really made conscious decision about when I was their age. It was lovely to share with them some of my (our) experiences that got us to this point in life. I never really thought of it as wisdom of age, but I guess it is. Garry our Trail Angel, I later learnt, is a retired US Forestry employee with many years of back-country experience.
The day was slipping away and the town accomodation was fully booked up with a wedding. So I thought if I was going to have to camp I might as well be on trail.
So I picked up my resupply and was getting organised to head back out when I met Leaf a southbound hiker coming out of Washington. He talked about the beauty of the section coming up and he reminded me that it was the Goat Rock Wilderness. The area we heard so much about early last year when Hammer and I first started on the trail. I realised that I would have been heading out with almost flat batteries for recharging my camera and phone. And there was also the lure of the irresistable breakfast at the cafe. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and with the need to recharge I was sold. A night at the town campground it is. And it was very quite there, just a few PCT hikers here and there. And before I finish I have to say that the people of this town are super friendly. A complete stranger at the post office earlier in the day, invited me to come and stay at her home if I couldn’t find anywhere to stay. How wonderful is that. She gave me her contact details. I sent her a thank you text once I sorted out what I was doing. It truly is a wonderful world.