Oregon G

July 8, Fri.–No miles–Oregon G

Fri. July 8     Miles today: None         Resting in Cascade Locks

We slept in, and had a great breakfast at the Cascade Inn.  The big discussion topic was whether to use the PCT alternate route tomorrow instead of just following the PCT.  The guidebook author says the alternate is MUCH better than the PCT itself, so we decided to go that way.

I also did some mending (my socks were starting to get a few small holes), and we studied the Washington section in the guidebook to prepare for the next 100 miles which we’ll start on tomorrow.  I decided we’d better be sure to have enough food (being hungry all the time is no fun) so I also went to the grocery store to supplement what was in our resupply box.

In the afternoon, my sister came out from Portland and we had a great visit with her and dinner again at the Cascade Inn.  We loaded our packs, all ready to leave early in the morning.

July 7, Thurs.–16 miles–Oregon G Cascade Locks

Thurs. July 7      Miles today: 16     Total so far: 1002.1 !!!!!  End of Oregon Section G

It was cloudy and 45 degrees but NO RAIN as we headed out on our 16-mile “run” to Cascade Locks.  Our granola breakfast seemed more like a snack than a meal, we were so hungry.  The trail climbed up to the Benson Plateau, which seemed to be covered with bear grass and white fir, with some great views that showed how high we were.  Finally we were headed downhill, and Bill, who was still not feeling well, said that he would do better RUNNING downhill than walking, just as he had done back near Cajon Pass in California.  We had about 7 miles to go, and I asked him not to run too far without waiting for me, which he assured me he would do.  I just could not bring myself to run on that trail–it was a narrow track along a steep mountainside, and had just enough rocks to make it tricky.   

Well, Bill took off, and was soon out of sight and two things happened.  1) Bill totally lost track of time and just kept running, till he’d gone more than 4 miles.   2) The trail got rougher and rockier, and really hard for me to even WALK fast on it.  On and on I went, with no sign of Bill.  It got to be “morning rest time” and I was starving hungry and tired.  So all alone, I just stopped at a lava rock field, had a snack, rested…and fumed.  (Bad!  Very bad!)  By the time I finally found Bill, I was in “very annoyed” mode (also bad, very bad!).  I think part of the problem was that we were both terribly hungry, and we had no food left. 

 So we hiked along together, and then, just as we were crossing our 1,000 MILES OF HIKING “mark”, God did it again!  Along came two college teachers from Portland on a dayhike.  They recognized us as thru-hikers.  “We have leftovers from our lunch,” they said.  “Would you like to have them?”  Would we ever!  We sat down right then and there and happily divvied up a turkey sandwich, an apple, and a banana!  Thankyou, teachers, and thankyou, Lord!  We really needed that, and we thoroughly DIDN’T deserve it, especially me, for being grumpy. 

With some food in our stomachs, the last couple of miles went quickly, and we headed straight for the nearest restaurant for big cheeseburgers and blackberry milkshakes.  Now we felt “human” again, instead of starving. Then we walked down the one main street of Cascade Locks, looking for a place to stay, and ended up at the Econo Inn.  It was $45 for the two of us, and there were other thru-hikers there as well (all SOBOs).  The Inn has a policy of letting PCT thru-hikers share a room with other hikers, which is great.  And right next door is a deli/ice cream/espresso place, a laundromat, a grocery store, and the Cascades Inn, a very reasonably-priced restaurant.  Across the street are a fastfood hamburger place and a Chinese restaurant.  What more can a thru-hiker ask? 

After doing laundry,  taking showers, taking a long rest, and eating some ice cream, we finally went to the restaurant and had dinner.  We also phoned my sister in Portland and had a good talk.  She’s going to come see us tomorrow.  And oh, did it feel good to sleep on a bed again after so long!