Out In The Open

Day 74

Mileage: 31
Total distance: 2012.3

Oregon is great. It’s flat. Is smooth. It’s shaded, mostly. It’s got lakes and beautiful rock formations. It’s incredible, but for the most part it has been deep in the heart of the fir forest unless there’s a burned section or a small lift up and out of the canopy to look around before dropping back down into the lush, green Oregon wilderness. 

I had weird dreams last night of cops knocking on the door and another one of me fighting an armed man I used to know in high school. I woke up around five from the dreams and felt that kind of tiredness that you feel in your bones. Thankfully I had another hour of sleep, but for some reason I felt anxious and struggled to sleep solidly until six. 

Eventually we all got up and packed our things after I took an incredible warm shower and looked my clean body up and down and the mirror to notice a wince in my face from the repulsion of how I looked. Skinny and unhealthy. I threw my clothes over my bones and we headed out the door. 

We went to a bakery in sisters, or and I got this massive two pound donut with maple frosting and chocolate drizzled over the top with a 20 oz black coffee. I was exhausted. I said my goodbyes there to Jim and Kaitlin before they headed to Portland for a few days to camp and play disc golf. Eventually I got my lazy bones up and began a grueling hitch back up to the junction. It took me an hour, but eventually I met a dude who hiked the pct two years ago who wore tight fitting running garb and a bandana over his dirty blonde curly hair. When he laughed it rattled the windows and my brain and I couldn’t help but smirk at his style. Killin it. 

Eventually I got back on trail and began hiking in and out of the forest and eventually stepped onto a lava field that went on for miles and miles. The tiny black, charcoal like lava rocks covered the earth and the trail and tore apart my shoes and feet as I stumbled clumsily across the surface. The sun was beaming and the black lava rocks began to cook the soles of my feet, but luckily I made it under the canopy before the sun really began to hammer down. 

I wound through some burn zones and eventually pulled into Big Lake Youth Camp where I was greeted by a very friendly man who told me there was lunch for me waiting in the lodge. I proceeded to eat two massive hoagies and a pound of potato casserole. I didn’t stay for long and wanted to get a decent amount of miles in so I packed my food and my new sleeping pad and headed back out. 

The trail began a slow climb up to a mountain that featured a spire at the tip and was surrounded by smaller boulders that appeared to have rolled off over time. Snow pockets nestled in their corners hiding from the sun like a scared bunny. My body felt great and I began listening to American Gods on audible again to entertain my brain. 

A few hours went by and I began to look around and realized that I was back on ridges wth incredible views all around. I was seeing the sisters and Jefferson and Washington and three finger jack all together in a line riding the ridge like south. When the golden hour hit it illuminated the almost neon green leaves of the surrounding lupin and the tiny needles of the new growth firs along with other tiny flowers I have yet to learn that have a column of burnt orange pedals and a fluffy stock as its structure. 

When I got to camp I didn’t want to stop. I knew I should since it was getting late and I got only four hours of sleep the night before and would be wanting to push a big day tomorrow. So I stayed. I unpacked my things and ate while rejoicing the peace of eating without swatting away an army of vampire insects. The air is cool and crisp and crickets are chirping in all directions. Hikers are scattered around in their respective areas and have all retired to their warm bags to sleep in the Oregon air. Soon I will be nestled into my own bag and peacefully drifting off to the choir of cricket and wind. 

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