I left for Ashland on July 26th, and started making my way to link up with my 2010 AT Trail buddies. I took the 97 down, and stopped at this funky little restaurant, Mohawk Restaurant & Lounge. Decided to treat myself to a patty melt before heading to my friend, Pebbles’ place. He and his wonderful girlfriend, Nora, live on a horse farm just outside the city of Ashland. There I also met up with Klarity & G-Hippie, and the 3 of us will be soon starting our adventure on thee PCT.
We stayed with Pebbles for one night, and the next day headed to the river to spend the afternoon enjoying a lazy Sunday. We parted ways from Pebbles & Nora in the late afternoon, then headed a little further north to a great camping site for the night before starting our journey.
Campsite outside of Crater Lake – Three Lakes Sno-Park
The next day we drove to Forest Road 961, which is basically the Northern Boundary for Crater Lake NP. We left my van there, and then hopped in G-Hippie’s van to head to Mazama Village at Crater Lake. We parked the other vehicle there and soon started heading North on a short, 27 mile stretch. Don’t forget, you need a Permit to hike the National Park sections of the PCT, and always register before hiking out. I totally forgot about this rule, and G-Hippie had to hike back out 2 miles to register his van. We linked up with him some miles down the trail and then soon set-up camp for the night. The next day we had 10 miles done, when Klarity & G-Hippie decided to hitch-hike back to the van because of some blister issues. I hiked on so I could finish the miles, and met them back up at my van, totaling a 19 mile day and 27 total new miles.
It was mainly hot and dry, but the last 5 miles of my hike the thunder clouds starting rolling in, and before I could get my rain jacket on, hail began coming down, which then turned into rain. I welcomed the cold rain on my skin, because it has been so hot and dry. In addition, the forest has been devastated with wild fires and being able to experience rain was like getting to hear the forest cheer.
In 2016 I had to get off the PCT in this section, and end my thru-hike early. My dog had started developing Degenerative Myelopathy, and my friend’s who were taking care of her, wasn’t sure what needed to happen. I decided to stay home after working on a festival on the east coast, and ending my thru-hike. It felt so rewarding to be able to pick back up where I left off.
Once we got back to the vans, we showered and made some beans and rice, and of course rewarded ourselves with some cold beverages. We made a plan for getting to another section heading Southbound for the next portion of hiking. We camped at the trailhead that night and made plans to head out in the AM.
After driving the Breeze through a pretty horrible forest service road we made it to our new destination. We were going to hike southbound from a forest service road back to FSR 961. We made it in 5 miles for the night and camped out, surrounded by mosquitos all night. We all ended up making supper and breakfast in our tents, before I came up with a new gameplan for our days ahead. We decided to hike back to the car and head north to hike Mt. Hood > Cascade Locks. From there, the hike was so much more beautiful and the mosquitos weren’t as horrendous. We ended up hiking a 55-mile section, totaling my new miles to 90. It was a gorgeous hike, with plenty of water and campsites. Ending at Cascade Locks and the Bridge of the Gods was pretty spectacular, and I really could’ve continued hiking North.
The hike consisted of so many berries, springs and creeks! I was able to pick and enjoy blueberries, huckleberries, blackberries, thimbleberries, yellow raspberries and wild grapes. Hiking around Mt. Hood gave us amazing views, but the trails overall were pretty crowded, so we had to keep our bandanas up for most of our hiking around bigger trail junctions. So many wildflowers as well! Just overall such a beautiful trail and the trail itself was soft and made for some really easy hiking. It felt so great to get back on the trail, and enjoy the life as a backpacker.
After parting ways with G-Hippie, Klarity and I started heading south to stop back by Pebbles’ house to pick up her dog, Marg. We decided to not make the full drive to them, and I found a wonderful campsite in central Oregon near Palisades Cove.
Deschutes Campground – $35.00 a night with full hookups and great showers and bathrooms.
The next morning we got on the river and I used my inflatable kayak and Klarity rented a kayak from the resort. I highly recommend this place, as it was beautiful and completely an unexpected scene from central Oregon.
Cove Palisades Resort & Marina
We spent the morning on the river, then got on the road to Pebbles. We met Pebbles and Nora for dinner in Ashland, then went back to their house for the night before hitting the road the next day. We decided to drive through Lassen National Park and then stayed at a campground an hour or so down the road. I am not going to list this site, as it was incorrectly listed and ended up being Day Parking Only. Regardless, we stayed there, and we were woken up with honks at 6:00 AM. We got up and hit the road, making it back to Klarity’s house by early afternoon. We also made reservations at my favorite winery and got to enjoy some great wine, amazing food and a night in Carmel Valley.
Going to enjoy a few days off the road with my best friend and relaxing before hitting the road again. I’m thinking about heading back to Wyoming for another run of beautiful summer before fall starts to set in. Onward!
“They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there – and all the time they’ll get there anyway, you see.”
― Jack Kerouac