Day 118 (August 16): PCT Mile 2,157.1 – 2,182.6

The Cloud Forest, The Sting, and The Funk

Beginning Elevation = 2,500
Ending Elevation = 900
Elevation Range = 900 – 3,450
Weather: Cloudy fog, turned sunny, high 70°F

I haven’t camped close to hikers I don’t know in a while it seems and so this morning I felt very aware of how much noise I was making being so close to them. Last night, we’d given them a warning that we’re early risers and they told us that was good, that they wanted to get up early to hike south into town for breakfast. Even so, my plastic food bags seemed extra crinkly to me!

At 5:30am Snickers and I were on the trail. For those who have read a few of these posts, you may have wondered why I include the time we do things, particularly the time I wake up every morning. What does it matter!? Well, it really doesn’t I suppose. I think I know where my habit stems from though. Before the trail, I worked on projects where I would be required to write daily field notes. I found early on that the more detailed the notes, the better. So, not only would I write who did what, where, and how, but also when. The timing of things always seemed to be of importance to folks managing the projects. So there you go.

Ok, now to today’s activities…

Since we didn’t complete the initial big climb out from Cascade Locks, we finished the 1,000 or so feet that were left first thing in the morning. It was quite dark for a while when we got going and it took a while to realize we were surrounded by a cloud-like fog. I’ve had this happen before on trail and it just makes everything wet. The plants especially, which wasn’t ideal since we had a pretty overgrown trail to deal with. All that being said, it’s pretty neat in my opinion. I just wouldn’t want it to happen all the time!

Today wasn’t my favorite day of hiking if being honest. Nothing was bad really. We had some interesting weather, saw some nice forests, the terrain wasn’t especially tough, but towards the end of the day I was unmotivated and in a funk. I felt better once I had dinner and was sitting in camp, but man, those last five miles were a struggle. Anyway, I’m not going to spend too much time writing about the day itself, but for a few things…

I thought this rainforesty part was neat…

I saw more slugs. Maybe around 5 today.

Around 10:00am or so, I was walking along, I think I may have been listening to a Pete Holmes “You Made it Weird” podcast with Tenacious D as the guests, and out of nowhere some sort of bee or wasp or devil flying insect dive-bombed the back of my left leg. It was super fast and stung right away, never even saw the thing really. It was so intense that I made an instinctive reaction to swat the thing, or at least I think that’s what I was trying to do. In the process, I tossed my trekking pole about 25 feet down the steep bank in a pile of dead trees. So…not only was I near death from my insect attack, I now had to climb down a precipice and retrieve my trekking pole. I overcame all obstacles though and continued on my way.

It’s somewhere down there, I promise.

Here’s the two overlooks we had today. The first in the morning, just a temporary opening in the cloud and forest cover.

The second in the afternoon.

We randomly heard piano music while taking a break on this ledge. It was almost like ice cream truck music. Maybe it was just me dreaming. Still a mystery where it was coming from.

At two different points along the trail, I came across these signs, which I thought were pretty interesting…

Here’s some variety we saw in the last couple miles of the day…

Our camp was interestingly different. Near Panther Creek in what I’ll call an old growth forest. That’s what someone in Guthook’s called it and it seemed old and it seemed the trees had certainly grown to a overly large size! Lots of moss and ferns too…very Jurassic Park/rainforest-like appearance.

I was in my tent at 8:00pm, something that hasn’t happened in a while. And I was beat. Hoping for a rejuvenated spirit tomorrow!

3 thoughts on “Day 118 (August 16): PCT Mile 2,157.1 – 2,182.6

  1. Sherry Hoekwater

    Hoping there wasn’t any poodle bush stuff where you went searching for your pole!
    The rainforest stuff looks cool but I’m feeling some humidity over here 😬


  2. Ruth Prins

    thanks for keeping it real, Steve. Nice to know that you are normal, and that you too have ‘off’ days sometimes. Adventures aren’t always just lots of ‘aha!’ moments.

    Liked by 1 person

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