Day 123: Trail Magic!

August 15, 2017: Hiked Miles 1905.6 to 1932.8 (27.2 total)

I crashed out around 11:00 last night, as soon as I finished blogging. The boys stayed up playing video games until around midnight. So the 5:00 alarm came earlier for some this morning. But we all hopped up and hit the road. Colton and I were starving of course so we toasted some bagels and ate the rest of our doughnuts on the way up. Best trail breakfast, seriously. 

The sun was just starting to come up so we had a beautiful drive up into the mountains. Dylan made the drive back up in record time and dropped us back off at the trailhead a little before 7:00. We jumped out of the truck and were instantly reminded of how cold mornings are in the Oregon mountains. We said bye to Dylan quickly so he could make it back to work on time. 

We used the outhouse one last time before we hit the trail. I think we were just making excuses to get warm. We contemplated sitting inside for a bit to warm up, but the smell and flies changed our minds. But there was this cool sticker inside. 

We started hiking and slowly climbed back up into the mountains and slowly warmed up. We started passing tons and tons of mountain lakes and ponds.

I can’t believe how many are hidden in these hills up here. I love Oregon.

The first couple hours after getting back on the trail after a day off are the best. Your legs feel fresh, you’re full of stockpiled calories, and you’re happy to be back on the trail and in the fresh air. We always have the best discussions during this time, solving all the world’s problems. Now if someone would just listen to us…

We hiked and talked all morning long. Then we both finished the audiobooks we were reading. I finished The Help, which I would definitely recommend to everyone. Colton finished The Aviators which he said was very enjoyable and informative.

At one point we passed another hiker who asked if he had heard the good news. We hadn’t and I was hoping it was something to do with the fire closures up ahead, but it turned out to be even better. He told us there was trail magic up ahead including hamburgers! If that doesn’t get a thru-hiker excited, I don’t know what does.

And sure enough, a little while later we ran into this sign:

Please still be there, please still be there, was all I could think. 

And sure enough, they were there!

Sparkles and her daughter, Hannah, had come all the way from Portland to spend four days doing some amazing trail magic. She grilled us up some cheeseburgers and we helped ourselves to chips, fruit, cookies, beer, soda, and other snacks. 

She even had supplies for hikers and extra food for the trail. 

Sparkles hiked the trail last year until she had to get off in Mt. Shasta due to a pelvic stress fracture. So she knew just what hikers need and want to eat. Well, we like everything, so I guess it’s not too hard. 

But the burgers and beer hit the spot. 

We met a bunch of other hikers there too and even ran into our French friend, Thomas, who we hadn’t seen since before Etna. We had a great time laughing and telling stories and of course, eating. Seriously, some of the best trail magic. We couldn’t thank them enough. I hope Sparkles gets to finish the trail someday.

We hung out until it started getting cold and then took off hiking to hopefully warm up. Which we did when we popped out into an old burned area. 

I couldn’t believe how pretty it was. There were purple flowers growing everywhere you could see. 

After booking through the burn and solving more of the world’s problems, we ended up back in the trees and then came across more water, of course. 

It’s neverending up here, it’s amazing. 

I finally found one of these cool placards that wasn’t rusted over:

And then we finally made it to our campsite for the night at a lake around 6:00. There were a few other tents around the lake and someone had a fire going and man, did it smell good. It almost smelled like a bbq and for a second we thought we were getting more trail magic. But it turned out just to be the smell of burning trees.

The mosquitoes were horrible and it was already pretty cold so we set up quickly and put all our warm clothes on and sprayed ourselves with mosquito spray. I’m about sick of these things already. We were starving so we cooked and ate quickly to get inside the tent and out of the cold. 

Now we’re snacking on our ridiculous candy stash. We have Gobstoppers, Skittles, Reeces Pieces, Junior Mints, gummy bears, and Tootsie Pops. Not too mention the m&ms in our trail mix. Sadly they’ll probably all be gone in a few days. 

We didn’t get much sleep the past couple nights so it will probably be an early bedtime tonight. Actually Colton is already asleep and it’s not even 8:00. He said that one of the things he really enjoys about getting back on the trail after a day or two off is knowing he’s going to get lots of sleep. And yes, he definitely does. I think he makes up for the lack of sleep for both of us.

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