Sunday, July 22, 2018 – 10.50 miles
I left camp at 6:45 AM, hoping to take advantage of the cool early hours. I’ve heard good things about Big Lake Youth Camp, which supposedly has a hiker building, delicious vegetarian meals and laundry by donation, but the timing doesn’t work for spending a night there. I’m going into Bend at Highway 20 (six miles after the Big Lake junction) to make resupply boxes for the rest of Oregon and Washington, and to finally replace my water filter at the REI! Woohoo! The Steripen has been functional but more annoying than filtering.
The walking today was mostly easy without much scenic merit (why do I only have three pictures though…). The trail crossed an old wagon road, which was neat. Why don’t I have a picture of the wagon road, she called into the eternal abyss.
I opted not to walk to Big Lake, but nonetheless reached Highway 20 without having to draw water from what eTrails describes as a ‘murky pond’.
The south side of the highway isn’t a good hitchhiking location at all, having a steep shoulder and scant room to pull over. I retreated to the shade to make a sign. As soon as I returned to the road, an SUV pulled over! The driver announced ‘I’m a trail angel!’ and the stickers on her windshield gave confirmation. I wish I could remember her name, but as per usual I forgot it within ten seconds. She was returning to Bend after giving a ride to another hiker who had reportedly walked without water for two days after her water filter broke. Wha????? I’m hoping it was a situation like ‘evening of one day and morning of another day’. If it’s full days, I don’t know how that happens on a crowded hike like the PCT. You wouldn’t even have to ask for water, just wait at a water source for a few hours and ask to borrow someone’s filter. The thought of asking other people for help fills me with disgust and horror too but c’mon, it’s two days. No one wants you to go without water for two days.
I mentioned to the trail angel that I needed to replace my filter at REI and she offered to stop there on the way to my motel (so lovely) but I wanted to look for some other items as well, so I declined in the name of not wasting her time. I offered her money, which she initially refused since it was a hitch, but she and her husband spend a lot of time helping PCT hikers so I insisted. She dropped me off at my motel, which is near the Grocery Outlet store. I had imagined the Grocery Outlet as a huge store, but unfortunately the selection isn’t that great, so I’m going to have to visit another store(s) as well for this massive resupply run.