OST: Day 129

Miles today: 28.3

Trail miles sum: 1224.3

Trail location: 1906.6

Elevation: 4890

Spinning on the turntable: Vienna Symphony Orchestra: Strauss Waltzes

The morning started out cold! For the first time in several months I wore my hiking trousers over my hiking shorts to keep warm in the morning.

After a big mileage day yesterday I opted to take the Oregon Skyline Trail (OST) and bypass part of the PCT. 1000ft less elevation gain, four lakes and less mileage sold me on the idea. I loved, loved, loved the conundrum the OST gave to the trail hiking purists. Stick with the purist principal and hike an extra seven miles to arrive at the exact same location? Needless to say, I wasn’t alone in the OST.

(I shall bide my time and wait for the opportune moment to ask one of the purists, now that he’s been sullied by easy miles, if soon he’ll be road walking I-5 to Canada.)

I needed to use a different phone application for GPS location tracking called Halfmile. For some reason my go to App, Guthooks, didn’t contain the PCT bypass route.

The pink trail was what I followed instead of the red trail.

I ended up needing to select a trail direction quite a few times over the course of the day. The trail wasn’t identified as the OST. At each trail junction I needed to look at the map and confirm where I was heading next.

It was rather tedious and I missed the easy (usually) tree marking for the PCT.

Today was the same as yesterday, lots of trees on both sides of the trail blocking any kind of “bigger” view. I’m finding that this is incredibly boring. I’m sure there’s wildlife somewhere, but I’m not seeing it. I again gorged on Podcasts. Other hikers are gushing about how awesome this is, but I’m just not seeing it.

I did have the thrill of a few more tree hops though.

Stepping over trees can be tricky sometimes. I’m looking for broken branches that will snag my shoe when I swing my leg over the tree. Hidden branches that will cut my leg (just did that yesterday!) and branches that might snag my “dangling participles” as I maneuver over the downed tree. So simple, yet challenging, as the hiking day grows longer and I get more weary.

I was chatting with a hiker today that I hadn’t seen in a few weeks. Honestly he was talking and acting a little weird. Not harmful, just weird. I think the constant isolation of solo hiking does bad things to some folks heads, maybe too much quiet time.

I’m lucky enough to have Noelle to chat with several times a week. Although, Noelle has told me that I’ve become even more quiet than normal during the process of this hike.

I believe this may be a coral mushroom, but I’m not positive.

The last two miles of the hike into Shelter Cove was quite splendid. I’m a sucker for gently flowing rivers and gentle downhill trails. This section of the trail reminded me of the Columbia Gorge with all the waterfalls.

This evening I said goodbye to another pair of shoes. Last night I had taped them up with Leuko tape in an attempt to buy one more day of service.

522.3 trail miles of faithful service!

Noelle was laughing because I beat her to the punch and asked her to pose with the bear before she could ask me to pose with the bear!

1 thought on “OST: Day 129

  1. Steve and Noelle,
    I have been following along since I met you two at Crater Lake. I am home now and your blogging has kept me connected to the trail. Thank you for your wit, your insight and journey. Keep pick ‘
    em up and putting ’em down.

    Red T-Cup

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