PCT: Day 138

PCT Oregon

Miles today: 23.1

Trail miles sum: 1415.1

Trail location: 2097.4

Elevation: 6017

Spinning on the turntable: Paul Simon: The rhythm of the saints

Guthook Screenshot

Guthook Aug 24

Today was a gradual but progressive uphill climb. The temp is cooler than the previous weeks (months?) and hovering in the low 50’s. There’s rain in the air, I can feel it, it’s just a question of when.

PCT Oregon

Little Crater Lake

I headed for little Crater Lake this morning. Bonus points since it was just a quarter mile off trail!

The water is 45′ deep and I could see the bottom of the crater. The water clarity is amazing.

PCT Oregon

Lake view

I stopped and filled up my water bottles and ate a snack and then headed back to the trail.

I’m curious why woodpeckers would drill holes so close to the ground. Well, I assume it’s woodpeckers. Anyone know?

PCT Animals

Woodpecker holes maybe

It was nice to see a little Northwest humor.

PCT Oregon

Yeti sighting

Not so humorous to need to cross a major highway (26) on foot. At this point I shuffle but don’t run. I waited until I saw no traffic in either direction and then shuffled across.

PCT Oregon

Crossing Hwy 26

We met up with my brother/sister in law at Timberline lodge and ate dinner.

Timberline Lodge

Timberline with Trish and Ben

It was great to see family! We should start seeing our children within a few days.

We also had the experience of watching the Timberline Lodge staff scramble their Emergency Response Team for handling Hazardous Material.

A young girl vomited up her entire meal into two water glasses. It was an amazing example of physical control under pressure!

Timberline Lodge

Cup barf, haha

The family vacated the table. A bus girl attempted to clean the table off and a horrified manager stopped her and explained that the HAZMAT group needed to handle the clean up.

The manager grew weary of waiting for the HAZMAT team to show up and started placing the offending water glasses into separate trash bags.

When the HAZMAT team finally appeared they brought official hazardous waste bags.

The trash bags containing the water glasses AND the trash can the trash bags were placed in were bagged for removal.

Timberline Lodge

Haz mat to the rescue

Trish couldn’t stop laughing!

Timberline Lodge

Too funny!

I asked our server for a free round of drinks to compensate our table for the smell of vomit. No love.

Coming off the trail and encountering this kind of scene just made it over the top crazy funny. We (literally) don’t shake hands on the trail since we know exactly what you’re doing with your hands since we’re doing it with our hands too.

If this had been one of our kids we would have paid them an immediate cash bonus for vomiting neatly into the water glasses without spilling a drop. We’d most likely have added an additional cash bonus if they’d flush the vomit and rinse the glass out.

Timberline lodge is the most crowded location we’ve visited in a long time. It’s too crowded for me right now.

One year ago Noelle and I were hiking here and discussing the possibility of hiking the PCT. Today we’re out here doing it. Crazy.


  1. Danielle

    One year later and you’re out there killing it, not just doing it!! I am so proud of you both!💕

  2. VFat

    I, on the other hand, am not disappointed with you at all.

    People are weird.

  3. Heidi L Halverson

    Yep. That’s what we do when our kids vomit – call Hazmat. That is crazy. So? What if someone pukes on the floor? Wetvac and cut out a square of carpet for replacement? And disposing of entire wetvac? Good news is that Hazmat is not so busy that they are able to respond to non-emergencies. Hard to eat food when the spectacle is unfolding. Reminded me of the time my 8 yo son vomited in hotel room at night. I tried to help by carrying him to the bathroom mid-puke. Slipped and bodyslammed into spattered puke. Surprisingly there is not much provided for clean up in a hotel room. We used our towels for showers and to cover the vomitus. We left the room a disgusting mess because we had little choice. Hit the buffet.

    I’m so proud of you. I think PCT is cool endeavor but as I read through your posts, I don’t know if it’s for me. I have so many questions, comments. I am happy to see you up your miles, but I know its hard. I hiked 20+ miles a day on mountains once in porcupine mts. It was very hard and borderline unenjoyable. I am surprised by how both of you fell so much in the beginning. I guess with hiking poles and wouldn’t you want trail shoes with traction? Why would you fall so much? I think you have to be there to understand.

    I’m still disappointed that Noelle is not doing more backpacking. I know – your shoulder hurts and you think being short is a disability. I just really really think you can do it and shouldn’t let the setbacks throw you off track. I think if you built up strength in your shoulders, you’d be fine. I don’t know – planks are good, as are lateral raises if you have dumbbells. I know – get two empty jugs of milk and fill part way with water to do lateral raises and shoulder presses. Then add water as you add strength. A pint’s a pound the world around, so a gallon weighs 8 pounds.
    Four weeks of this will make a huge improvement. Also arm circles for flexibility.

    I’m also disappointed that you bypassed the most interesting part of the trail – John Muir section and Yosemite. I’ve never been but would love to see it. I think my desire is to do the John Muir trail, beginner rock climbing, and beginner mountaineering – give me crampons and an ice axe and just a lesson or two. I know you did all that research and made the right choice. I did read an article that suggested starting PCT earlier – in March – then you get to hike through desert before it’s hot and cross streams before ice breaks. Yes you have to get crampons but it seems like a good strategy. Not that after the fact backwards thinking can be useful, but that was my assessment.

    Overall I am still very much in awe of you and Noelle. Living like van bums on the run. I think you had me at leaving all the modern day trappings of house, car, job for a nomadic lifestyle. I think it’s good. I’m curious about your personal growth. Leaving American culture and living in Ghana for two years taught me a lot about my culture because you have to leave it to see it clearly for what it is. And travelling by myself around West Africa at the end of my Peace Corps service made me equally more confident and wary of others. Did I find myself? Not really. And I didn’t enjoy many parts of the journey, but it has been the quintessential experience of my lifetime where I built up my character more than any other time. I know for a fact that I could never have survived as a stay home housewife mother if I didn’t have a wealth of prior experiences to draw from to help define me and to escape to in my memories and imagination.

    And kudos on your blog. You are consistently giving us a daily burb of life on the trail with pictures. I have it sent to my email so it pops up on my phone at 8a CST daily. I totally look forward to it. I would have thought I would have lost interest, but I haven’t, although the drama in the beginning was so awesome. At your expense, I know. Pictures are great. I’m curious how you do the blog. I don’t like typing on my phone so I usually don’t take the time to comment, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you. Here’s something I wanted to tell you: Giardia is very recognizable. I’ve had it many times and it was the reason for the majority of diarrhea I had over the two years I was in Africa. Giardia causes diarrhea that is yellow (burnt mustard color) and frothy. It also causes gas. Lots of gas and smelly smelly burps and farts. It has a recognizable smell and taste. It’s a parasite so it feeds on food, especially carbs, so starve the beast. I don’t think you had giardia. Also poop tests are pretty useless, too many false negatives. You or your pet can have any number of intestinal parasites and poop test will only find it if the microscopic sample on a slide in the field of view shows the parasite. Most of the time it is a miss.

    On my long ass journey from fat-ass to bad-ass, you both inspire me.


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