Day 90: mile 1572.3 – mile 1594

Elevation gain: 4,325 ft

Elevation loss: 4,943 ft

Perfect temps, stunning wildflowers, gorgeous views, and trail magic…what a magical day!

Today we were meeting Glide who is generous enough to supply us with only our 3rd trail magic of the whole trip! This wasn’t happening until after 11am and we were only 7.8 miles away from him, so we set the alarm for 7am and slept in. Then we even had our coffee and pop tarts right there in camp! (and for those of you on the edge of their seats wondering if the rest of the pop tarts were cherry this week…THEY ARE, more magic!!) The morning clouds were super cool looking plus the rain had washed away a lot of the haze which made for better views in the morning.

We were both on high alert for rattle snakes after seeing 2 yesterday, and the Mountain Grouse sure didn’t help our hearts. They LOVE to wait until the last moment, when we are only 3 feet from the bush they’re hiding in, to clumsily fly out. It’s super startling every time, and makes me jump out of my skin! Right before our final climb leading us to trail magic, the green hills, jagged peaks and wildflowers were at an all time level of “WOW”!

We reached Glide and his generosity at about 11:15 where he immediately handed Link a beer and me my favorite root beer…ahhhh! Before he could start cooking his famous burritos, we needed to wait for his friend, Tree Frog, to arrive with the stove. So we relaxed, drank, and chatted about the portions of the PCT he had done in 2015. It was so interesting to hear about the differences since there were WAY more hikers on the trail than this year. He said that a lot of the hikers started to anticipate trail magic being at most road crossings, and even planned their resupplies around them. We can’t even imagine that…how different!

Tree Frog and Nancy arrived around 12:15 and they whipped up some amazing burritos with cheese, sour cream, ACTUAL avocado, and Tree Frog’s homemade hot sauce…yummy!! Link and I each ate 2 plus chips and salsa, and fresh fruit. The meal was such a treat, and Link and I are overwhelmed with the fact that people would drive 4 hours or more just to share their generosity with us. We are extremely thankful, especially our bellies! 😜

Link and I were back on the trail at 1:30 with Glide sending us off with tortilla chips, donuts, fruit, and another avocado. That will all be perfect with our chicken white bean chili for dinner tonight…Thanks again!! We still had 14.2 miles to get to Paynes Lake so we knew we would be getting to camp later than what we like, especially since most of the climbing was in our immediate future. Even though the terrain was WAY steeper than we had expected, the views were truly amazing.

More spectacular wildflowers today as well:

Pacific Bleeding Heart
Oregon Checker-mallow

When we only had about 3.5 miles left, we went through a crazy old burn area that was so expansive. As far as the eye could see was dead tree after dead tree. It was eerie and pretty neat looking, all at the same time.

We made it to Paynes Lake at 7pm and hustled to set up camp so that we could enjoy the lake a little before the sun went down. The good news is that we’ve gotten pretty darn fast at setting up and breaking down camp since we’ve done it 90 times this trip! Soon, we were eating our chili with all the fancy fixings from Glide while sitting on a rock by the water…magical!

Although today had some tough terrain, and the number of rocks I tripped on as my legs got tired made me yell out an expletive or two, it really was filled with magical sights. I’m super excited to see what kind of magic is in our future as we head toward Oregon! Thanks for joining us along this journey and thanks for all your great comments…always so inspiring and uplifting to us! Double Down