Day 112: mile 2040.4 – mile 2065.1

Elevation gain: 2,194 ft

Elevation loss: 4,611 ft

Today we found ourselves dealing with good and bad stuff all day long. We had decided that with Link’s shin giving him so many issues, we needed to get going as early as possible to give him ample time to rest during the day. So we were walking by 6:20 and he said it felt a little better this morning…good. One cool thing we heard this morning was what sounded like an elk call. It definitely wasn’t the sound a buck makes, more like a “bugling”, and we know there are elk in the area. It was loud enough that I could hear it through my ear plugs even before the alarm went off…cool & good. We realized last night that Olallie Lake resort was only 5.5 miles away and just .1 off trail. This meant we could easily go by there to grab a cold beverage and some snacks…also good. We were loving all the lakes we were seeing this morning plus some neat views of Mt Jefferson again.

Mt Jefferson

The trail was pretty rocky this morning and my feet were still really sore from all the rock walking we did toward the end of the day yesterday. So I was trying to be extra careful to step on the rocks evenly in order to assure my feet didn’t roll into other pointy rocks. Link and I were having our usual fun morning banter, chatting away about what we might get at the store, when out of the blue…BAM! I literally hit my head AGAIN on a downed tree hanging over the trail! Except this time the tree was bigger and I hit it squarely with my forehead…it was like hitting a brick wall. I was immediately bounced backward, landing hard on my ass…SERIOUSLY?? How do I keep doing this? To be walking upright one minute, then smacked in the head and leveled to the ground the next minute is really not fun. As usual, Link ran to my side, helped me up and dusted me off. I swear I’m looking up, but with my hat on, my peripheral vision is apparently more impaired than I thought. Besides being super frustrated that this happened again, I also had a dull headache for quite some time…bad. When we were just a mile from Olallie Lake, I saw what I thought was a stick lying across the middle of the trail. But just as I was taking my next step, I realized the stick was actually a little Garter snake. So, in mid stride, I had to step even further forward to make sure I stepped over him and onto my toe so I wouldn’t squish him. When I did this, he got spooked and looked for the closest shelter, which was under my heel. Good thing I didn’t step down! He was pretty darn small and cute so I touched his tail to make him slither into the bushes to assure no one else stepped on him…good.

Just as we made it to the trail junction to get to Olallie, we saw a tent which had something really moving around inside. I assumed someone was getting dressed or cleaning up in there. At this same moment, Turtle & Gnome walked up and before we could even say “hi” they were rushing toward the moving tent because it was theirs! I’ll let this video show you what happened:

Even though Gnome had left his side of the tent unzipped, Turtle realized later that she had left oatmeal on her side. This is also where the chipmunk had chewed THROUGH the mesh to get to the food…bad, but funny too! After the chipmunk finally leapt out of their tent, Link and I walked down to Olallie Lake for a snack. What a picturesque spot for a resort…Mt Jefferson, as the amazing backdrop for this lake, was stunning!

The little store was pretty limited, but we were able to get a root beer, a PBR for Link, Pringle’s, string cheese, and 2 Snickers for later. We sat on the little bench facing the amazing view and just enjoyed the moment. A family walked up and rented one of the row boats while we were sitting there. I have to say I felt a pang of jealousy…it would sure be nice to have nothing to do today but row around this gorgeous lake.

Turtle & Gnome

While we were at the Lake, I thought I would try not only using my Superfeet inserts, but adding the original Altra inserts as well. I was hoping the added cushion would help my feet feel better since it seems these shoes are a lower profile than the Brooks were. As luck would have it, this worked! I tied my shoes as loosely as possible so there wasn’t too much pressure on the top of my feet and they feel sooo much better…good! We spent about 45 minutes at Olallie, just eating our snacks, relaxing, and chatting with Turtle & Gnome…it was super fun!

The rest of the day was actually pretty uneventful. Link’s shin was definitely feeling progressively worse, especially on the downhill…bad, bad, bad! So we tried to manage our stopping points in order to help make him feel most comfortable. Unfortunately, his limping also got worse throughout the day as well so hopefully this doesn’t make a different body part start hurting! 😩

We only made a few brief stops so that we could get to camp as early as possible in order to maximize Link’s rest time. This worked out well because we made it almost 25 miles to Warm Creek by 5:15…good. But when we arrived, the entire backpacking community seemed to have had the same stopping point idea…bad. There were probably 15-20 people on both sides of the Creek already, so our choices of spots were slim. We ended up in the middle of a bunch of trees with barely enough room for our tent. We also had to climb over multiple downed trees just to get in and out of our “fortress”. There are definitely some less than healthy trees right around the tent, but we really didn’t have many options. 😬 Just hoping none of them decide to fall anytime tonight…not great.

As we were setting up, first Terminator & Dallas walked by, then Turtle & Gnome. It would’ve been so great to all camp together but there definitely weren’t any spots big enough for that to happen! But we were able to join Turtle & Gnome by their campsite to eat dinner since they had a little more room plus logs for us all to sit on.

Two more pieces of news…one good and one bad. The good first: Mantis & Pants saw a super cute family of mountain goats the other day and took a video. So even though we haven’t seen any of these guys yet, I thought it was neat enough to share…

The bad news is that we found out Canada has extended their travel ban so we will NOT be able to get into Canada when we finish. Normally, we would get to the terminus at the US/Canadian border, then walk another 8 miles on trail until we reached Manning Park. But because we aren’t allowed to cross the border now, we will either have to walk back south on the PCT 30 or 70 miles!! Then we will need to get to Seattle to finally fly home…ugh! We were really looking forward to exploring Vancouver! Anyway…we will have to figure out all those new logistics soon. As for now, thanks so much for following along with us! DoubleDown