Day 102 to 105: Wednesday-Saturday, August 14-17

One 7-mile day on the OST to Crescent Lake (OST mi 8.9), followed by three zero days laid up with GIARDIA

Woke up on Wednesday and immediately had bad diarrhea, lost my appetite and strength, got nauseous--all the usual bad stuff. Struggled to get the six miles done to Crescent Lake and, once there, struggled a while longer to find the alleged hiker campsite with toilets and running water. Had a second bad diarrhea there and started to think, "It's been almost a week now. Enough is enough, there's probably something actually wrong with me that I should see a doctor about." So even though I'd planned to go back to Eugene on Saturday, I started to look into my options for getting back that day. Surprisingly, there was great cell service at Crescent Lake and I was able to find a Eugene friend, good ol' George, to drive up and pick me up that afternoon. Waiting for him was kind of a drag once my phone lost the rest of its battery and I had to resort to throwing small rocks at signs and trees to entertain myself for two hours, but by 4 he had found me and by 5:30 I was back home, having had to break into my own place because Kristin was still out of town.

Went to the doctor next morning and they gave me a stool sample kit. This was a new experience for me, but I neglected to photodocument the process by which I obtained my sample--a sad oversight for the sake of this blog, I know. I apologize. Anyway, it didn't sound like they were going to have lab results back by the weekend when I planned to hit the trail again, but on Saturday morning they did call me up and say hey, you tested positive for giardia! So I'm a real hiker now. Giardia. Yeah, I've had it, kid. I now have a 10-day prescription for Flagyl, a drug whose primary side effects are, of course, nausea and diarrhea.

The zero days were spent lounging around a little, watching torrented replays of the major sporting events I'd missed that I heard were good--Champions League Final, Stanley Cup Game 6--and eating nice food when I felt up to it, which was only about half the times I should have. I made a spreadsheet with every single ounce of food I need for the rest of the hike, then Kristin and I went on an epic trip to Costco and Winco and got it all purchased and organized. On Saturday, today, we teamed up with George and another friend, Corina, and drove out to the trailhead near the Hwy 138 crossing (see day 100) to camp and deliver some trail magic in the form of soda, water and watermelon to whatever PCTers came through. Over the course of two hours, we met five, including Verde and Johnny Reb, whom I'd met before but neither in the past few months. We left a buttload of soda and water behind at the trail for those further back. So tonight I'm back almost at the trail, except it's a part I've already done and I'm car camping with a bunch of Eugene friends ... tomorrow we're driving back around to Willamette Pass / Crescent Lake to drop me off and they'll go home. My legs feel rested in a way that they haven't felt basically since the beginning, although I'm still anxious about having to hike with the long spells of no-appetite (and therefore bad calorie and water intake) that I continue to have. But if the prescription does its job, I should be a fresh daisy by the time I get to the Washington border.