Day 106: Sunday, August 18

Cowboying at Willamette Pass (PCT mi 1914.0), walked 15.8? miles today

Felt very nauseous thanks to the Flagyl this morning and couldn't roust myself until 8:15 or so, and it was slow going after that. We packed up and headed out some time after 9, making a pit stop in scenic Chemult so I could pick up more Pepto and punish one of the toilets at the Pilot trucker-style. By 11 we were back around to the Crescent Lake area and I said my goodbyes and got dropped off and started hiking. I was slow and weak thanks to some combination of lingering nausea, a week of undernourishment, and the trail itself, which was uphill and very loose and sandy and really freakin hot for some reason for the first several hours. Had to take breaks often, and on one of them Chozen One walked by and he rattled off the names of some other hikers in the vicinity, many of whom I knew ... This was good news, because I really had no way of knowing what crowd of people I'd be dropping myself into after a nearly four-day break. Didn't actually see anyone else besides Chozen One the rest of the day, however.

Was forced to take a nap break around 3 and afterwards I felt almost peppy for the seven miles or so to Willamette Pass. The mileage and route-finding got confusing at the transition between the OST and the PCT by Shelter Cove but I'm guessing there were an extra 2 miles of trail in there somewhere. Once back on the PCT proper, I only had 1.5 miles til I popped out at Willamette Pass, home to my former employer, the Willamette Pass Ski Area. Their sign out front a) was riddled with basic punctuation errors, and b) claimed that they were open for dinner until 8 on Sundays all summer, and I was getting there at 7:30. Unfortunately, this proved to be false advertising--the whole lodge was fully closed up when I approached. Did some snooping around and found phone service, a working bubbler, and a power outlet on a lightpost, so it seemed like a nice place to spend the night anyway even if I didn't get food out of the deal. Set up camp in a little copse of trees that's sort of hidden from the road and parking lot, called up Kristin before bed and then turned in. No idea what tomorrow holds ... It largely depends on whether the first few hours are a PCT-pre-Brown-Mountain-Shelter type morning or a PCT-post-Brown-Mountain-Shelter type morning.