Day 110: Thursday, August 22

At the Sisters Inn & Suites in Sisters, OR ... Walked something like 9 or 10 miles today but they weren't on the PCT

Our campsite was quite rudely rained upon at 5am and I never got back to a good sleep after that. Around 6:45 we started to get ready, but we didn't leave til 8 largely because I spent a lot of time cooking and eating breakfast (potatoes again because that was the only thing left in my food bag). From South Matthieu Lake, our campsite, we were supposed to leave the PCT for a "7-mile" stroll, "downhill all the way" according to Jenna and Scott's guidebook, to the trailhead where the Jennamobile was parked. That was all damned lies and, guessing by the time it took to do it, it was at least 9 miles away, maybe more like 10, and not especially downhill (read: it was uphill) for long stretches. Along the way I talked to Scott about his totally awesome penguin research in Antarctica that he's done for the past few seasons and will be doing again this winter. He's based out of the same hut that the film crew was in Frozen Planet and he knows the penguin researchers featured in Encounters at the End of the World. His research uses a kind of penguin weigh station to passively measure food intake among individuals, and then he has to wade into the colony to periodically capture penguin chicks and make measurements on them. I asked Scott if he'd ever had two chicks at the same time and he said he had ... What a man!

Once we got to the car, we set off for Bend and once there, I ate a Jimmy John's sandwich and went into the adjacent REI to upgrade some gear. I came away with a tennis-ball-colored Patagonia wind shirt and a new Z-Rest sleeping pad, the firmness of which shocked me in comparison to my old one ... I had no concept of how far that one had faded until today. Jenna and Scott then dropped me back off in Sisters, where I spent some time observing the local hoi polloi at the laundromat. While there, I made the executive decision to stay in town for the night because there were thunderstorms all over the area and I'm just not going to deal with that crap in August if I don't have to. September maybe, August no because it's supposed to be dry right now.

Put out a call on facebook for other hikers in Sisters to join me at the Sisters Inn but I don't think many others are around and I didn't get any bites. Cleaned up in the room, in awe at my own filth, and then went to the nearby supermarket, Ray's, and paid their lousy prices for a 160-mile carry to Cascade Locks, my longest of the trip. This was my most expensive single day of the hike so far, what with the REI run, the hotel room, and the huge grocery haul, but thankfully there shouldn't be any more days like it. It might be my last full grocery shopping trip til the end, and that's a chore I can't say I'll miss. Tomorrow I've only got to hike 18 miles and then I'm meeting Owen, my Carleton friend who now reps Corvallis, at Santiam Pass for burgers, brats and (root) beer (can't drink real beer on the Flagyl). Then at some point after that I'll start doing the mileage I need to get out of Oregon.