Day 97: Friday, August 9

Tenting at Christi's Spring (PCT mi 1792.3), walked 22.5 miles today

Woke up at 1 a.m. last night with about a half-second to get my bearings before I started vomiting. Still have no idea what caused this--it only happened once and was a a very small amount. Had to clean it up then go outside to clean myself up, and succeeded in not disturbing the other shelter-dwellers in the process. Then I popped some Pepto and went back to sleep, but it was never a restful sleep and I woke up at 7 feeling like garbage. Had what we can politely call a very bad bowel movement before starting the trail. All this had me wondering if my luck's finally run out and I've picked up a waterborne illness from not treating anything, but I didn't experience any repeats of those symptoms the rest of the day. What I did experience was a very annoying persistent feeling of weakness and achiness, probably because my body has more urgent things to devote its energy to than walking.

At 9:30 after only a few miles, I had to stop and lie down next to the side of the trail to rest and sleep some more. After that I felt almost normal, and thankfully the trail was easy going. It would have been impossible going over lava flows were it not for some more excellent trail building (see picture) ... essentially a raised, red, clean sidewalk through fields of black lava boulders. Got to the highway crossing two miles from the Fish Lake Resort around 1 p.m. and was quickly given a hitch by local hero Eric, who called me bro at least a dozen times in our 3 minutes together. Got to Fish Lake and despite my lack of appetite forced down a burger ("forced down a burger": sadder words were never written by a thru-hiker) with HB Special, who had also made his way there for lunch a few minutes ahead of me. He and I got a ride back out to the trail with a family and walked together most of the the rest of the way.

The clouds, which had hung around all morning, finally cleared out and the late afternoon was pure Oregon summer glory--clearer air than you can possibly imagine, only about 75 degrees, and the trail lazily drifting through the evergreen forest with occasional views out over more endless forest, sometimes dotted with a lake or two. Got to Christi's Spring with HB around 7 and after a little poking about found some grade-A tent sites in the vicinity. With any luck I'll feel more normal tomorrow and be able to walk 25 to 30 miles to get to within spitting distance of Crater Lake.