Day 120: Sunday, September 1

Cowboying near an unnamed spring (PCT mi 2201.8), walked 27.6 miles today

Departed last night's spot by 7:30 and saw no one whatsoever all morning. This did not bother me in the least ... everything I did today was suffused with a calm, happy feeling. I've been in a very good mood since Cascade Locks, and the warm sunny weather might be playing a part in that. When I left Shrek's, Donkey shook my hand and said, "Enjoy the rest of your hike, although you seem like you're really enjoying it already." That made me glad to hear, that I give off that impression noticeably. Today I must have looked that way to anyone who saw me, but that wasn't many people.

Around the middle of the day I was in a low-elevation part of the trail that seemed to have a lot of civilization nearby ... the trail crossed three paved roads in as many miles and I was hoping for trail magic at just one of them--it was even hotter than yesterday and a cold soda would've been soo nice, and it was Sunday of Labor Day Weekend so the odds seemed good--but there was nada. Was forced to conclude that this state must be full of avaricious scum who hate hikers. After that nadir, both literal and figurative, the trail started a 9-mile climb that I had been dreading, but I put on music and, consistent with the way the rest of the day went, the shuffle picked all the right songs and I cruised up the hill nice and easy without even feeling it. Near the top, around 5pm, I encountered two long-lost faces, Babyface and Dixie Cup, both of whom I'd last seen shortly after Kennedy Meadows (mile 700). They appear to have fallen in love and had been treading such a primrose path of dalliance that they flipped up from Sierra City to the Canadian border at the end of July and still haven't made it out of Washington heading southbound since then. I mentioned to them that Spit Walker had a stated goal of Most Time on Trail among all successful thru-hikers in 2013 (he started April 3 and wants to last 6 months if not more), and they were intrigued. Babyface said he already had a record he didn't think anyone would beat--most weight GAINED, at 25lb and counting. They were both really funny and really happy, and it made for a great run-in ... Dixie Cup seemed a lot better off in her present situation than she was with the two heffalumpish women she had for hiking companions in the desert.

Eventually we all bid farewell and I resumed my northward bent ... Two miles later I was at the top of the climb and two miles past that I was at this site, which was my short goal for the day. It was, unusually, a bit off from Halfmile's GPS waypoint but I used my finely honed wilderness navigation skills and found it anyway--ice cold water, flat soft camping and just me. The sine-curve pattern of thru-hiker traffic continues ... For the last half of Oregon, I couldn't escape them if I'd tried; now I see no one going my way for 36 hours, and probably more. Tomorrow: another 25 to 30, hopefully closer to 30 because it could mean breakfast in Trout Lake the ensuing day.