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The Month of August

 

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Aug 1st

 

 

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Aug 2nd

 

 

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Aug 3rd

 

 

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Aug 4th

 

 

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Aug 4th

 

 

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Aug 5th

 

 

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Aug 6th

 

 

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Aug 6th

 

 

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Aug 8th

 

 

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Aug 8th

 

 

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Aug 9th

 

 

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Aug 9th

 

 

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Aug 9th

 

 

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Aug 10th

 

 

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Aug 10th

 

 

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Aug 11th

 

 

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Aug 11th

 

 

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Aug 13th

 

 

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Aug 13th

 

 

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Aug 13th

 

 

  

Chapter 1

August 3rd, Crater Lake, Mile 1830: “I am laying here perched over Crater Lake, the deepest lake in North America and 7th deepest in the world, however I can’t see the water due to the thick smoke from the Oregon forest fires. I’ve already walked 130 miles in this state, and only have 300 more to go before Washington! This state seems small compared to California!
I spent most of this last section alone, passing my 3 month mark on the PCT with a nice 32-mile day. I had a wonderful time here in Crater Lake National Park today, sharing a lovely buffet dinner with two couples from Salem, OR. Now to hope that the morning brings a view of the lake, and that the forecast for snow tonight will be wrong!”

Chapter 2

August 6th, Shelter Cove Resort, Mile 1905: “These last few nights have been cold ones. After a 20-degree night on the rim of Crater Lake, I hiked 26 miles off and thru the dry Oregon Desert before reaching water. The temperature never rose above 40 degrees that day. I had met up with Luke as the day wore on, and we finished up a 30+mile day and camped on Pumice Flats. A 20 degree night put a thick layer of frost on us that night, which made for a slow start the next morning. I kept pushing that day to outrun a storm that was looming on the horizon. As I finished my day, the rain began, and I luckily was close to Summit Lake Campground, and could go and hide under a picnic table that I converted to a little fort. It made for cramped yet dry sleeping.


Today I was on the trail a little later once again due to the cold morning temperatures and moved over the 1900 mile mark as I gained Willamette Pass, and hitched to Oakridge to hunt down a hotel. However, a nearby forest fire had shut down the towns’ electricity, so I found myself back on the trail at Shelter Cove Resort under the stars and 25 degree temperatures. The weather is supposed to warm up, for this cold spell is quite peculiar for Oregon in early August, so they say. But as for now, it’s cold.”

Chapter 3

August 11th, Olallie Lake, Mile 2048: “I’ve come 143 miles in the last 5 days since I last wrote back at Shelter Cove. The first and second day north from Shelter Cove traveled through deeply forested mountains and lichen-covered pine trees. I took a half-day off from Elk Lake and hitched into Bend, Oregon to buy some food and Ben-n-Jerry’s ice cream. I had met up with Luke once again, and he had gone to Bend in order to find a new set of sneakers. We met a man in town who took us to a sneaker store, to a grocery store and drove us 45 minutes back to the trail that night.


From Elk Lake the trail passed through the spectacular scenery associated with Oregon’s finest volcanoes. I passed under the Three Sisters, Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Jefferson. The trail went from forested valleys to open crests, thru snow bound passes to recent (the last 400 years) lava flows, which have transformed the landscape.


Also, seeing this area is very popular one for backpacking, I spent a dinner with a group from the Bridges Academy for Boys in the Three Sisters Wilderness, and camped with a group from Salem, Oregon last evening at Rockpile Lake. Tonight here at Olallie Lake, Arnold, Cherry and family treated me to a dinner after a long day on the trail. The people along the trail have been just as amazing as the scenery.” 

P.S. I think this one got lost in the mail, it took 16 days to get to me - Rose

Chapter 4

August 13th, Timberline Lodge, Mile 2102: "Pulled a 36-mile day at Olallie as I passed over the 45 degree North latitude line. I started at 32 1/2 degrees N, and will end at 49 degrees N! Almost there! On to Washington by tomorrow!"

Chapter 5

August 14th, Cascade Locks, Mile 2150: “The state of Oregon is behind me now, having moved the last 430 miles at 28+ miles per day. A fitting quote sent to me by my friend Trail Wizard describes some of the mentality that motivates long distance hikers.


‘I’m into pain. Why? Because it’s self-revelatory, that’s why. There is a point in every race when a rider encounters his real opponent and understands that it’s himself. In my most painful moments on the bike I am at my most curious, and I wonder each time how I will respond. Will I discover my innermost strength --you may say pain is my chosen way of explaining the human heart.’ --Lance Armstrong


It is truly a moment to stand on the slopes of Mt. Hood, Oregon’s highest peak, and look off into the distance at Mt. Jefferson, and the faint Mt. Washington and Three-Fingered Jack, and off on the horizon the Three Sisters, and realize that you have come as far as you can see in yet the last 5 days. And then to traverse around Hood, and set you eyes for the first time on Washington’s volcanoes, Mt. Adams & Mt. Rainier, and to ponder what the path will be like that takes you there. To wonder if you will have to offer as much, in terms of comfort, to reach them, to wonder if it will cause you pain, make you tired, if it will rain, if it will be cold, if you will be hungry. And it is at that point that I love my hike, for I go on to answer these questions, by taking a step toward the peaks in the distance, and leave the others behind.

Chapter 6

August 21, White Pass, WA, Mile 2300: “Yesterday while standing on Peakwood Glacier as a 30mph wind whipped rain at me, the temperature hovering slightly above freezing, and visibility down to 20 feet, I finally realized why Hawaii is a more popular vacation spot than the PCT.


I had met up with another hiker, Hal, and together we were braving the weather as we crossed the Goat Rocks. We spent hours crossing the narrow crest that towers above the surrounding glaciers. The wind and rain punished us as we inched across the trail that was merely 5 feet wide at times with sloping cliffs on either side. As the day wore on, we had stopped for a quick break around 6pm on an exposed plateau. Hal hoisted his pack to begin again, and his strap broke. I waited for a bit while he attempted to fix his strap. Hal was dressed to withstand the cold, however, I do not carry all that much gear. As I waited, suddenly my hands began to get real cold, my teeth chattered, and my body started to shake. At that point, I knew I had to turn to the strategy I employed in years past on various trips... when I was caught in a thunder and lightning storm on Mt. Mansfield in Vermont, a hail and sleet storm at 13,000+ on Forrester Pass, when I encountered a mountain lion and grizzly bear in Montana…. to run. 

And so I ran. Ran and ran. Across glaciers, down frost covered rocks, across creeks, through wind swept plateaus. I ran and ran, until I had dropped nearly 2,000 feet down into the forest and completely out of the storm. I happily ended my day at Lutz Lake that evening, far from the peaks of Goat Rocks. Now I sit watching black clouds roll over White Pass, awaiting me to leave my hot chocolate here. Only 350 miles to Canada!!

Chapter 7

August 25th, Snoqualmie Pass, Mile 2397: “After 13 miles of walking yesterday, I took a break at a logging road at Tacoma Pass to sneak and dry out some of my gear in the warm sun, which is becoming a rare companion now as I travel through Washington. A pair of trucks drove up, and started setting up some tables. As I inquired, they informed me that the Classic Cascade Crest 100 mile race was underway, and that it was run on a segment of the PCT north from Tacoma Pass to near Snoqualmie Pass. Having competed in ultra marathons myself in the past, I know what this meant. 

Aid stations. 

Food, water, snacks and people cheering you on from here to Snoqualmie. And so I was committed. By 11:45pm I was at I-90 here in Snoqualmie, some 41.5 miles from where I had started, in the thick of a pack of ultra marathon runners!! I had met a section hiker, Jean, as the day wore on, and sold her on my sick intentions of cruising to midnight. So I had some great company as I strolled under the full moon on the PCT! ONWARD TO CANADA.”

Chapter 8

August 29th, Seattle, WA, mile 2472: “I am currently in Seattle waiting the arrival of my fiancé Jen, who will be finishing the final 187 miles with me.
On this last section from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass, I was joined by Sundance who I had met and hiked with in the Sierras. It was great to have someone with me, but quickly showed me how mentally taxing a long-distance trip is on a solo-hiker. 

My trail name, Happy “JO” is a great representation of my typical response to difficult and trying situations. I love nothing more than to encourage others who are going through similar experience or trial, and to offer them support and motivation as they overcome the moment. This trip, however, has pushed and challenged me to such an extent, that upon meeting up with Sundance, who was fresh, healthy, and excited, I had to admit to myself and to him that I had nothing left to give, and that I needed him. The shock I encountered as he sped off from me uphill, and the mental strain I experienced as I labored my 2400-mile old legs to catch up with him, pushed me into a feeling of deep loneliness. 

I realized I had adjusted to the countless hours, days, weeks, and now months of solitary motivation as I walked, but could not handle watching Sundance dart out of my sight on a long uphill, just hoping I would catch him later as he took a break and waited for me. I struggled with this for the first and second days we walked, and finally admitted it to him on our third day. Tension I had caused was immediately relieved as I told him, and he gracefully walked with me for the final day and a half to Stevens Pass.


Together, Sundance and I moved my 26th and 27th day over 30 miles. Now to await the arrival of Jenny, and together stroll thru the remaining wilderness of my trips both physically and mentally.”

 

Back to July

Onward to September

 

 

 

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Aug 14th

 

 

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Aug 14th

 

 

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Aug 15th

 

 

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Aug 19th

 

 

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Aug 19th

 

 

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Aug 20th

 

 

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Aug 20th

 

 

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Aug 21st

 

 

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Aug 21st

 

 

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Aug 22nd

 

 

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Aug 23rd

 

 

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Aug 23rd

 

 

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Aug 24th

 

 

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Aug 25th

 

 

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Aug 26th

 

 

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Aug 26th

 

 

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Aug 26th

 

 

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Aug 27th

 

 

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Aug 27th