23 Jul Day 91 – Eagle Creek Fire One Year Later
At mile 2144.8. Hiked 26.4 miles today.
At some point today I decided to hike all of the way into Cascade Locks, but with 1.8 miles to go I came across a good tent site next to a creek and decided it would be less hectic to stay there than to enter town late and try to get to the campground. I had considered motels, but the Best Western is $250 per night and other motels are not much better than camping. If a motel doesn’t offer a bathtub that I can soak in or even better, a hot tub or Jaccuzzi, I’m not interested. Really, I find the tent more comfortable. The only reason to sign up for a motel room is to avoid heat, cold, or rain. On the PCT it seldom rains and the temps at night are cool and pleasant. The Appalachian Trail is another story. It often rains and it is humid so that nothing dries out. Sometimes there is cold rain that is very miserable. There is good reason that the AT has trail shelters. The AT hikers often seek the refuge of a motel to avoid bad weather and to dry out. Whether there is a bathtub provided is secondary. I’ve had 3 motel rooms so far on the PCT. Two of them were following a day of very bad weather. None of them had a tub. 🙁
When available, hostels with kitchens are an excellent choice for thru-hikers. I buy a few groceries (hostels also have community food that any guest can use) and cook the meal I want with the heaping quantity I want. With my appetite, going out to eat is expensive and I usually leave the restaurant hungry.
I started of off the morning coming across this very long slug that was attempting a thru-hike. If this slug can do an inch in 10 minutes it would take it 3192 years to finish the PCT. That is with no breaks for sleep or rest.
I looked back to see nice views of Mt Hood’s icy north facing slopes.
The trail opened up and I began rob have views of Mt Baker and Mt Ranier.
I reached the famed and beautiful Eagle Creek trail that most PCT hikers take as an alternate. It is closed after a teenager caused a massive forest fire that destroyed this natural wonder.
I loved a peaceful half mile walk through these grassy woods.
It was exciting to have my first views of the Columbia River, but I still had about 7 more miles to the river.
Closer to Cascade Locks I saw these volcanic rock formations.