Today was an unnecessary zero day. I just took one four days ago. There wasn’t anything ailing me now, so I didn’t need another break. I didn’t even need to shop for my resupply because Kim had sent a box to me.
Nevertheless, it made sense to stay an extra day in Government Camp. Bluejay and Sunkist could then catch up to me, and I’m hoping we won't get too far ahead of Dave, who has returned home for a couple of days.
Besides, I might as well take a day of rest when I can get it. I still haven’t hiked half of the PCT, and the way I figure it, I have less than three months to finish the miles. I will need to push hard every day.
After finishing Oregon, I still need to hike the rest of California to Kennedy Meadows, where I finished the desert in May.
That includes the Sierra, which has the highest elevation on the trail. If I don’t get through it before the end of October, I am at a serious risk of running into wintry weather.
Growler wanted to catch the first bus back to Timberline Lodge, so he left before 6 a.m.
He has a deadline. He'll be hiking with his son in a few days and he doesn’t want to lose any time before meeting him on the trail.
After Growler left, I went back to bed and slept for an extra hour. The only item on my to-do list for today was laundry, so I was not in a hurry.
Later, as I was preparing to go downstairs to start my laundry, I received another text message from Sunkist. She said she and Bluejay had reserved the room across the hall from me. They were eating breakfast at Timberline Lodge and would catch the next bus to Government Camp.
They arrived while I was sitting outside the laundry room, waiting for the dryer to finish.
Bluejay and Sunkist had some time to kill while waiting for their room to be ready to check in, so we sat in the Huckleberry Inn’s diner and discussed an idea they had for when we finished hiking the Oregon section of the trail. They proposed skipping northern California for now.
Once we have reached Ashland, Oregon, we would drive down to Truckee, California, then continue south through the Sierra to Kennedy Meadows. After that, they said, we would flip back to Ashland and finish the rest of the trail we had skipped in northern California.
This was an intriguing idea. Ever since I decided to flip-flop to avoid the Sierra snow, I presumed I would continue hiking southbound back to where I had finished the desert section. The only other option I had considered was to flip down to Kennedy Meadows after reaching Ashland and hike back north.
Bluejay and Sunkist said they wanted to continue hiking south, but they didn’t want to hike the Sierra too late in the fall.
The best part of this idea was they said I could join them. I double-checked just to make sure they didn’t mind me tagging along, then said yes.
We knew Dave had been planning to continue hiking south to the Mexican border, but we agreed we’d try to talk him into joining us.
While Sunkist and Bluejay checked into their room and got cleaned up, I called Kim to fill her in on my change of plans. Then we walked down the road to Mt. Hood Brewery for an early dinner.
We agreed to take the early bus in the morning back to Timberline Lodge. Even though they already ate at the breakfast buffet this morning, they said it was good enough to go again tomorrow.
Bluejay and Sunkist seemed to know what they were talking about and that was good enough for me.