Maps of Darrell's 2005 Journey
Credit for the two maps of the PCT in Oregon and Washington go to the PCTA website.
In this map you can see how the PCT goes through Washington State. It's the north/south red line. You can clearly see in this image how the trail follows along the mountains, living up to its "Crest" name.
In this map of western and central Oregon, the PCT is the red north/south line.
Journal Entry: June 2005
It's a frantic time now. Darrell and I are up to our eyes in gear and packing lists and peanut butter tubes and camping food and maps and permits and ... you name it! If it has to do with the PCT and lite backpacking, we're dealing with it. It's always nerve-wracking at this time. There is so much to do.
On June 27th, Darrell plans to be in his truck driving out of Santa Fe. On his way north, he'll stop and visit his GRANDSON, Hayden, in Vancouver, WA. He'll love that visit. Hayden will be almost 1 year old. He was born just before Darrell resumed his California hike last summer. Then Darrell will continue on to Sammamish, WA, where he'll meet up with his good friend Thea, husband Rand and son Jess. After an all-too-brief visit with them, he'll leave his truck in their driveway (...thank you!!) and take a bus back down to Medford, OR. There his good friend Meghan will meet him. After a day's visit, Meghan will drive Darrell to Mt. Ashland, where he ended his 2004 hike. (...thank you!!)
Then ~ the hiking begins anew...!!
Journal Entry: July 3, 2005
Aaaannnnddd he's off! Darrell hit the trail today. He spent the night last night with this good friend, Meghan O'Flaherty, in Medford, OR. This morning she drove him to the trailhead, picking up where he left off last year, in Ashland, OR. At left is a photo she took as he began his hike. When I spoke to him this morning, he told me that he plans to do about 16 miles today. This week he'll be working himself back up the the 20-miles-per-day pace that he set for himself last year. He's on his way to Crater Lake Nat'l Park. There he'll pick up his first resupply box that I've already sent ahead to the Camp Store at Mazama Village. On the package it states that he's a PCT through-hiker, and I've noted his estimated arrival date, so they'll hold it for him. Meghan reported to me that the weather is lovely today in southern Oregon, moderately cool with clear skies. Darrell had told me this morning that the prediction was for the low 80's with very low chance of precipitation. An auspicious beginning!
Here is a look at the elevational changes that Darrell will make this week as he proceeds from Ashland to Crater Lake.
As with the maps and elevational images from last year, credit for this image goes to Ken Roberts www.morethanamile.com
Journal Entry: July 9, 2005
Yesterday Darrell made it to Crater Lake, rest-stop and resupply. He called me today from the Crater Lake Campground, where he is happy to take a "zero day" (no backpacking mileage). He enjoyed spending some time exploring the park and viewing the crater from the east rim. It's his first visit to this park, so he's glad to take some extra time. He told me that this week has been hard, getting his legs back into the shape they were in last year. He's a bit stiff and sore, but we both acknowledged that's to be expected during this first week. He did not take any time to work back up to the 20-miles-per-day. He hit that speed right on the first day, and so has made excellent time. But I bet that accounts for a lot of his soreness. Right now he is reporting a "challenge to body and soul". He's hoping that this week will have given him what he needs to find his balance.
He said the mosquitoes are relentless. He's very glad he brought a head net. Here's a photo of him trying on the headnet that he bought. Apparently he has to wear it every day. Okay, okay, it may not be pretty, but in these things Darrell and I celebrate function over form!
This week he walks to Elk Lake, which is just a bit west of Bend, OR. He'll be met at the trailhead by our friends Aura and Morgan Herriott. They will generously take him back to their (NEW!) ranch for him to spend a couple of nights, get a warm shower, do some shopping and sleep in a bed! (Thanks Aura & Morgan!)
Here's an elevational profile of this week's segment.
Credit for this image goes to Ken Roberts www.morethanamile.com
Journal Entry: July 17, 2005
Friday night Darrell made it to Elk Lake. He's a full day ahead of his own schedule! That's great. It means that if he needs to take an extra day later on, he'll have the leeway to do so.
Our friend, Aura, and her husband Morgan, picked him up at the trailhead and drove him to her home, about an hour and a half away. There he got to sleep in a real bed! Take a warm shower! Enjoy the comforts of a real home! What a treat for him. He told me he slept really well, no surpise. On Saturday, Darrell spent most of the day arranging his pack with the new food supply that I'd sent ahead for him, did some shopping for those items that he still needed, went to the post office, etc. By Saturday night, he was ready to hit the trail again. This morning Aura & Morgan drove him back to the trailhead, and he's headed off into the "Sisters Wilderness". Thank you Aura & Morgan! Darrell said that staying with you was really helpful and restful!
Darrell says that he has enjoyed the company of some other hikers during this past week. He hikes alone during the day, but at night he has been meeting up with three other folks and enjoying the comraderie of sharing trail stories over a camp dinner. I'm glad he has this companionship. So thanks to Marvin and Anne and Lee for keeping Darrell company!
Darrell has also begun to encounter some of the southbound hikers. These are folks who began hiking in the spring at the Mexican border, hiked to Kennedy Meadows at the base of the Sierras, then "flip-flopped" to Canada and began hiking southward toward Kennedy Meadows. This is all because the Sierras received such a huge amount of snow this year. Many hikers are trying to hike that portion later in the summer.
No photos this week, but here's another elevational profile. He'll be hiking to a place called Olallie Lake Resort, where I've sent ahead his food. Had to ship it in a plastic bucket this time, as I was advised that it might sit in a "shack" for a few days waiting for his arrival. Don't want to feed the mice... Check out the elevational gain he'll have between Milk Creek and Park Ridge. That will be a long day for him!
Credit for this image goes to Ken Roberts www.morethanamile.com
Journal Entry: July 21, 2005
Darrell called on Thursday. He had reached his next resupply stop, a place called "Olallie Lake Resort". The resort offers cabins, and he decided to treat himself to one. Get off that ground for a night!
I received a package from him today that he sent last weekend when he was with our friends Aura and Morgan. Pictures!! Yippee!! Here's one of him hiking in his head net. Yuck. Hate to think of all those bugs...
Look at the "Photos 2005" link in the menu on your left for more pics.
Darrell is very excited that on this upcoming segment he'll be hiking around Mt. Hood. He'll approach from the south, of course, and circle around the west side of the mountain. Once he reaches Washington state next week he gets to see his grandson again! He expects to reach "The Bridge of the Gods" by Wednesday. His god-daughter, Sarah, will pick him up there. He's allowing a whole day and half at their home. Sounds cushy to me!
Here's a map of northern Oregon to give you some orientation. Last weekend was Elk Lake near Bend. This current stop is Olallie Lake. Next week ... the border!
Credit for this map goes to Ken Robertswww.morethanamile.com
Journal Entry: July 28, 2005
New Photos! Be sure to check them out at the Photos: 2005 link in the menu on your left.
Darrell called tonight. He's now in Vancouver, WA with Sarah and Ken Haynes (Sarah is Darrell's god-daughter) and one-year-old baby HAYDEN!! The energizer bunny!!
He is still a day ahead of his estimated schedule and doing well. Legs and feet are mostly holding up well. He's just about worn out his boots and is trying to decide if they'll make it 100 more miles. He has a new pair of boots that he shipped ahead to Sarah, so he'll either begin using them now, or ship them ahead to his friend, Thea, who will be helping with his next three resupplies. (Oh-my-gosh thank you, Thea!) Of course, he'd like to get maximum mileage out of the ones he has, but it's not worth hurting his feet to do so. As it is right now, he has to wear an extra pair of socks, the boots are getting pretty loose.
He told me that on this last section he woke up to find a mouse in his tent one night. Scampering around looking for food, I'm sure, but Darrell never keeps food in his tent. Of course, mice will eat just about anything, so who knows what drew him to the tent. Darrell had to wake himself up and spent a bit of time trying to "shoo" him out of the tent. Darrell's tent does not have a bottom to it, so he was finally able to lift up the side at just the right moment and the critter scampered away. Annoying to lose sleep from vermin...!
Speaking of "wildlife", Darrell has rethought his approach to the bear situation. He had planned to hang his food when he got to more bear-populated areas, since the "bear barrel" weighs 2.5 lbs and is bulky to put in one's backpack. However, he has been advised by other hikers that he has encountered that the section of trail north of Seattle has more bears than where he's been so far and the trees are not so great for hanging food. So I will be shipping his bear barrel to Thea, where Darrell can get it. A bear can kick one of those barrels around and around, but they'll never get it open. Yes, a bear could lose your barrel, and in that way you might lose your food. But they won't get into it. It's important to remember that the primary objective is actually to protect the bear. Any bear that finds food easy to obtain from a human becomes a bear that is in danger. These bears often become more aggressive to humans and sadly must sometimes be shot. And this happens because unwary or lazy hikers don't take the necessary measures to keep their food protected. The idea is to teach a bear that humans are NOT an easy source of food. They'll give up. They are so focused on eating, they won't waste too much time in a no-win wrestling match with a barrel.
He now only has 500 miles of the PCT to hike!! (Only 500 miles!! Everything being relative...) Just think, he's come 2,158 miles since he began this journey last year. Of course, that's just counting trail miles. That does not include the extra miles he has had to walk to towns, or the extra miles he put in to climb Mt. Whitney.
Here's a map for this next section. Darrell will get back on the trail at Cascade Locks and hike to White Pass. There he'll be met by his friend Thea and her 14 year old son, Jess. Thea will give Darrell a resupply package that she's been holding for us AND Jess will join Darrell for 4 days of backpacking! A companion! Wow! What a concept! Darrell is very excited to have Jess's good company and to share his trail knowledge. It will be a wonderful change for him.
Credit for this map goes to Ken Roberts at www.morethanamile.com
Journal Entry: August 7, 2005
Darrell called on Friday (the 5th) from White Pass. He's doing quite well now, although he reported to me that mid-week he was in a great deal of pain (in his legs) and even considered quitting. But he chose to "tough it out" and with careful stretches he seems to have conquered the leg soreness ... for now. Keep your fingers crossed for him!
Since he crossed the border into Washington state, he has completed 148 demanding and beautiful miles, which culminated in climbing up beyond the tree line in the Mt. Adams wilderness area. This was at the base of the Mt. Adams volcano, into the Goat Rocks Wilderness, where he spent three days. Starting at the Columbia River, which sits at almost sea level -- 100 ft, he climbed to 7,100 feet. He traversed a ridge called the "Knife Edge Ridge" late in the afternoon on Thursday. Very narrow, he was grateful that the weather was mild. He told me that in bad weather he'd have had to crawl across it. Walking, it took him two hours to cross the ridge. At one point, he could see Mt. Adams (12,200 ft) to the south, Mt. Rainier (14,400 ft) to the north and Mt. St. Helens (6,000 ft) to the southwest. Three volcanoes from one spot! He then crossed "Old Snowy Mountain", which had snow fields and small glaciers.
This week he has had his first sign of bear -- a footprint going south. He told me that he was unable to tell by the print if it was a black or a brown, but most likely it was a black bear. Not lots of griz in this area. He has also seen his first elk this week, just before crossing the Wind River.
Laughing, he told me that one night he made a movie of himself preparing his dinner as if he were Julia Child, with her high-pitched voice he talked about, "Now we open the bag of delicious dehydrated food, and pour in the boiling water, give it a good stir and zip it back up to wait while it soaks up the water and releases those delightful morsels of flavor!" Ha! Ha! I can't wait to see that little movie!
On Saturday he was joined by Jess, son of our friends Rand and Thea. I know that Darrell will be thrilled to have Jess's company. A bright and active 14 year old, I'm sure that Jess will bring much needed companioinship to Darrell's trek for a few days.
Here is a map showing this week's journey. Follow those red dots! Darrell and Jess are starting out from White Pass. Jess will stay with Darrell until Chinook Pass, where his parents will come to meet him. Darrell will continue on and be met again by Rand and Thea at Snoqualmie Pass. What a great gift to have folks to meet Darrell along the trail three times in one week! This has made so much of our planning a great deal easier. Not to mention the joy at seeing good friends!
Credit for this map goes to Ken Roberts at www.morethanamile.com
Journal Entry: August 21, 2005
New Photos from Washington State! Be sure to check them out at the Photos: WA 2005 link in the menu on your left.
Well, I'm a bit behind in the journaling. Apologies to everyone! I was away ~ camping with my horse! But now I'm home and ready to post more news and photos of Darrell's journey.He is currently in Northern Washington state. He called and left me a message on Thursday, from the home of trail angels Jerry and Andrea Dinsmore, in Skykomish, WA. (Thank you Jerry & Andrea!)Darrell had a great time with Jess. They hiked and swam and talked and I know that it was wonderful for Darrell to have some companionship on this long solo journey. Thank you, Jess, for keeping Darrell company!After being with Jess, Darrell felt refreshed and highly charged and hiked TWO 30-mile days in a row!! Yikes!! He freely admitted, once he got to Snoqualmie, that he overdid it. Fortunately, his good friends, Thea and Rand (Jess's parents) arranged the massage of a lifetime for him, so he got his legs back in order before he started out again.Darrell says that this portion of his hike is especially rigorous, with lots of elevational changes. But he says that just makes for even more beautiful Alpine lakes and wilderness.I needed to use two maps to show you where Darrell is hiking this week.
Imagine that these two maps are pasted together. Darrell is hiking from Skykomish (about the middle of the lower map) to Stehekin (about the middle of the upper map). When he reaches Stehekin, he'll be less than 100 miles from the Canadian border! What a long way this boy has come...!
Map credit goes to Ken Roberts at www.morethanamile.com
Journal Entry: August 29, 2005
!!! Yeeeeeee Haw!!!
He made it!! YES!! Darrell arrived in Canada!! He has completed the PCT. He arrived at Manning Park, BC, Monday evening. Whew! What an accomplishment. It is hard to believe that it is done. So much time and so much work and so many good friends following our story. Sometimes it felt like it would never end... But this part of his Odyssey is FINISHED !!
He has written an entry to the "Guestbook" to tell you a bit about how he feels in his own words. Click the link at the left and check it out. Then BE SURE to congratulate him !!