13.6 miles (Miles 1759.0 – 1772.6)
PCT Mile 1759 – Lake o’ Woods Trail Junction
I think Poots Magoots and Pappy Toots ignited our funny bones. We laughed so hard we had to stop in the middle of the trail, doubled over with our legs crossed… more than once. I don’t even specifically remember what was so darn funny each time, but it sure was fun.
Our morning was a six-mile gradual uphill climb through gorgeous pine forest. Once we reached the top of the climb we got a pretty view of the north, snowy side of Mt. Shasta! What a treat. The rest of the day wound us through mostly more old pine forests, and the trees were so humongous! They were either skinny and super-tall, with hardly any branches until way high up in the sky, or they were really huge at the base, still super-tall, but with a lot more branches. It was pretty hot out again, but we had lots of shade to keep us cool.
This section of the PCT has been really fun to hike with my parents – in addition to laughing at everything until we nearly pee our pants, Tears and I had a great excuse to slow down and take lots of breaks. We have thru-hiker legs and mentality, so 20+ miles each day is standard out here. But having guest hikers, we try to keep it around 12 miles max, and it was pretty great to take it easy for a few days. Poots and Pappy crushed over 13 miles like rockstars today, too!
This stretch of trail also showed a lot of the heart of the PCT. It’s not necessarily a section people would go out of their way to section hike – it’s not Crater Lake, Yosemite, or the high Sierras. Those spots are spectacular, of course, and we plan to see Crater Lake soon, but this section was just straight-up PCT. We enjoyed a few smoke-hazed views, forests, climbs, a piped spring and a nice water pump for water sources, and Tears and I had fun introducing Poots and Pappy to quite a few other thru-hikers we know. Oh! And they got a great taste, literally, of trail magic! We had two caches today. The first was a surprise by the world’s best (I may be biased) trail angel, Aloha! We had beers and root beers to choose from. Mehap and No Day sat with us a bit as we enjoyed ice cold drinks and told jokes. The second cache was from another trail angel – Rob Urlacher. There were lawn chairs and two coolers with iced sodas and crisp apples. And a frisbee. What a good day!
Our last stop for the day was at the Brown Mountain Shelter where we filled up on water from a really awesome Wisconsin-made well-water pump. While we were there a doe and two spotted fawns walked right past us for some water. It was nice to get a little taste of wildlife other than the “meat bees.” We had so many bees trying to steal our lunch today! I even witnessed a larger black and white bee attack a yellow and black meat bee, kill it and fly off with it. The insect world is brutal, I tell you! Anyway, after the awesome pump water, we hiked a little more to a sort of flat spot at a trail junction where we plopped down for the night. Eight miles to restaurant food tomorrow! And I get a big Aloha hug! Yay!
I hear snoring and it’s making me tired. Tomorrow we hike out, then Aloha is taking my folks out on a trail-angeling adventure while Tears and I crush some miles to Crater Lake. It’s been a fun three days of hiking, and it’s going to be hard to say good-bye to Poots and Pappy… but that’s a few days away so I don’t have to think about it yet. There’s lots of laughing to do before then!
Tonight I love laughing until it hurts.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!