Day 121: Phones don’t belong in the creek

Tue. 8/20/13
27.9 miles (Miles 1849.8 – 1877.7)
PCT Mile 1849.8 – Six Horse Spring


The most colorful moss and flowers I've seen!

Well, it’s one of those things I figured was bound to happen sooner or later. I dropped my phone in the water at Thielsen Creek today. It was completely submerged, sitting at the bottom of a small pool of water for a second before I scooped it up. I rely a lot on my phone out here. I use it for maps, finding trail mileages, taking notes and making resupply lists… but what I use it for most is as my camera – taking hundreds of photos, and this – my blog. I had some time today to think about what I’d do without it.


Thielsen Creek.

I went down to the water to wash off my legs, but I wanted some photos of the pretty flowers so I tucked my phone into the front pocket of my shirt. Not thinking, I bent over to wash my legs and feet. The phone fell out of the pocket and right into the drink. I grabbed it as quickly as I could and removed the water resistant Ballistic cover right away. There were a few droplets of water on it, so I did my best to dry it off. I powered it down and took the battery out, dried up a couple more drops and restarted it. The touchscreen was dead. A smartphone with no touchscreen? Oy… I couldn’t do anything! I was so bummed out, but I wasn’t letting myself get too worked up over it. I let it sit in the sun over my lunch break, but it still wasn’t working by the time I had to get moving. I walked with it turned off, hoping and praying it would dry out and miraculously start working. An hour later I tried it again… it worked! I was so happy. During that hour I was trying to come up with creative ways I could keep up this blog while I waited for a new phone. I figured I’d write in my journal and type it up later, but I just wouldn’t have photos for a few days. Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with all that. I was even thinking I could hitch at the next road and find a Verizon store. Sigh… I’m just glad it works!

Other than that, I had a great day! I really love Oregon so far. The trails here have been so nice… we had quite a few climbs today, but they were gradual and really quite fun. I hiked through a lot of forest dominated by hemlock trees of all ages, some lodgepole pines here and there, and less firs than what I have been seeing. I really love the hemlocks. As juveniles, they have the prettiest needles. They grow dark green with the newer needles a light green on the tips of the branches, and I think they all look like litte starbursts. They actually feel kind of soft to the touch, too. The older hemlocks are huge, gnarly, reaching into the blue sky and most have old man’s beard covering parts of them.


Afternoon light through the forest

We hiked around Mt. Thielsen today. There was a side trail to the top, and I felt tempted to try it, but we had a destination in mind for the day that involved a much-needed water source. We kept truckin’ past the junction, but enjoyed the many awesome views of its sharp spire way up high. We were told it’s basically a lightning rod, too. After my mountain lightning experience, even with a few whispy clouds, I’d probably be nervous climbing up there anyway. Maybe some other day.


The pointy Mt. Thielsen

We had distant views of the snow-spotted Three Sisters, as well as Mt. Bachelor, I believe. It was nice to have such a clear view for a change, with no fire smoke in the way.

My favorite thing about today was the moss and tiny flowers that lined Thielsen Creek. The moss was such a vibrant yellow-green – it was a color that is kind of hard to describe, so I took lots of photos of it. I’m so happy I’m able to share them! They didn’t get lost in the creek!



Pink monkey flower?

Tonight I love being able to write my blog and take photos. I sometimes feel like carrying a sensitive piece of technological equipment like this phone can be a burden, but it’s really been worth it. Now I just need to be more careful!


Hungry tree


Diamond Lake


Our trail looked professionally landscaped in places


Clyde-O the Oregon chipmunk.


I think this one's a giant type of fir tree. I like the patterns of the branches and needles


One more moss photo because I liked it sooo much.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

3 thoughts on “Day 121: Phones don’t belong in the creek

  1. Pingback: PCT Gear Review from my 2013 PCT Thru Hike. | So Many Miles

  2. Robin, do you have a baggy and some rice? If so put your phone in the rice in a plastic bag and strap it to the top of your pack, the rice will absorb any left over h2o. Or next time you get into a town, put your phone in a plastic bag with rice and set it on the dashboard. I hope it continues to work for you!

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