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Archive for September 3rd, 2006

Lets climb

Destination: Near Road 41
Starting Location: Cascade Locks
Today’s Miles: 25.00
Trip Miles: 2117.50
Cascade Locks (2155.6, 200) to Near Road 41 (2180.9, 2982) ascent (6444) descent (3645)

If you want to have a really interesting conversation while hiking 25 miles with a 10,000 foot vertical change, hike with someone who has an undergraduate degree with a double major in Philosophy & Greek History from Bates and a masters in Computer Science from Brown University. We basically solved the worlds’ problems today & when I am king I plan to implement the program immediately. Andy is a really great guy and is one of those scary smart types who is well read and knowledgeable on an amazing suite of topics. Thunder was absent as he had some personal emails to attend to. Then he lucked out and Scott Williamson (yoyo hiker) came into the café. Now we have a really good trail condition update. Scott is doing okay but has an ingrown toenail and is going to Portland to have it removed. I wish him well & hope he makes it.
Speaking of people, the other night we walked until dark to find the only flat spot for miles. When we got there other tents were pitched but they had the thru-hiker look so we set up right next to their tents. In the a.m., I noticed the other tents & gear were super ultra light beyond most thru-hikers. Then I saw 5 Gossamer Gear packs and said good morning to Glen Van Peski (Gossamer Gear founder) & Irish (who we hiked with in Southern California) along with their friends who were hiking Washington & Oregon. Small world on the PCT.
Was thinking about where I got my keep moving forward tendencies. I do not know for sure but I do remember an incident that likely pointed towards the past & the future. When I was a kid, my dad & I would box. This was always a lot of fun until one day when I must have been 12 or 13. We were boxing and things got a bit rough and after being knocked down a few times I got more ticked and more aggressive. Finally as I remember it, he knocked me down hard & told me to stay down. No chance. As I got up, he then took off the gloves and walked away. We never boxed again. A few years later, Private Braggs from Chicago broke my nose after I foolishly but quickly agreed to enter a boxing ring with a golden glove boxer to resolve our differences. My nose broke instantly on the first punch; I was blind with watering eyes & blood but was getting up when he too walked away. I don’t seem to learn real fast.
The forest here is right out of Jurassic Park & finding a campsite devoid of massively thick vegetation was impossible. We are camped on an abandoned jeep road. The ferns, azaleas & hardwood are intertwined and everything not living and some things that are living are covered in moss. We are not in the desert – that’s for sure. But the weather was hot & humid to the point we swam, okay jumped in & out, of Rock Creek to cool off.
The leg is at 80% and that is fantastic. I know for sure that Catholics, Evangelicals, & Jews all put in prayers. We joked I needed a Muslim as well but my Muslim friends are all back in Sacramento and likely do not know I was hurt. Regardless, this is definitely better and I seriously want to thank each of you for your kind words & prayers. Something worked. Oh yea, I kept talking to the mountains as well and they certainly seemed liked they were listening.
Wump, wump, wump. When I looked up a mature bald eagle had come around the corner of Rock Creek with a clear intention of landing on the beach we were on. When he saw us he had to abort quickly & climb out of the canyon. What a bird, but not the best at last minute changes of flight plans.

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