Mile 1936 to 1950
We spend extra time tending to Kevin’s blisters but we are running low on bandage and Ibuprofen. Our goal is to get to Elk Resort for a nice meal and beg, borrow or steal first aid supplies. We load up on water and head out.
The trail is mostly downhill as we hike past Desane Lake, South Lake and Horseshoe Lake. We are still making okay time as we head up towards Dumbell Lake.
We have been hearing and seeing a water tanker plane and a smaller plane making multiple passes around us yesterday and today. It seems like there must be a fire south of us, but we are not seeing smoke. On the trail we encounter a very confused man in bright yellow heavy clothes, carrying a pick, and smelling like a campfire. He asks what trailhead I started from, which is always confusing to answer. Do you mean on April 3rd at the Mexican border? He mumbled something about trying to figure how far he has to go to get out. I don’t understand why he doesn’t just go out the way he came in. Later we heard there were several smoke jumpers for the fire, which may answer my earlier question.
Along the way we run into John, a section hiker we have seen several times the last few days. He recommends that rather than go to Sisters in a couple of days, we should hitch to Bend from Elk Resort today. Our options for first aid store selection will be much better, including an REI. In fact, since he is local and we seem to be hiking at the same pace, he offers us a ride. Or rather he offers that his wife who is picking him up at Elk Resort will give us a ride.
She agrees and they give us a quick tour of Bend and drops us off at the Hilton Garden, right next to the REI. We do not look nor smell like the rest of Hilton’s clients, but apparently my credit card has the power of forgiveness. Kevin does the laundry while I hike in my girls short shorts to RiteAid for blister supplies. Drivers, including the ones at the hotel front desk, always underestimate walking mileage. Either that or it now takes me over 15 minutes to go a quarter mile. I return with critical supplies, including a pile of two-for-one Snickers bars. After a mud slide of a shower we have a meal at the local service impaired grill and shakes from Ben and Jerry’s.
Tomorrow we will tackle REI. Tonight we tackle the TV remote control and end up watching The Maze Runner, with Kevin mumbling after every scene, “That’s not how it happened in the book.”