Mile 1936 to 1956
I wake before Kevin and struggle in the dark to make coffee from one of those single serve speciality cup injecting trash creating makers. I have read somewhere that coffee sales are significantly declining because of these machines. I am unclear if this is a result of the single serve rather than whole pot phenomena, or if people are just giving up completely because it is too darn confusing. Label me a coffee pot belly.
Eventually I am noisy enough that Kevin wakes and we head to breakfast. We stuff ourselves with omelettes, potatoes, cereal, juices, breads, fruits and frankly whatever is not hidden behind a locked door.
At 10am we walk to REI to purchase more blister supplies and to exchange our lifetime guaranteed Darn Tough brand hiking socks, which now have several more holes than are actually necessary to insert our feet. There is confusion about whether this is a normal REI product return with proof of purchase required, or a manufacturer guarantee return. At first I think the guy is simply going to kill me to complete the lifetime guarantee, but eventually he agrees to take the 4 pairs of socks. Apparently these socks are Darn Tough Negotiators because when I try to pay for the $10 Second Skin blister kit, the clerk says I don’t owe anything. In fact he gives me a couple of dollars in change, saying something about a buy 3 get one free deal on the socks. Kevin and I give him our best “are you sure this is right?” looks. I come in with 4 pairs of holey socks and leave with 4 new pairs of socks, a blister kit, and change!? I am pretty sure if I included a handful of beads I would be leaving with Manhattan and the Louisiana Territory as well.
We pick up some sandwiches and walk across town to the Cascade Lakes Highway which is really more like a two lane road through a business park. Kevin suggests we head down past the round-about so people will understand which way we want to go. He holds up a “PCT Elks” sign as we walk and like magic a truck pulls over. A couple of former forest service employees with their two dogs are headed out for a hike. They drive several miles past their intended destination to take us to our trailhead.
After downing our sandwiches and pawning our trash on some other good Samaritans we hike back up to the PCT. Our next water opportunity is in 6 miles at Sisters Mirror Lake. Since we got such a late start and we are testing various blister strategies, we call it a night. The lake is a very popular water spot, so it is crowded with a nice mix of day, section and thru-hikers.