Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day 123 - Mesa Creek to Bend (McKenzie Pass)

Going into town day. I was still not motivated to get to too early, and only left camp by 7:20. I had 20 miles to hike out to the highway.
The weather was chilly and damp the whole day. I stopped for a short break after about 3 miles, at Separation Creek, when Zisou passed me. I passed him and Bunyan at lunch, 5 miles later at Obsidian Creek.
Just as I was eating my bagel, the drizzle started, so I are quickly and changed into my rain jacket. Of course, no real rain started, and I was sweating inside the jacket all along. After a while I changed back to my hiking shirt.
The trail went through some lava fields for with sharp rocks. It even went up what seemed like a small mountain pass. It wasn't high, but there were some switchbacks going up. There was even a short snowy section I had to bypass, like in the good old days in the Sierras! The view sorry towards North and Middle sister were very impressive all along.
Later, some rain did start, and my jacket was finally effective. It wasn't a hard rain, but I hiked with the hood over my head. Because if the constant rain, I didn't take many breaks.
The trail went through not lava fields, with only the occasional forested area. At one point I took out my pretzel bytes and m&ms, and just ate while walking, wanting to end the hike quickly. That was rather nice, actually.
After another big lava field, with great views both north and south, I finally reached the road. I walked up to Dee Wright Observatory, where there was a small parking area with better chances to get a hitch.
After standing there for several minutes, I was approached by a biker. He said his wife should be there in their car soon, and would take me down to Sisters, about half way to Bend.
His wife came shortly after, and did pick me up. Carolyn told me Vick was training to some hardcore bike trip, by riding from Eugene to Sisters - about 100 miles, and then tomorrow even further on. Well, from here or was mostly down for him for the rest of the day. But riding up here must be very hard indeed.
We talked about hiking and biking and the pct, on the long way down to Sisters. She finally dropped me off near the main street is Sisters, so I can hitch over to Bend. She gave me her number, in case I will get stuck tomorrow morning in Bend, and need a ride back up somehow, on her way back to Eugene.
I walked across Sisters, and got a ride near the exit from town. Thomas was driving for a family reunion near Bend. He used to be some big manager for Fujitsu for 20 years, and later had his own company, and now he is retired, but still works on some patents. He took me all the way into town, right to the motel I randomly chose using the booking.com app - the Econolodge.
The room I got was very nice, though I basically just need a bed and a shower. I forgot about the laundry part - this motel didn't have any. Damn.
First thing, I went over to REI. It was almost 2 miles away, but I got there and got my packages. U asked about Catdog, a hiker I me I last saw in Big Best, about 1500 miles ago. She is from Bend, and works at REI. they said she will come through town in about 4 days. I hope she catches up to me some day.
I had dinner at a sushi place, which was a first for me on the trail. It was very nice. I tried catching a bus back to the motel, but u think it was too late already, so I walked the whole way back as well.
North sister
Colorful flowers
View down the small "pass"
Dee Wright Observatory (in bad light)