Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day 124 - Bend (McKenzie Pass) to Bend (Sentiam Pass)

I had a small breakfast at the motel, and headed out to get supplies for the day at Safeway's. I finally signed up to get a Safeway card. It took 2 minutes. I also sent my bounce box to Cascade Locks - last bounce for the trip!
The plan today was to hike only 18 miles to the next road crossing, and then get back into Bend for the night. I booked a room for at the Dunes motel, which is cheaper, and does have a laundry room.
I made a small "McKenzie Pass" sign, and walked with it along the main street, towards the exit from the city. Many cars passed by me, totally ignoring me. I was just beginning to think it won't be the end of the world to stay in town today. I do have a room for the night. Just then, a car pulled over.
Dane was going over to Eugene, but he was going to use highway 20, and not the old highway over McKenzie Pass. He would take me to Sisters, at least. He owns a chain of ice cream shops, called Goody's, and was driving over to their Eugene store to deliver since I've cream.
We talked about the PCT and about Israel, and hiking. He has hiked around here, and plans to hike note sections odd the pct soon. He pointed at the mountains around, and told me their names. After a while, he decided he'd use the old highway, and take me all the way to McKenzie Pass. I don't know how much time it added to his drive to Eugene.
Before I got off at the observatory, Dane told me I can come over to one of his stores this evening, and get a free shake. That's something to look forward to.
I finally started my hike just before 11:00. It was drizzling, but it stopped soon, and I didn't get rained on at all during the rest of the day. The hike itself was easy, with almost no climbs. It started in the same lava field I left yesterday, but soon was mostly in forest.
I didn't meet many people on the trail today. Just one northbounder, which I didn't recognize, and one southbounder, the 10th I've seen so far. The rest of the day I just walked, listening to music, or my audio book.
I passed the 2000 miles mark along the way. I remember passing a similar mark on the AT, 12 years ago. Over here, with 660 more to go, it's a bit less exciting. But it's still nice.
I finally raced some thunders and reached the highway at about 16:40. I decided to hike a few more minutes, to go into the trailhead parking area. Maybe some day hikers well be just leaving, and I could score a ride.
I only meet a northbound hiker there, trying to decide if he should head out for a few miles, or stay in three parking area in case a big storm comes.
We talked a bit, and I mentioned u did the AT in '02. He did it at the same year as well! I asked him for his trail name - Buck 30. It did ring a bell. I kept trying to remember if we'd meet back then. I them asked him for his birthday - the same as mine! I knew it! I remember meeting him twice, once at Bear Mountain Park, just when he was getting off trail for a few days, and once just before his (ours) birthday, when his parents picked him up, and have us a ride back to the trail, from some ice cream place. At first I got the stories mixed up, but later we pieced it together. It's was awesome, meeting someone from back then.
He told me he wanted to do the Israel Trail this year, and almost booked a flight, when all hell broke loose in Israel. He might do it next year. I hope he gets in touch with me, so I can assist him. He did the AT twice, the PCT twice, the CDT and the Te Araora as well. So I'm sure he knows what he is doing.
I finally departed from him, and went to the road to try and get a hitch. I will probably see him on the trail in a few days.
Hitching out was hard. It took me almost an hour, in cold weather, hoping the rain won't start soon. Finally, a couple saw me, turned around, and got back for me.
They were just returning from the Redwoods park, going home to Sisters. Ren had hiked most of the PCT in the past, in big section. The biggest was 550 miles over the Sierras. He still hikes around here about twice a week, on day hikes.
Even though they were getting back home after several days of traveling, they offered to take me all the way to Bend. It's 20 miles each way from Sisters, so I couldn't thank them enough. Ren dropped Sue at their house, and took me all the way to the Dunes motel. It was very helpful, especially as it was getting late. Thank you, Ren and Sue!
In town, I finally did my laundry at the motel, then ran off to Goody's for my shake, before they close for the night. I got a vanilla and banana shake. Yum. I then went to the Bend Brewing Company, and had a very late dinner of pretty good hummus and vegetables, and fries. The beer was good also.
Mt Washington
2000 miles
Buck 30, AT class of  '02 (and some other trails...)