Day 121 7-24-07 Tarp Tent 5090′
Ashland – Hyatt Lake Resort
23.6 (2.5) miles; 1750.2 (61.46) total miles; 3604.5 trip miles
Deer count is 103
Marmot count is 51
Elk count is 23
Bear count is 6
Rattlesnake count is 6
Pika count is 2
I started the day by knocking over my water bottle in an attempt to turn off my alarm. Water went all over the dresser and the floor. I got up and wiped up the water, then laid back down for a bit. When I did get up, I packed up and made my way to the bakery. They were not open, so I went to the coffee shop next door. They weren’t open either, but I just did some email. Once they did open, I got some hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant. I used the computer there to check my mail and update my page on the Project 529 site.
At 7:15 I was on my way about 5 blocks to the Ace Hardware store to be there when they opened at 7:30. I got there with about a minute to spare. I got my fuel and left the rest for other hikers. It was then off to Safeway, about a 10 block walk. Once there I called Mark, the guy who offered me a ride. He didnt pick up but called me back a few minutes later. He was fixing someones computer and said he’d pick me up around 9. I had plenty of time to shop, organize, and chat up Silver and Backtrack who were walking by.
Mark picked me up and was nice enough to take me to Rite Aid for a few things I couldn’t find at Safeway. I was at the trailhead by around 9:35. I called my folks since I remembered a few things I wanted to tell them and was hiking by 10. All in all the morning went smooth and to plan. The afternoon on the other hand didn’t go as planned. I made my way up and around Pilot Rock, which I had seen coming into town. I must have passed through 15 gates today along the route. The sun was out now, in contrast to the overcast I woke up to. I passed 3 ladies from Vashon Island. One had just moved to Ashland, so the other two came down to hike with her. They were slack packing at that. I finally got to the “very refreshing fenced-in spring”. This is where my day went south. The source to said spring was no longer inside the fence, but outside where the cows had shit. No problem – there’s a faucet inside. I turn it on and like magic clear cold water. I get my bottle and fill it. I looked inside the bottle as I always do for floaters and it’s got brown quarter inch long pieces of gas in it. I decide to try the spring source but the water is so shallow I can’t fill my bottle, back to the faucet for one more try. Same thing happens! I don’t want to leave empty handed because (1) I already dumped the good 1.5 liters I had out since it was warm, and (2) I already made my Aquamira up. In the end I was so feed up I dumped the Aquamira and went on. It was only two miles to the next source.
It’s already 12:30 by now and I’m ready to eat. On my way to the next spring, I pass a trickle in a field. Cow sign is everywhere, but the source is visible. I dig out a hole for the bottle but go on any way. I pass a wet looking area that could be the spring I’m looking for, but see nothing. About a 100′ further on, I stop and look back at a manmade pond. As I do, I spot the tub which is fed by the spring. I cross country down to the tub and it’s dry as a bone and rusty. I can see a cement basin uphill with a cover like the one at the fenced-in spring. I go up and lift the cover to see standing water that is too far down to reach. I’m standing in mud since the water is coming right out of the ground but the cows have destroyed the place. I dig another hole to fill up by. The water is moving so slow that the mud I turned up in digging the hole never clears.
I decided to hike back to the trickle where I dug the first pit. Of course it’s further than I remember. When I get there, the water is full of floaters from god knows where. I mean the source is two feet away. I move right up to where it’s bubbling out of a rock, make a dam, and as it clears, I see a big old nasty worm/grub in the water. I say out load to no one, “That’s it I give up, there’s no way I’m drinking that shit!” I decide I’ll take my chances finding an unmarked source or do the next 8 more miles and lunch dry.
Off I went in the heat and sun. I did my best to not waste energy or sweat too much. I got to Soda Creek Road. I just had lunch in the shade and hoped someone might drive by who might have water. No one did and lunch wasn’t that bad without water. I packed up and off I went. Shortly after the Hobart Bluff spur trail, I passed two guys doing a 85 miles section hike. It would complete Oregon to Canada for them. About a half mile later, I got to Highway 66, Green Springs Summit. From here I walked .25 miles down the highway to a reservoir where I got my first water in 5+ hours. Of course it was warm and had to be strained through a bandana. I figured, due to it’s color, I would wait a half hour after treating it. I hiked on to put in more miles as the treatment took place. About the time it was done, I ran into the same two guys who had stopped for a break, which turned out to be their camp for the night. I talked to them for a half hour while drinking lots of water.
I had to get going if I was going to get to Hyatt Lake by dark. I crossed 3 more roads and passed through yet another gate. As I closed it, I spooked a deer. It would be my 100th deer of the trip. I called Sam since she left me a interesting text message about the Tour De France. I passed over a bridge near Little Hyatt Reservoir where the water was raging by. It was nice to hear that sound after a long day of dry. I had to climb 1.5 miles to reach Hyatt Lake Campground. Once there I took the directions in my notes to the Hyatt Lake Resort. I got there at 7:45 PM and the restaurant was still open. I ordered a large bread stick, small pizza and a beer. I also got a free ice cream cone since I was a thru-hiker. That was the good part. The bad is that no one knew about the free camping for us hikers. I asked 4 people and then gave up and went back the way I came.
I figured I would just head north a bit away from the road and camp. I didn’t make it far before nature’s call stopped me dead in my tracks. After that stop, I came to a spur trail to a water faucet which was part of the Campground. I thought about camping back at the trail, but decided to checkout the Campground. I got within sight of the billboard and saw it was self-serve and went back to the trail. I started putting up my tent, but the ground was too soft and the stakes just pulled right out. Of course, there were no rocks to be found. While looking for rocks, I saw a sign talking about a hiker camp. I thought it was just north of me so I packed up and off I went. Just up the way, I realized the sign was not for north bounders but south bounders. I turned around and went back through by the faucet and to the self-serve check-in. The phone was out of order and there was no map. I just started walking into the campground and finally saw a sign. It said walk-in tenting to the right. I started walking and the road seemed to go on forever. I said screw it and turned around. At the guard post, just by the self serve check in, was a map. The PCT site was to the left and earlier on the way to the restaurant I was on a side trail (the one the sign I misread was talking about), go figure. I walked out of the campground and went to where the trail first left the woods. I remembered it being flat. At this point I was just going to cowboy camp. I threw down 30′ from the road in front of a large trailhead sign. It only took 5 minutes before I got up and put my tent up. It was hot so I just fell asleep on top of my bag. That was around 10:30 PM – 1.5 hours after all this began…
Scatman 2011- Talk about a messed up day. How could a day that started so good go so bad? Well this one had and it tested my resolve that’s for sure. I say in my journal above that lunch without water wasn’t that bad but who am I kidding, it sucked! Oh, and I mention shade during my lunch break. It was barely shady and hot! My stubborn side definitely set in when it came to finding good water today. I wasn’t going to drink shit water some cow had pissed and shit in. Call me crazy but I’ve never gotten sick from bad water yet. A lot of thru-hikers cant say that.
Get out there!