Backpacking, hiking, PCT

PCT Oregon – First Section Update From the Trail

(Note: This post has been updated with more photos.)

We walked 3-1/2 days on trail and ended up at Callahan’s Lodge where we will spend two nights. Got our laundry done today and picked up our resupply boxes. There is a nice hiker facility here with laundry, shower, and hiker boxes, and they even provide laundry detergent! They allow hikers to camp on the lawn, but we have a room with our own bathroom, which is much easier. We had a good dinner last night and I ate my leftovers for second breakfast this morning with a tiny plastic spoon and knife from the continental breakfast, ha. The continental breakfast didn’t have much variety. 

There was a lot of elevation in this section and uphill isn’t really our thing. Linda and Marnie were having a hard time most of the section and needed a lot of pack-off-sit-down breaks. I just hike slowly with small steps up the hills and stop in the shade to catch my breath and let my legs recover for a minute! There are lots of wildflowers blooming now, neon red Indian paintbrush, red and yellow columbine, many purple flowers I couldn’t identify, and some yellow and pink daisy-type flowers I also couldn’t identify. We camped the first night on an old dirt road, and I was a bit uncomfortable when I saw tire tracks, but all was well during the night. Linda saw a deer in the morning quite close to our tents, and I was up early enough to get a photo of the sunrise.

Sunrise from camp, Day 1

A hiker named Turtle came by and we couldn’t figure out what he was doing, turns out he had found a “crazy” spider that had babies on its back and was trying to get a photo of it. None of us had the oomph to go over and look at his spider! 

On the way out the next day we completely missed the trail as we went up the road, and thankfully a trail runner came by and pointed us in the right direction. As we were hiking along a ridge Linda noticed that someone had left some cold beer in the cleft of a rock. Usually Marnie is chief noticer-of-things, so Linda was proud of herself for seeing it. We didn’t take advantage of the gift, though. We camped in a forested site the second night after having a rest in the shade. We saw lovely views of Mt. Shasta the whole way while we were hiking. 

Mt. Shasta

The third day was a big climb for miles but when we stopped to get water just before the climb a hiker promised us there were sodas at the top of the hill, and there were! We each had a raspberry cream soda while we listened to a lady named Sunshine tell us her life story and all about why she has a bear phobia. She wasn’t a hiker but was just camped near the trail magic coolers. After that it was downhill to Grouse Gap shelter which is a stone shelter oddly in the middle of nowhere, but it had a pit toilet and a picnic table, which are hiker luxuries, of course! It also had an adorable chipmunk, who we didn’t feed, although his body shape indicated he had probably convinced someone to give him their snacks 🐿

Grouse Gap Shelter
Interior of Grouse Gap Shelter
Plump chipmunk
Pit toilet, yay!

A lady was there in her van isolating from COVID, I assume because there was a bathroom there. I don’t think she expected so many hikers to come through. We were there first but quite a few hikers came in later on.  There was sort of an odd variety of people there. Two older ladies were walking around when we got there and I don’t know what happened to them, and then after we sat down to cook our meals a very elderly couple came in and were walking around looking for wildflowers. There weren’t really any blooming at that time. A couple of other cars came and went after we were in our tents, at like 8:30 at night.

Next day it was supposed to be “all downhill”. You should never believe that when you hear it. It is never all downhill, but is usually uphill with a few downhills and flat spots. We had a very nice break at a big fancy house where they make a picnic table and faucet available to hikers.

Marnie, Linda (Sweet Pea) and Anchorman

A load of hikers showed up after we did but we stayed put at our picnic table until it wasn’t shady anymore. One kid was about to light up a bong and I thought I would have get out my mom voice and tell him to stop, but I guess something was wrong with it and he just put it away and left. God takes care of us so well 😊 On the way to Callahan’s I read the FarOut app wrong and thought we were where the trail to Callahan’s started, but another hiker came by and told us no, it was another 2.7 miles to the connecting trail. 😟 Linda said now they would have to kill me, ha. After making a wrong turn down a dirt road and having to go back to continuing on the trail, we found the very overgrown connecting trail. It was a long way down, through a railroad yard past a dumpster and a pile of paint cans to a very old road/trail. We made a wrong turn here as well and started taking the regular gravel road, but Marnie figured out we were going the wrong way. Once you get off the old road, you come to a road that you cross to go under the interstate. Then it’s 7/10 of a mile down the road to Callahan’s. We were so happy to get here and get showers and dinner! Neither Marnie nor Linda had eaten much of anything the whole time we were out and its no wonder they didn’t have much energy. 

We totally wanted to hug this little bear.
Linda in our room at Callahan’s after we arrived.
My dinner.

So far our zero day has been very relaxing. We will probably have a late lunch at 3:00 when the restaurant opens, and then dinner later on. I’m always super hungry whenever we get to civilization! 

Not much else happened while we were out. Next stop will be Hyatt Lake.

(Sorry if the blog’s a little rough, I have to get used to blogging on my phone.)

Just keep walking!

~Ninja