With a shift of the ind, the smoke was back, obscuring any views of the surrounding mountains.
But we found some history.
And some trail magic
Not my first choice, but Jennifer reminded me of a lesson taught to me many years ago – “the best beer is frei bier (free beer)”.
Day 137 – 18 / 1,794 (2,221)
After a short hike, we arrived at the scene of the closure at Mount Adams Wilderness. The trail crosses Wilderness land, so it was rerouted along forest roads to avoid any danger.
Since we had slowed down while they sorted out the detour, we had to hitch into the small town of Trout Lake to top off our supplies.
Over the previous several days, we had shared campsites with a new hiker, Splash, a German fellow who was out to hike the entire PCT section in Washington. It was his first long-distance hike and he was having issues with his equipment.
Once we got to Trout Lake, I put in a call to Coastal, a fellow thru-hiker whom we first met last October when we were taking our Wilderness First Aid class to prep for this hike. Coastal lives relatively local and was available as his hike is over for the year. After a quick exchange of info, Coastal was on his way, so we kept ourselves entertained at the local café.
After a short hour, Coastal was sitting with us and getting details from Splash. Once that was settled, Coastal asked our plans, which were to stay at a local Buddhist monastery. Instead, we learned that we were to go to his house for showers, laundry, dinner, a soft bed and a return ride in the morning.
Who could turn that down?
So after a week on trail, we were in Portland for the night, where we got to meet Coastal’s lovely bride and we were treated to some fantastic hospitality.
Day 138 – 5 / 1,799 (2,227)
After a diner breakfast and a drive back out to the point where we left the trail, Coastal dropped us off and gave several hikers a ride back to Trout Lake.
Jennifer and I started our road walk detour around the closure. It was clouding up, warning of the impending rain. But the rain was welcome and needed, hoping to put the wildfires down.
The road is not the trail, but it is the temporary trail, so we walk it and keep ourselves entertained.
Before anyone gripes, yes we do walk facing traffic. But this side made for a better picture.
Without traffic, we can walk together, something we can’t do on the trail.
After a couple of hours of walking, we hear a car approach from behind and lay on the horn. We turn and see Coastal, shuttling a group of hikers that opted to ride around the closure instead of take the road walk. A quick update and they were gone.
One advantage of the road walk is that we had views of Mount Adams that we wouldn’t have had if we were in the forest at the base of the mountain.
And fun local traditions.
About halfway along the detour, we stopped at Takhlakh Lake for the night.
The detour was short enough to complete in one day, but we were to meet Spectrum and his lovely bride, who had drove down from Seattle to see and feed us.
Spectrum had started his hike the same day as us and we got to know him over the next weeks. But he is quicker than us and we soon parted ways. Unfortunately his hike came to and end due to injury. But that meant that he could be a trail angel, just like Coastal.
Just like the night before, we ate well and got caught up with friends we never would have met if it wasn’t for this adventure.
Overnight the rain started.
Day 139 – 11 / 1,810 (2,238)
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