Day 124: (20 miles to include back tracking)
mile 1743.1 – 1756.4
Today we walk with our good friend Mike and his daughter, our God daughter, Delaney. Mike did the PCT in 1977 and wants to share a bit of the trail life with his daughter. I’m sure he would love nothing more than to have his daughter want to do the PCT after high school or college.
We start by having one of Mikes old college buddies drop us off at the trail at Green Spring Summit. Mike is wearing his original pack and soon finds out that it doesn’t fit like it used to. We begin our trek. There should be few significant elevation changes, and will be a easy day for the most part.
Today we will par down mileage and walk at a pace comfortable for Mike and Delaney. Our goal is Klum Campground (15 miles).
We introduce them to the unique signage that we find from time to time, as well as not so good water sources. Our lunch stop, and halfway point for the day is at a water trough complete with drinking fountain outside of the Hyatt Lake campground. After lunch and a siesta we start the second half of the day. The trail winds through dense forest and green shrubbery that for a small section smells putrid, like something died. Being the cynics we are, we think its probably a body dump, seeing it’s close to the road and dense foliage. We looked around in the nearby area, but seeing there was a slight breeze we can’t really pinpoint where the smell is coming from…so we continue on and the smell goes away. About two hours in, Delaney complains that her hip flexor is beginning to give her problems (previous injury). We slow down and take more breaks. The pain continues but she sucks it up and marches on. We are now 4 miles from the campground and it’s getting late. Paul and I tell Mike we have a plan. Our plan is to race on ahead, get to the campground, dump our stuff and come back to get theirs and go back to the campsite. Meanwhile, they will continue on at a pace that Delaney can go with minimal pain. Mike and Delaney agree to the plan. We race ahead and get to a road wherein we see another campground with cabins. Turns out, it’s a county run campground called, Apserkaha. MeToo arrives and asks us where are friends are. We tell him the situation and he says he was planning on camping near here anyways and will watch our stuff while we go and get Mike and Delaney. The three of us walk into the campground. We see several open sites with water, power and picnic tables. We make a beeline to the Camp host site. There we quickly talk to Patsy, who is excited to see PCT hikers, as she is in the middle of reading ‘Wild’. She tells us that technically the campground is full, as a church group has rented the entire place, but tells us shell find a place for us and directs us to a site saying, “There will be no charge.”. “I just got through the mean camp host part in the book. I’m not one of those”, she exclaims. Excellent! We drop our stuff with MeToo and race back to Mike and Delaney, who we find plodding along. Delaney sees us, and instantly smiles. We tell them we scored a campsite at a campground a mile and a half sooner than Klum, and we know a short cut. I grab Delaney’s pack and Paul has Mike empty some of the weight Mike was carrying for Delaney into his pack, and to the campground we head. Delaney is able to walk better and almost pain free. Phew! We arrive back at the campground, and Patsy has smoothed things out with the church group who are happy to have us. We are good to stay, and set up camp. While setting up, Patsy peppers us with questions. She is positively tickled, when we declare her an official Trail Angel. Patsy is a born and bred parks person as her father worked for National Parks, and has an affinity for the outdoors. She calls Zion, my favorite National Park, her ” home”. We talk at length about the trail and her park experiences. What a fantastic upbringing she had.
She decides she needs to do more for us, disappears, and comes back with a delicious salad to supplement our rehydrated dinners. Yum! We talk some more, and its way past hiker midnight for all, and time to retire. Mike tells us that he and Delaney will not be continuing to Crater Lake with us as Delaney can’t afford to further injure herself, and possibly miss her senior year of tennis and a possible sports scholarship. We agree, and understand. Both are bummed, but there will be other opportunities for other trips and outings. We are happy they were able to meet up with us and share some of the trail with us.