Journal Entries: Mile 2174 to… the end!

So, he’s back.  And it’s great.  Robin’s working hard at relaxing to ease his transition back into city-life, and also easing back into being around more than 5 people at once.  I’m sure he’ll give a more thorough update on this later, but he was very anxious to get his Washington journals up so people can read the Washington journals along side a great article about Robin Hood & the Johnson family in the Spokane paper today.  Enjoy the journal & the article… I’m going to go make french toast and enjoy our first lazy Sunday at home in the last 5 months.

PS:  Robin uploaded these journal entries and convinced me that it’s not necessary to edit each page individually to make them all black & white and sharpened, so they are how they are.  Also, Mogwai (our dog) is so excited Robin is home.  So excited.

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Journal Entries: Mile 2022-2155

Robin’s journals from the rest of Oregon.  With only 6 days to go until i pick him up in Canada, these journals are making time slow. way. down.  He’ll have to upload his journal entries from Washington when he gets home, but until then.  Enjoy these memories of Oregon!

Journal Entries: Mile 1726 – 2022

Oh, did you think I ran off?  No, not quite, although I did duck out to do a 220 mile stretch with Robin.  As is normal courtesy, many people have asked how the trip was… but rather than boring you with all of MY side of the story (which likely is a lot more ‘exaggerated’ [see:exciting] than Robin’s ‘real’ and ‘factual’ recount of events) I’ll let Robin tell you most of the details…

Before I let you go though, let me give a teensie collection of tales from my piece of the adventure to explain why I’m completely in awe of trail magic…  On my third day on the trail, I was eating hot chili, drinking beer, chasing it with shots of crown royal (and subsequently swapping riddles and dirty jokes with the trail-angels) – and topped the night off sleeping on a feather pillow.  Legosaurus and Pocahontas (who Robin talks more about in his journals) also run a you-tube channel and did interviews with every hiker that came through (including Robin Hood), but his interview isn’t up yet… stay tuned.

A few days later, on our way into Bend, we were picked up by the trail-saint, Lloyd (we didn’t hitch hike mom, his name is listed in the PCT book for giving rides to hikers).  Lloyd is like everyone’s favorite grandpa rolled into one human.

 

After that, we met Fun-Hog and White Jeep who were our magicians* on ‘detour day’.  You’ll find more about this later, but basically, we had to detour around the ‘Waterfall 2’ fire which Robin mentions in his journal.  This  ended up being my longest, hardest day, and also possibly my favorite.  In summary:

CONs to detour day – 22-24 mile day, bushwhacking, lots of elevation gain, running out of water, cars, pavement and 90 weather…

PROs – flower pressing, finally remembering all the words from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song, seeing the fire-glow on the mountains at night, having the camp-host open up the store an hour after they closed to get us beer, and pretty much not being on fire.

*Also, side note: I don’t think ‘trail magician’ is proper PCT jargon, but I like calling them magicians instead of  angels – I see beer and chili as more magic, than miraculous, but I’m just a section hiker.  Maybe after 300+ miles you begin to see trail-magic as less “wee! a surprise in the fruity-pebbles box!” and more as “that cooler full of chocolate milk saved. my. life.”  

Anyway, I know Robin will write about these trail magicians/angels (more eloquently) in his journal, but here’s a sneak peak:  Fun-Hog met us at the end of an ugly stretch with a cooler full of soda, candy, cookies, and fancy maps.  White Jeep (who was actually driving a massive, white Ford pick-up. go figure.) arrived soon after we finished snacking and was shuttling hikers through the section of the detour that was on the road (since it was 7+ miles, with no shoulder, on a highway, no water, and largely unnecessary in ‘trail mile’ calculations).  The detour was about 20 miles, and you miss about 10 miles of PCT, so even taking the 7 mile shuttle, you’re still doing more than the equivalent number of hiking miles.  My lovely man-friend though, vowed to walk a continuous foot path from Mexico to Canada, which means, no shuttles.  No skipping – Anything.  So, against all the convincing from Fun Hog, White Jeep, and the 3 other hikers waiting for the shuttle (and all the wide-eyed, raised eyebrows I gave him) shuttle be damned.  Robin never for a second would’ve taken a car-ride if it meant breaking his footpath.  And as much as I want to give him greif for being so stubborn, I was stubborn enough to go with him.  He earned loads of trail credit that day and I think I earned girlfriend credit too… (until later that day when I chucked my poles in his general direction while in the middle a minor dehydration-inducted, dirt-kicking, silent tantrum.  I learned I strongly dislike bushwhacking).

After detour day, we had other feats and magic things occur, including random coolers full of beer/soda, the day-hiker giving us Mike’s Hard Lemonade and ice-water, lots of water caches, and randomly one fresh mango.  So, here’s my long winded thank you to all the trail magicians – you’re all crazy, and I love it.  Cheers!

Okay, back to Robin… So, not to skip-ahead and ruin the journal entries (any more than I already have), but since I last updated you, Robin has crossed into Oregon (and now into Washington… yup, I’m behind), dodged fires, been bowed down to by trail-folk, met up with his parents and one of his sisters (the other one was their in cookie-spirit), and put up with my near-daily trail naps for 2 weeks.  And now, he’s about 2 weeks from Canada…

TWO WEEKS. 300 miles.

And finally… here are his latest journals.  Be warned, I took these photos on my phone, so they’re not as sharp as his photos (darn you Android) – in fact, they’re pretty crapy.  I actually dropped my phone and cracked my screen half way through this so, my apologies – the next batch should be better aaand, I missed pg. 95.  So with all this talk about magic, use your imagination.  (Okay, he’s talking about a muscle cramp, but you could’ve gone some crazy places with that missing page.)

 

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Snacks for two…

For only three of our 16 days. (Plus,  I wanted to test out posting from my phone)

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Journal Entries: Mile 1227-1707

Here are the latest journals from Ashland.  There are two pages missing, so Robin just dictated them for me:

Pg.  31: …Sherpa yesterday in Sierra City.  He was heading north to do trail magic for us hikers.  I gave him a hard time for missing us at Forester Pass and not getting us our burgers.

Today I ran into Billy Goat as I began looking for a camp site.  “Hey there old timer!” He yelled from his sleeping bag. We talked for quite a while and i learned that he was 75 and…

Pg. 82:  …had a series of beautiful ridge walks that had us looking far to the east.  Near the end of the day, Joel and I crested a saddle that gave us the first clear view of the North that we had seen in a long time.  Through a thick fog on the horizon, I could finally see the green/blue hills of Oregon.  It was as if they were trying to lead me or tease me.

I’ve also been having trouble with mysterious pg 76 re-ordering itself to the end of the gallery.  Sorry for the confusion!

Journal Entries: Mile 1073-1195

Finally, I bring you news from the trail!  Robin is working on his second journal now and these are the first few entries from the new edition starting just before we met up in Tahoe. Now that Robin has more regular cell phone reception, I’ve been able to talk to him more regularly.  So, here are a couple other more timely updates from the last few weeks (spoiler alerts!):

– Robin hit the 1/2 way point last week and is pulling 25-30 mile days regularly
– He’s aiming to hit Oregon before Aug 1 (and can see the hills of Oregon now…)
– Our next meet-up is planned for around Aug 10, just west of Bend
– Next stop: Etna on Wednesday – hopefully I’ll have more news then.

Confessions… of a Forgetful PCT supporter…

After discussing this with Robin for the last week and a half, I’ve finally decided I need to fess up to the ‘complications’ with the journal entries I mentioned last week.

But first… let me distract you by telling you more about our time in Tahoe!

Our last day in Tahoe, we were packing up to go our separate ways and it didn’t even feel weird. It was like, how packing for any of our camping trip goes: I throw my stuff in my bag, and Robin meticulously plans, packs, folds and counts – and hands me all the things I forgot to pack. The only difference is this time, he was giving me things to take ‘home’ where he wasn’t going. Things like a massive bear-vault (that I can’t imagine carrying around for 20 days), some fancy new k-mart swim shorts (because the wilderness has a ‘clothing optional’ swim policy), one of his two knives, and his filled up journal…. I threw it all in my bag, he finished his packing, and then we headed out to the trail head where I’d picked him up only 36 hrs before.

In the glorious parking lot of Carson Pass we sat on the edge of the Toyota Yaris rental, ogled a happy slobbering Bernese Mountain Dog, cracked jokes about dorky hikers at the trail head, and delayed the 2nd round of good-byes. I finally walked Robin across the highway to the trial head – took a few snap shots – and said, “Okay, yup. Gotta go. Bye” (or something really sappy like that) trying to avoid the I-just-got-punched-in-the-gut feeling and no-breathing-to-avoid-tears, thing… until he finally turned around and waddled down the trail. And just as the mega-pouting, and slow dragging-my-toes walk began, I hear a whistle… It was Robin who had already climbed to a massive rock overhang and swung both arms wide open as he yelled: “You suck!”… Just kidding, he yelled something cute (or really manly, if you’re a dude reading this), he waved good bye again, and then disappeared into the woods. He really just wanted to make sure I watered those high mountain plants before I made it back to the car… Jerk. It was pretty hard for both of us to leave each other again. I don’t say this often, but I think we’re pretty stupid for each other, and sometime it takes that yanking separation to remind me.

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“I’ll put this journal some where extra special. And then immediately forget where that place is!”

And stupid-love like that, paired with a 12 hr venture back home (walk, drive, plane, max, bus, walk – egh) – a venture that took me hundreds of miles away from someone special… This guy who only hours before I watched eat an entire rotisserie chicken, listened to tell stories about the origin of every trail name he’s encountered, and smelled… well I smelled him. Anyway, those two things are bound to make someone a little loopy… And I was a little loopy when I pulled out his journal on the airplane and read the whole thing, front to back. I sat there holding it for awhile and then reached down to put it in my bag…. And despite all the superior package-sending, weird item purchasing (fun knowledge nugget: I think you can measure the quality of the outdoor store based on their knowledge of anti-chafe product)… Right then, that’s where I lost the girlfriend of the year award. I lost IT… the journal. Robin’s journal from the most scenic, difficult, memorable stretch of a life-long goal – I ‘misplaced’. I KNOW. I’m the WORST. I truly don’t know if I left it on the plane, if I dropped it in transit or if in my unpacking and repacking that night (I left the very next morning for a friends’ wedding after 5 hrs of sleep), I might have put it in the fridge and will find it next to the moldy, deep friend leftovers. I really don’t know.

So 10 days later… I’ve since pulled everything out of my room, flipped mattresses, cleaned out my car, filed reports with the airline and transit center – and have found nothing. So, I’m sorry. I don’t have any journal entries until Robin can email me the next batch of pages, starting from Tahoe. Fortunately for you, and mostly for me, Robin is amazing. And instead of freaking out when I told him, he excitedly called me back and said “You know, it’s not the end of the world. Actually, I remember every event from each of those days! I’ll just re-write it in a whole new one!… In fact, maybe a publisher found it and is waiting to give me a book deal!” Yup. Real jerk, huh?

So, in summary… I lost Robin’s journal. I’m sorry. I’ll keep posting journal entries, just with a month long chunk missing, until he rewrites it. I hope this long, self-loathing story satiates you until the next update in Burney (next week).

Oh, and PS: He hits the ½ way tomorrow or Wednesday. He’s been slowed down by 100+ degree weather, massive elevation gain, and rural post office schedules. Despite it all, he’s still “ahead of the crowd.”

Some kind of update

Dear friends and family,

There have been some complications in uploading Robin’s latest journal entries, but just like waiting for the bearded man himself, absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Right? I’ll do everything I can to get them up soon, but until then, know that he is safe, happy and hitting the 1/2 way point on Monday.   

And Tahoe was fabulous – there’s nothing like mini-golf, lounging on the beach, and watching Robin eat an entire large pizza to remind me why I let myself be seen buying 48 slim-jim beef sticks for that guy.

I’m so sorry for the delay everyone… 

PCT Secrets and Mysteries: solved by the internet…

I received Robin’s sleeping pad in the mail yesterday (I sent him a new lighter-weight one more suited for non-desert areas a few weeks back) and I couldn’t figure out why the address wasn’t in his handwriting (and the box didn’t include a sweet note or whittled object)… Then, through the joys of internet stalking… I found this on another PCT-er’s blog:

“My previous air mattress couldn’t hold air…. Many thanks to Robin Hood for lending me his Z Rest for the past week! ” – – http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?event_id=1321

Robin Hood… what a guy, huh?  So I searched the rest of their blog to see if they talked about him more (this is healthy, right?).  Well, Frank and Tortuga make a cameo mention in their blog here:
http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?entry_id=30952  

And thus begun the google searching…  Joel (Tortuga) has some beer-debt to other hikers for this one:
http://russmease.blogspot.com/2012/06/day-28-pizza-at-koa.html 

And not to start any pct-drama, but Robin claimed to have won this bet described by another fellow hiker (Autopilot) here: 
http://wadepct.blogspot.com/2012/05/day-34-ready-set-go.html  

I guess what happens on the trail… doesn’t quite stay on the trail. (:

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