PCT Mile 1718 – 1743
Miles Hiked = 23 ( I took a shortcut that saved me 2 miles)
I spent last night at Callahan’s Lodge in southern Oregon just off I-5. I had a good dinner in their restaurant and enjoyed the live entertainment – a cowboy singing cowboy songs (he was actually pretty good).
This morning I was up at 5am and out of the lodge and hiking by 6. It was a nice morning. Recently there’s been a lot of construction on the interstate so I had about a one mile road walk until I reached the trail.
I left the road and entered the forest. The trail was a smooth well-trodden dirt path. It continues north to Canada, as well as south to Mexico. Fortunately I’ve already hiked the 1717 miles north from Mexico – 935 miles remain to Canada. Every adventure begins with the first step – so here it goes – let’s see what unfolds.
Yesterday it was close to 100 degrees and, as I mentioned in the yesterday’s pre-hike post, there was a lot of smoke in the air. I was concerned that today’s hike would be hot and smoky but, to my surprise, conditions had improved. It was actually quite pleasant in the morning with a nice cool breeze from the north. The afternoon temperatures were in the low 80’s – warm but very tolerable.
I’ve always thought of Oregon as being a very green state because of all the rainfall. Therefore water should be plentiful – Wrong! Southern Oregon, at least along the PCT, is very dry and there aren’t a lot of streams or water sources for hikers. The first water source after leaving Callahan’s Lodge was 10 miles down the trail. Since I was concerned about how warm it would be I ended up carrying almost three liters of water. That’s over six pounds of water! It turned out to be more than I needed but better safe than sorry. The three liters actually lasted me all day and I didn’t need to collect anymore until I got to camp in the late afternoon.
Shortly after getting on the trail, I could see a prominent rock, called Pilot Rock, in the distance.
About five miles into the todays hike there was a side trail up to this rock.
Later in the day, I ran into a mother (Halo) and daughter (Chief) hiking the trail – they started at the Mexican border in April and have a You-Tube channel (HRC on the PCT) that I’ve been following for a couple months – it was fun running into them on my first day.
There weren’t a lot of flowers along the trail today but here’s the Flower of the Day:
Yellow Salsify is a wildflower that’s considered an invasive weed. It’s very common along the PCT in Oregon.
Most of today’s hike was through the forest – it made for a nice first days walk.
Late in the afternoon the trail (red below) makes a big horseshoe bend in the trail. Many hikers were taking a dirt road as a short cut (yellow below) which saves about two miles of walking. I took the shortcut. PCT purists have to walk every foot of the trail. Others, like myself, want to hike a “continuous footpath” to Canada, so shortcuts or alternate routes are ok.
Finally I reached the campground where I would be spending the night. The campground actually had showers – what a luxury! It was a good first day.
Day 1 Recap
Thanks for reading.