Highlights: From Ashland we skipped ahead about 220 miles so as to avoid the numerous fires around northern California. We hitchhiked on Rt 5 from Ashland to Dunsmuir and continued our journey from there. We have been a bit upset to have missed 220 miles of the trail, so we are making lose plans to try to go back to that section after making it through the Sierra. From Dunsmuir we immediately felt like we were in California with much more wildlife than Oregon or Washington: deer, bears, etc. We also saw familiar lizards and dry scrub from living in the Bay Area the last three years. We passed through many many small bits of “civilization”. There have been many opportunities to get a meal here and there. We also screwed up our resupply strategy by jumping ahead by several hundred miles, and wound up with a logistical nightmare which we worked out with our angelic friends Don and Jenny who are mailing us our packages. By skipping forward, we also made it past any remaining northbound thru-hikers, and we found ourselves pleasantly alone in the woods at last.
Highlights: This long section in Oregon has been quite flat, and so we have been trying to hike many miles to make up for lost time up in northern Washington due to snow. This section has been less scenic than previous sections, except for Crater Lake, which was an unbelievable sight. From right before we arrived at Crater Lake until several days afterwards, we have experienced many electrical storms resulting in wild fires throughout the area. At Crater Lake, we just managed to pick up our mail at the store before an electrical storm caused the entire area to lose power. We left without showering, doing laundry or getting any “real” food. We pushed to make it to Ashland by Friday, August 15th, before the Post Office closed for the weekend, and in doing so, averaged 30 miles per day for 5 days straight. I honestly never thought I’d be able to say that. After we arrived in Ashland, we were confronted with grim information on what lay ahead: many more fires in Northern California, with several sections of trail closed. Piecing together the open sections seems almost impossible, and there are almost no alternative trails to choose from. We will consider our options, but most likely we will have to skip a large chunk of Northern California, giving up our hard-earned continuous footpath from Canada.
Day 35: Santiam Pass to McKenzie Pass, 18 miles
After finishing up some chores and eating breakfast with White Jeep and Seminole, we headed back to the trail. Right at the road, we met a couple of hikers, and stopped to say hi. We said we were southbounders, and they looked at us with wide eyes, almost in disbelief. “We’re southbounders too!” said Metric. Metric and Sticks started their hike on July 9th from the Canadian border, and had been right behind us for quite a while and didn’t think they would catch up with us so quickly. With a couple of slower days due to our stop in Bend, they had managed to catch us. “We were told there was a couple named Dirt Mouse and Door Stew somewhere ahead…” Metric said.
They were sitting next to a cooler someone had placed by the side of the road, and we asked them “was there any trail magic in there?”. They told us it was just full of trash, but that there was a message inside the cooler that read something like this: “These sodas are for Pacific Crest Trail Northbound Thru-hikers. If you are not a Northbound Thru-hiker, we won’t stop you from taking one, but please consider the northbound thru-hikers, who have hiked nearly 2000 miles to make it this far.” We were all deeply offended, but slightly amused at the same time. Southbounders almost never get trail magic, and if we do, it’s because we’re passing the Northbound “herd”. People don’t even consider that people hike the trail in the opposite direction. Metric and Sticks hiked off to Big Lake Youth Camp to resupply, and we hiked on. We crossed the Lava Rocks, which everyone told us were arduous, hot, and hard on the feet, but we found them quite interesting, and not too bad.
Day 36: McKenzie Pass to mile 1973, 16.5 miles
Day 37: Mile 1973 to mile 1944, 29 miles
Day 38: Mile 1944 to mile 1917, 27 miles
Day 39: Mile 1917 to mile 6 on alternate trail, 21 miles
Day 40: Mile 6 on alternate trail to mile 1856.5, 33.5 miles
As we looked up towards the sky, however, we noticed more ominous clouds moving in. We couldn’t waste too much time at the rim, and get caught there in a storm. We found the trail down to the Mazama Store, and followed it down. We got to the store before 5pm, and grabbed our mail and resupply boxes, and found a corner to pack our stuff in our bags before heading to the restaurant. We found Sticks and Metric also hanging out by the store. They had sent their box to the wrong place, and were trying to figure out how they were going to get enough food for the next section. Luckily, we had too much food, and there was some other leftover food in the hiker-box (place were PCT hikers can leave items they no longer need, or extra food), so they were able to piece together enough to make it to the next town. Suddenly, the electrical storm was on top of us, and before we were able to pack up, the electricity in the entire area was out. We rushed over to the restaurant to see if we could get in and get food, but they were closing down already. We rushed back to the bathrooms to see about getting a shower or doing laundry, and they were being closed as well. I checked my cell phone in order to call home, as I had promised from Shelter Cove, and there was no cell phone signal. It started to rain, and we huddled under an awning trying to figure out what to do.
Sticks showed up with a big bag full of food, and we asked her where she got it from. “A ranger brought it over to the hiker-box. Apparently someone left it in one of the bear boxes next to the campground, and they have to clean them out once in a while.” We sat there and ate peanut butter on bread, apples and cookies, and discussed our options. Metric and I decided maybe it was smart to try to get a ride out of there and find a hotel. We stopped some people in vehicles to ask about leaving Crater Lake, but it seemed that everyone was spending the night in the campground, and the nearest town was quite far. It would be difficult for us to get back to the trail in the morning. A man came over and said that he was missing his food that he had put in the bear box, and what we were eating looked very familiar to him. We all felt instantly horrible, and guilty, and gave him everything we could that we hadn’t already devoured, and offered him money for what we had eaten. We couldn’t believe that the ranger had somehow taken food from someone who was still at the campground and given it to us. The man didn’t seem too upset, turned down our money, but he did want his peanut butter back. I felt really bad, but the damage was already done. At least we got some food. As the man said, we probably did need it more than he did… Once the rain subsided, we all decided there was nothing left for us to do but hike out. Only slightly fed, still totally dirty, and not having contacted anyone at home… we walked back out into the forest.
Day 42: Mile 1828 to mile 1798, 30 miles
Day 43: Mile 1798 to mile 1766, 32 miles
“Ok, is it eatable?”
Day 44: Mile 1766 to mile 1736, 30 miles
Day 45: Mile 1736 to Ashland, OR, 10 miles
We got up early with the intent on making it to Ashland early in the day. The sunrise through the haze was quite stunning, and the hills were quite beautiful.
We had a lot of chores and errands to do and most importantly we had to figure out a way around all the upcoming fires. After getting into Ashland and taking a look at the PCTA website, we realized working out a way around these fires was going to be really tricky. As we made our way to a store that carried maps, we ran in to Cheeseburger, another old friend from the Appalachian Trail. After buying a map of the area, we sat down at an ice cream shop and chatted with Cheeseburger, trying to relax for a moment. We then tried to find a computer to do research on, but the Library was closed on Fridays. So we tried to piece together information that was given to us while making phone calls to various agencies. We caught up with Metric and Sticks, checked into our hotel and attempted to do laundry and take showers. The laundry at the hotel failed to wash our clothing, so we dragged our dirty clothes half way across town in search of a laundromat and dinner. We found dinner, but no laundromat. As we ate our Thai dinners with our pile of stinky clothes next to us, we decided to simply complain at our hotel and have them try to fix the laundry machine there. That proved successful, but we went to sleep much later than we had anticipated.
Day 46: Ashland, OR, 0 miles
After much research and particularly with some help from White Jeep and my dear mother, who were able to do some research on a computer, we decided we were going to need to skip ahead by at least 200 miles. We were very bummed that we would need to give up our continuous footpath from Canada to Mexico, but the only way we could avoid that would be to walk on interstate I-5 for nearly 90 miles. I was not going to do a 90 mile road walk on an interstate. I’m not that much of a masochist. So, assuming we could find a ride down I-5 for 80 or 90 miles, we could pick up the PCT again south of most of the fires. The last fire, the “Hat Creek Rim” fire, we were told was no longer keeping the PCT closed. So the plan is to skip ahead to Dunsmuir, and rejoin the PCT there. This may be a blessing in disguise, as we are in a rush to make it to the Sierras before the snow starts, probably by early October. We decided to spend another night in town to rest. Today and tomorrow will be our first non-hiking days since we started a month and a half ago. We had managed to average over 20 miles a day for 45 days up until this point. Time for a day of rest.
Highlights: While the last blog post was rather whinny (sorry, but not every mile of the PCT is going to be fun), the hike out of Cascade Locks was again amazing for us. We took the Eagle Creek Alternate, which follows a set of amazing waterfalls. We soon climbed high into the mountains again and reached Mount Hood where we stopped at Timberline Lodge to resupply. We then took the Ramona Falls alternate, which ended in a gorgeous waterfall, with beautiful rocks. We then hit our first wildfire closure, and had to walk an arduous 30 miles on road to detour it, and were met with horse flies, no shade and no water for 30 miles. After regaining the PCT around Jefferson, we hit some patches of snow, and walked through burnt out sections for quite some ways before hitting Santiam Pass and meeting White Jeep, who gave us a ride to Bend, and introduced us to our custom GPS unit to hike the rest of the trail with.
Day 29: Cascade Locks to mile 2132, 23 miles
July 30th: After running a few more errands, and satisfying our need for town food, we headed out of Cascade Locks, taking the Eagle Creek Alternate. The trail followed steep walls with beautiful waterfalls and pools, and the trail even went right behind one of the larger water falls.
To regain the PCT, we took Indian Springs Trail, which was very steep and reminded us of what a non-stock graded trail was like. I was proud to get up it still going 2 miles an hour, as we climbed about 1000 ft per mile. Indian Creek Trail regains the PCT near the top of the ridge, and Dirt Stew and I checked the map to make sure we were walking the right direction. The trail was amazingly flat, and covered in pine needles. “Too good to be true”, Dirt Stew joked. He took out his GPS just to check our progress. “SHIT!” He shouted. We’re going the wrong way! How was this possible? We both had checked the map. We had hiked an hour or longer going northbound on the PCT, going an amazing speed on this well groomed trail. We cursed at not using a compass when we had looked at the map, and kept wondering how we made the wrong turn. We never did find out, but we probably went 4-6 miles out of our way. We still managed to do 23 trail miles, so in all we probably hiked 28 miles that day. Once we were headed in the right direction, we met a very helpful NOBO who gave us accurate information about water sources up ahead. We decided that not all NOBOs are liars. 🙂
Day 30: Mile 2132 to Timberline Lodge, 25 miles
Day 31: Timberline Lodge to Summit Lake Rd (on alternate), 31 miles
Day 32: Summit Lake Rd to mile 2045, 31 miles
August 2nd: We woke up to the sound of rumbling, and having remembered the horrible storm that was in the morning at Goat Rocks, we decided to close our eyes and sleep through it. The storm dissipated quite quickly, and we decided to get going. The road walk was tedious. There were lots and lots of horse flies attacking us all day. The sun climbed, and it got hot, and humid. Our feet hurt, and we grew very tired from chasing away the horse flies and trying to stay cool under our umbrellas. Cars passed us, and the road went from paved to gravel, and each car that passed kicked up a bunch of dust into our faces. People stared at us from inside their air-conditioned cars, and we cursed them under our breath. Only one nice man stopped his car and asked if we needed any water. We were so happy to reach the end of the detour, and find a small shack next to a lake which was renting out boats and had some cold soda to sell. We jumped in the lake, drank our soda and carried on. I was feeling exhausted, and it didn’t help that my stomach had been bothering me almost every day, making it difficult to eat enough. As we hiked on, two young men in heavy work clothing with hard hats, walkies-talkies, and axes in hand came down the trail. They smelled of smoke. We knew immediately that they were smoke jumpers, and we questioned them about the conditions. They told us there was a new fire just over the next ridge, but it was away from the PCT, and was almost out. We were glad to hear that. The air was thick with smoke and the sun shined almost red through the haze. Just a mile before we decided to camp, I got a nose bleed. I figured it was due to the dry smoky air combined with walking through the heat and not eating enough. I got into the tent and felt like I wasn’t having fun anymore. The road walk had taken its toll on me, and I was beat.
Day 33: Mile 2045 to Rock Pile Lake, 23 miles
August 3rd: We slept in past 7am to get some rest and decided to take it easier today. We passed some small snow patches, and of course with snow and snow melt come the mosquitoes.
They hadn’t been bad recently, but gaining elevation we entered back into their territory. The air was still smokey, but the terrain was nice and easy. I was still having big stomach issues, and had a very hard time eating anything. We decided that we would go into Bend at the next road crossing and get a proper meal, and some stomach medicine. As the day progressed we started walking through miles of burned forest. We met some nice NOBOs who told us all about the trail up ahead and where they stopped in towns, and which restaurants had good food, etc. We are passing many NOBOs each day, and it seems to me like they are getting nicer and nicer as we go. We camped by a very nice lake, which surprisingly had no mosquitoes. I was once again happy to be on the trail.
Day 34: Rock Pile Lake to Santiam Pass, 15 miles
August 4th: We had an easy 15 miles to get to Santiam Pass where Route 20 would take us to Bend, OR. We walked through many more miles of burned area with very little water, but the terrain was easy, and the miles went by quickly.
We passed by a NOBO who told us that a man named White Jeep and his wife Seminole were waiting for us at the Pass. What a surprise! We weren’t expecting to be intercepted by them until Shelter Cove. Perfect timing, as we needed a ride to Bend, and some good food and rest before heading on. White Jeep has been working on mapping the PCT, and wrote the Half Mile App to make it easier for hikers with smart phones to navigate. We had agreed to carry a custom GPS unit which would map the PCT as we hiked, and take notes about water sources and camping spots as we went. I was very excited to start doing this, as the information we were hiking with was obviously lacking in data. White Jeep and Seminole handed us cookies, chips, and bottled water, and drove us directly to an all you an eat buffet. As we stuffed our faces with plates of fried food and fresh vegetables, we discussed the ins and outs of using the GPS unit to log the trail for the next 2000 miles.
After doing some chores, we were happy to go to sleep early in a little motel run by an Indian family. As I put my head on the pillow I smelled Indian curry. I let my mind wander towards Indian buffets as I fell asleep.
This section was much shorter than previous sections, and less scenic. We were mostly in wooded forest with some lakes/swampy areas, and towards the Washington/Oregon border, there gradually got to be less water, and therefore less bugs. The sections ended with crossing the Columbia River on the hair-raising Bridge of the Gods. We encounter ever increasing North Bound Thru-Hikers (NOBOs). Black flies and poison oak rear their ugly heads for the first time. Gear is failing left and right. Finally, as we descended to the lowest elevation of the Pacific Crest Trail, the Pacific Northwest is hit with a heat-wave.
Day 25: Trout Lake to Mile 2216, 21.5 miles
After a restful night in our tiny hut (the whole hut is about the size of a king sized bed), we ate a great breakfast at the Buddhist Bed and Breakfast with the other guests trading stories about each others adventures. We got a ride from fellow guests to the Trout Lake Grocery where we found our lost maps! We were very thankful to get a ride out since hitchhiking was almost out of the question since we had gone on so many different roads to end up at this awesome spot. We were also incredibly lucky to find the maps that we misplaced in the hiker box at the Trout Lake Grocery Store. While we were there we had some ice cream. We started the day late but hiked late because we ended up in a long stretch without water.
Day 26: 2216 to Wind River, 28 miles
I woke up exhausted. We slept on a slope and my sleeping pad was sliding all night, and I kept winding up basically on top of Dirt Stew. After breaking down camp we found ourselves engulfed in mosquitoes and black flies. It turns out that the meadow we camped near had a large pond for breeding biting insects. I decided to call it Black Fly Pond. It turns out the black fly season and mosquito season overlap. You learn something new every day.
Day 27: Wind River to Mile 2159, 29 miles
This day we had two 2,000 ft climbs, which we found difficult in particular because of the hotter and even more humid conditions. According to our guidebook, there was a stretch of the trail ahead without water. NOBOs confirmed that there was no water on the trail for 11 miles. In preparation for this long stretch without water we took a long break at Snag Creek making sure to have our meals that required water, and drank lots of water with them. This was our last water source for 11 miles during the heat of the day. We loaded up our packs full of water. Then, as we climbed, we passed water source after water source up the slope. Essentially these NOBOs had retold us the information we had already had in our guide books and did not add the fact that there was plenty of water going up the mountain. They had made us needlessly carry another 4 lbs each of water up 1,000 ft of elevation.
Day 28: Mile 2159 to Cascade Lock
We woke up and walked into town dodging poison oak here and there.
We walked across the Bridge of the Gods to Oregon experiencing extreme vertigo from walking on grated roadway 200ft above the Columbia River. We were so thankful that we had not tried to go over this bridge in the dark the night before since there is no pedestrian walkway, and we were thrown in with all the cars zooming past. No shoulder either. No pictures were taken because Dirt Stew was afraid he would drop his camera through the road into the river below. We were happy to eat breakfast followed by a foot of ice cream soft serve an hour afterwards. We’re so happy to be showered and our laundry done. A few more chores, and we’ll be off tomorrow morning.
Highlights: The section from Snoqualamie to White Pass was a breeze. The trail was mostly flat, but buggy. The section had many forest service roads and exit points unlike the previous few sections we had been in. We therefore saw many more people. Sunshine turned to rain, and conditions got colder and wetter. From White Pass to Trout Lake we passed through the Goat Rocks on a miserable day after attempting to go through in thunder storms, which was obviously a bad idea. We had to wait out the storms in our tent before attempting to get through again the next day. After passing through the Goat Rocks we entered into Mount Adams Wilderness, and the rain turned again to sunshine for amazing views and fantastic hiking!
Day 17: Snoqualamie Pass to mile 2396, 5 miles
July 18th. We woke up at 5:30am to try go get going, but having gone to bed past midnight the night before doing chores, we were completely exhausted. I did not think I could even hike a single mile I was so tired. We decided to sleep in and take it easier, and our wonderful host Peter found a way to work from home allowing us to leave later in the day. We enjoyed pizza and cake and we were able to get to the Post Office before heading back to the trail and meeting up with Swept Away and her family near the trail head. We had an easy 5 miles and camped.
Day 18: Mile 2396 to mile 2368, 28 miles
July 19th. We decided to try to make up time and do bigger mileage today. I started down the trail and caught up with Swept Away who said “The mosquitoes and I are having breakfast”. It was true, the mosquitoes were swarming around her looking for a blood donation as she casually ate her breakfast. It was hard to care anymore. Dirt Stew’s feet were feeling raw, and I suggested that he changed into new socks. As he took the old ones off, they practically disintegrated in his hand. He had just gotten these socks in Stehekin! We passed by many powerlines and logging roads, and tons and tons of beargrass which was beautiful. It started to rain in the afternoon/early evening.
Day 19: Mile 2368 to 2343, 25 miles
July 20th. We woke up to rain and got going quickly. We passed a young man who asked us what he should do since all his stuff got wet last night, and he felt a lack of confidence to keep going. We tried to boost his morale and told him he would feel better once he got going again. We also told him the fact that he had a synthetic bag over a down bag was good, since down bags are quite useless when wet. Later in the day we passed a quaint log cabin with a fire place and an outhouse, and I hoped that the young man we had passed made it that far to be able to dry his stuff out and spend a dry night there. The trail continued to be mostly flat with many pretty wildflowers. Dirt Stew, Swept Away and I told riddles, and sang songs.
Day 20: Mile 2343 to Snowlake, 30 miles
July 21st. It was very cold in the morning. It was very hard to get out of the sleeping bag, and even harder to put on our wet socks and shoes. Swept Away has a gizmo that tells you the altitude and the temperature so I shouted over to her hammock to ask her how cold it was. 34F and wet. I can’t think of a better condition for hypothermia. Once we got moving, we warmed up a little bit. Dirt Stew stopped to dig a cat hole, and as I kept going ahead without him, I saw a small break in the white clouds/fog and there it was right in front of me, Mount Rainier in all its majesty. 10 seconds later, the fog filled in again, and it was gone. Dirt Stew missed its appearance. Later in the day we met our first northbounder! His trail name is Dainty Fingers, and he seemed in very good spirits. He started his thru-hike on April 7th in Mexico, and he had walked through miles and miles of snow in the Sierras. We misread the map and wound up doing extra miles before we camped. We managed to do 30 miles, the longest any of us had ever hiked in one day.
Day 21: Snow Lake to White Pass to mile 2291, 22miles
July 22nd. We had an easy hike to White Pass in the rain and mosquitoes. In White Pass we met Jess, another southbounder, and another couple who were also southbound, but skipped several of the snowy sections. We did laundry in the little store there, ate fried food, and packed up our mail drop into our packs. We said goodbye to Swept Away, since she had plans to spend a week camping with her family, and headed back into the woods. We hiked another 12 miles out of town through the rain and mosquitos, and hit a little bit of snow as we climbed into the Goat Rock Wilderness. In White Pass we were told that thunderstorms were predicted for tomorrow, so the plan was to get over the knife edge as early the next day as possible, since we figured thunder storms normally materialize in the afternoon.
Day 22: Mile 2291 to mile 2290, 1 mile
July 23. We woke up to the sound of distant rumblings. We packed up our stuff and put on our wet socks and shoes and got going quickly in hopes of getting over the sketchy section before any big storms hit. We started hiking around 6:15am, and make it about 2 or 3 miles before we came up above ridge-line. The thunder started to sound much closer, and Dirt Stew said “what do you think about this..?” I stopped, and saw another bolt of lightning. “I think we should probably turn back” I said. Within seconds the storm was on top of us. BOOM. Lightning, thunder. It started hailing, and the ice balls accumulated on the ground. We started to run back down the mountain to get down from the ridge, above tree-line. We ran back into the trees and found flat ground to set up our tent. We were happy to take a nap to the sound of pattering rain and rumblings. After we had napped to our hearts content, we wondered if we should get going again, but we kept hearing rumblings in the distance. Having retraced our footsteps, we had only managed to make 1 mile of forward progress today. We sat there bored and hungry and wasted the hours away. We fell asleep for the night with hopes of sun, goats, elk and beautiful views for the next day.
Day 23: Mile 2290 to mile 2261.5, 28.5 miles
July 24. We woke up to rain. Although we had hoped for sun, we quickly got our gear together and got going. The only improvement in the weather was the lack of thunder and lightning. We were happy not to waste another day. As we gained elevation, it got colder and colder, windier and windier. The rain was horizontal. Dirt Stew had lost some of his clothing many miles ago when he lost a stuff sac full of clothes, so he was wearing all of his remaining clothes and he was still cold. My rain pants were failing– they were no longer water proof, but thankfully they were windproof. We simply kept going to keep warm. In a gust of wind, I lost my pack cover, which was protecting my gear from the rain. I didn’t even hear it rip off my pack. When I realized it, I gave Dirt Stew my sleeping bag so that he could try to keep it dry in his pack. The snow up on the Goat Rocks was not that bad, but there was some fresh powder that had landed overnight. Only a dusting. We wound up on the stock PCT around the Packwood Glacier, which may have actually been the harder way to go since we had to traverse several steep snow slopes, whereas the knife edge was clear of snow. The wind was tremendous. As we were crossing some of the snow, Jess, the southbounder we met in White Pass came up behind us. We were surprised to see him, but didn’t talk much since we were all cold and trying to keep warm by keeping going. As we made it down off the ridge, we began to see footprints going in all directions. At first I thought it could be Jess, but then I thought better of it. The footprints didn’t match Jess’s. Eventually I saw a ghost in the distance with a large white poncho over him waving to us in the distance. We walked up to him. It was a northbounder who had gotten lost up at the Goat Rocks, and turned around and gone back the way he came in defeat. He wasn’t carrying a GPS, or even a good map, or a compass. Jess also came up behind us again, having came off the ridge in a different direction by accident. Jess gave the northbounder some extra food, and we gave him our map for that section, since we were done with that map. We encouraged him to follow our footprints through the snow back up to try it again so he wouldn’t have to go back dozens of miles in the wrong direction to get a ride out and skip the section. He looked defeated, but we suggested that sun was on its way tomorrow, and he may have better luck if he simply waited out the weather. We hope he did make it over safely. We hiked many miles further that day, chatting with Jess, which really helped the miles melt away.
Day 24: Mile 2261.5 to Trout Lake, 24 miles
July 25. We woke up, and for once it wasn’t raining. It was foggy and a bit wet, but not raining. There were signs of blue sky through the clouds and fog, and we got going early so as to make it to town. As we hiked, the clouds lifted and the sun appeared. The views opened up. It was a fantastic day of hiking. Views of Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St Helens, and also Mt Hood.
The lupines were blooming all over. I saw a small blue butterfly land on a lupine and thought fondly of San Bruno Mountain. The snow around Mount Adams was very easy to pass over. It was all flat terrain, and we joked about how snow on flat terrain didn’t count as “snow”. We saw many many northbounders. We must have hit the beginning of the northbound wave. We made it to the road crossing at route 23 around 4:30pm. A lovely couple stopped to give us a ride to Trout Lake, and they dropped us off at the store to pick up our package. They then offered to drive us to where we wanted to stay, which was a Buddhist Retreat Center called Trout Lake Abbey offering accommodations for thru-hikers. None of us knew how to get there, but they stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. We were very grateful to make it all the way to this cute Buddhist Retreat, because there was no way we would have been able to find it otherwise. The Abbey was amazing. They have an amazing view of Mount Adams, along with gardens of fresh fruit and vegetables, channels of flowing water into a cute pool, gardens and meditation areas everywhere. We were overjoyed to be allowed to use their kitchen facilities to cook ourselves some spaghetti, and we were offered fresh vegetables to make a salad as well. We took hot showers, did laundry, and fell asleep in an adorable little hut.