Wednesday, August 30
Elk Lake Resort to Location near Mount Bachelor Ski Area on Cascade Lakes Highway west of Bend, Oregon
Total Miles Hiked: 1961.9
I sleep until 6:30 this morning without ever waking up until then. I quickly pack up and meet Brendan on the road to the lake. The Level 1 Evac was lifted overnight or early this morning and the resort operates normally…..for 2 hours.
Just when we think our plans are back on, an announcement is made that the resort is now under Level 2 Evac (pack your bags, or “set” of “ready, set, go”), the trail we walked in on last night is now closed for 5 miles behind us and the alternate route we were choosing to take is stated to be open by some officials and closed by others (we have sheriffs, rangers, forestry service staff and “incident management” people here).
Hikers are frustrated and worn out from all the confusion. Charlie decides to get a ride around the fires and leaves. Most hikers are just so fed up, they are skipping up to Washington. Funny thing is, now a section of trail in that state is closed too due to fire! It doesn’t end!
I’m not giving in just yet. But I’m also not going to do a road walk into Bend for nothing, especially when it doesn’t take me further north. So I’m not leaving here until I’ve decided what I’m going to do.
I text Brendan the update and he confirms some things, but also verifies some falsities, like disproving the Town of Sisters is under is under a Level 3 Evac, which is supposed to be our next resupply.
Confused and lost yet?!
I finally get two guys on board to hike with me, T-Bone and Bam-Bam. One Day is about 3 days ahead of me and has been texting me details of her route. It’s 140 miles long and goes around 140 PCT miles but it is far enough away from the fires that it is not stuck in the open/closed dance chaos.
We decide to take this route and at 3:30, we begin our road walk.
This is not an easy task. The road is hard and hot. My feet feel swollen almost immediately and I’m having a hard time adjusting. I make several phone calls to help distract me and I eventually get into a better mindset after talking to Adam. Thanks Bud!
Although it will be hard on the feet and legs, road walking allows for cell service, access to my entire music collection, texting, phone calls, blogging, fresh food, water not needing filtering, hot coffee, beds, showers, laundry….and REI.
It’s gonna be great!