Day 135, 136, and 137 – 8/24, 8/25, and 8/26/15
Miles – 0
Total Miles – 2211.9 (PCT 2144.4)
This is our first zero since northern California and we have been looking forward to it. I would even say the Ravens are down right excited. Two years ago, when we hiked Oregon, in Cascade Locks, we stayed at the Bridge of the Gods Motel and RV Park. They had some nice little cabins with two rooms and space to have a grand pack explosion. They also had a small kitchen. Several days ago I made reservations for two nights. The room we got this time was even better than what we had last time we were here. It was a RV log cabin, built this year. It was about 800sq/ft. with a front room with two single beds, a full kitchen, back bed room with a queen bed, bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, high peaked ceilings, pine wood paneling and a large front porch to air out our sleeping bags. It could not have been more perfect. We were doing our re-supply box, repairs on the tents zippers and just getting ready for the next section when panic ran though the thru-hikers at Cascade Locks. 70 miles from Cascade Locks the trail just got closed due to a fire near Mt Adams. This is the second closure for the PCT in Washington. Some hikers who had left back to the trail this morning where returning to Cascade Locks, while others wanted to give up on Washington and go home or hike a different trail. Some hikers were taking a wait and see attitude. The Ravens fell into the last group. I knew that there would be a good number of people trying to figure out a way around the trail closure. Teflon, Cosmic Bubble and Dingo came by our cabin to see what our plan was for the upcoming future PCT hike. The mood amongst the hikers is very depressing. It seems many our calling it quits after 2,100 miles. The hikers at our cabin, including the Ravens have no intentions of quiting. The Canadian border is too close! All the hikers have been overcoming some sort problem or another since we began this trip months ago at Campo. This simply is just one more obstacle to figure out how to overcome. By dinner time there was talk of a road walk around the fire. We had a great pizza dinner at the Ale House and at least 10 other thru-hikers were there. The ones we knew where Milkshake and Sticky Buns, Velcro and Xactly, Cat Water, Rainbow, Brother Dude and Coppertone, and Rebo. Another, thru-hikers showed up half way through dinner. It was Smokey with his wife Karen. He had met his wife here at Cascade Locks and was returning after a few days in Portland. We have not seen him since Tuolamne Meadows. Knowing he is a doctor, we talked to him about Bling’s leg and he asked Bling a bunch of questions. He suspects it is a strained muscle and says we are doing the right things for it (icing, hot water baths, motrin). However, the best thing we could do for Bling’s leg is to stay off of it. Our plan is to leave tomorrow. Most of the hikers we know, who came into Cascade Locks today, our planning to take an extra day off. Perhaps we will do the same for the sake of Bling’s leg. A surprise for us was that our pizza dinner was on the house. Our waitress really likes thru-hilkers and she had heard about The Raven family on the trail. She called the owner who agreed to pay for Bling and Little Crow’s dinner and the waitress paid for Mama and Papa Raven. We also noticed the waitress giving Rebo twenty dollars to go buy drinks for the hikers staying at the hiker hostel here in town. She later offered to take us to Portland tomorrow if we needed anything. She genuinely wanted to help any thru-hikers she could. Since we did not pay for dinner we gave her a big tip!
This morning Bling’s leg was not much better. We knew what we had to do. . . stay another day. Around 9:00, Papa Raven went to the motel office to pay for another night. The woman behind the desk informed him that our room had been paid for. Someone, she was not allowed to say who, came in this morning and paid for our room. We have no idea who did it. We suspect Smokey and Karen, who also were staying at the same motel, but we are not sure it was them. Smokey was leaving early in the morning for the trail. We spent most of the day sitting around the room working on odds and ends and attending to Bling’s leg. By dinner time we were packed and ready to leave first thing in the morning. Velcro, Xactly, Gi Gi, Dundee, and Cat Water also were leaving tomorrow morning. Snow White and Wall-ee, Tephlon and Cosmic Bubble and Dingo left yesterday. There concerns were the upcoming fire detours while ours was Bling’s leg.
We were up and out of our room by 7:30. With great apprehension, we hiked over to the Bridge of the Gods so we could cross into Washington. Bling was limping badly. He tells us that his leg was feeling better than yesterday, but we can see that he is not ready to hike. We are all frustrated. Our hearts, including Bling’s, are ready to go on but physically we are unable to. All of our hiking friends have gone on and by staying another day we will not see them again. Sadly, we walked back to the motel. As we were walking along, in our gloomy moods, we were looking down when Mama Raven found another mylar fourth of July pinwheel, just like Bling’s. It was sticking up out of an old orange construction cone along the side of the road. It was all dusty and scratched up but still worked perfectly. She added it to Bling’s backpack and said Bling has even more BLING! Once again, I went to the office around 9:00 and paid for another night. The woman gave us a discount on the room because we have been there for so long. We stayed in the room most of the day so Bling would stay off his feet. We continued our routine of ice, heat, and motrin. Mama Raven even got a chance to work on photographs for the blog. Something she has not had any time for. It was a quite day and we will be ready to go in the morning.