Off-trail PCT WA Section H

Oct. 9-11: Weekend at Curry’s

Once again, I will be covering multiple days in a single post in lighter detail because this is a trail blog, which means off-trail is off-topic.

Day 1

I could have slept in this morning since a six mile downhill jaunt to the road shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, and I had asked Jordan to pick me up at noon. However, it was a poop day and there was a campground along the way where I might avail myself of an actual toilet.

Turns out the Panther Creek Campground was closed for the season and the toilets were bolted, so I had to go in the woods anyway. I was tempted to go right in front of the door of one of the toilets in protest, but I know that the person who would have to clean it up would not be the one who ordered it locked. Still, it sure would be nice if they had kept one of them open and maintained beyond the season for passing hikers. It’s not like it was that late in the season or the PCT is not a popular trail through the winter months too.

There was one little two mile section between Panther Creek and Wind River Highway, following another smaller creek and with lots of water spilling over the trail. I met a pair from the Washington Trail Association maintaining that little piece (though it didn’t need it nearly as much as the part I’d come through the previous morning) and an older retired couple who liked to take short hikes whenever they could.

I arrived at Wind River Highway about 11. I set up on a stump on the side of the road and waited, sending and receiving updates to Jordan for the next three hours or so until she finally found the place. Apparently it wasn’t as easy to find as the lack of request for more detail prompted by any of my previous communications implied, plus there were a lot of delays along the way (construction, bathroom finding, etc.). By the time she arrived, I had sap all over my shorts that I didn’t realize the stump was leaking. I gave Jordan the battery I had found as a gift.

Anyway, I was finally in a car headed to a house in a suburb with a shower and laundry machines. On the way, we stopped at a grocery store for beer and potentially pie, though they had no pie. I got enough beer for the weekend though. And a box of root beer and a bag of grapes too.

Back at the Curry’s cozy little home in the suburbs of Vancouver, I started my clothes in the wash and jumped in the shower while Jordan and Meaghan finished out their workdays more and less successfully. Then, after a brief jaunt to the grocery store for bread, pie, and sushi ingredients, we all went for a long walk around the neighborhood because, although rain was predicted for the weekend, the weather that evening was still quite nice. All throughout this, despite my grapes, I was kind of starving. I had skipped lunch.

So as soon as we returned from the walk, I ate two heaping helpings of leftovers from the fridge. That was enough to get me through the rest of the evening shenanigans, including board gaming. I should mention that no one but me was interested in the pie or beer, so it was up to me to get through them in the short period of time before guests become rotten.

I ended the day very late, clean, with all my laundry clean, and a bed to myself.

Total distance: 6 miles

Day 2

As was in accord with my habits on the trail, I woke up with the sun, which is to say, before the Curries. And, as you would expect of a hiker, I woke up hungry. So I went to the kitchen and made some cinnamon and cheese toast with the bread we had bought the previous day.

Eventually, everyone else got moving and Meaghan made a more substantial egg and potato based breakfast. And since there was bound to be some rain, Jordan and Meaghan went to move some mulch out from under a tarp on the driveway while I researched my local election ballot back home and worked on this blog.

Then we could start our big day. First, to the Portland REI where I got some calf sleeves to protect and warm my calves while hiking in shorts and swapped my slow running Sawyer for a new one. I tried to swap my trowel and gloves for new ones since both are tearing, but they had none in stock.

Next, we walked to the greatest ice cream joint, where I bought two cups, each with a single scoop. One was a caramel ice cream filled with house made Halloween candies, and it was good. The other was a vegan huckleberry cornbread, and it was truly great.

Then, we called in an order for Thai food from a restaurant that was quite a considerable walk away. The food was ready by the time we arrived. I carried it back to the car still parked at REI, though we nearly got lost on the way.

The day ended with a nice quiet evening at home with Thai food, board gaming (Liar’s Dice with d10s!), video watching, music listening, snacks, and for me, pie and beer well into the night.

Day 3

Yet I still woke at a relatively early hour. And more flavor toast was made. Meaghan later made coffee happen and Jordan nommed cereal on the couch. It was a long, lazy morning filled with Jordan picking out new songs on the ukulele.

I still had a couple of things needing doing. One, I needed to buy resupply for the entire next month of my hike. Two, I needed a haircut. Three, I needed to vote.

As I recall, I took care of the voting first, calling Mama to fill out my absentee ballot for me. While that was happening, there was much activity in the kitchen, I including the mandolining and pickling of ginger for supper.

Following this was a trip to a discount grocery store, at which I spent a bit over 300 dollars on a month’s worth of food. Not bad.

Then a shopping center with a Great Clips (goodbye shag!), a bagel shop, and a games store. I explored the latter while Jordan and Meaghan did a PokeGo raid. And then they came into the game store and bought some games and I bought them some pretty dice for future Liar’s Dice sessions.

By this time, it was dark and a great time for finishing the sushi prep and devouring the sushi.

Jordan and I messed around for a few more hours, staying up unreasonably late before beginning the sorting and allocation of all the food I bought. I am grateful for her help in all that, especially because it was almost 2am by the time it was done and she had work meetings in the morning.

I made sure everything else was as packed as it could be to leave as early as possible the next morning before going to bed.

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