If I were to describe this day in one word, it would be magic. At the end of the day before, SOBO hikers told us of trail magic just down the line. Molly and I had camped 3 miles from the trail head where it was supposed to be, having packed up fast, we marched those miles away. We didn’t want to get there too early with the risk of the angels not having awoken yet, so while eager to arrive we plodded along through the damp forest that had somehow experienced rain whilst avoiding us.
Sure enough, at the trail head across the road was a large tent set up with two cooks tending to the hikers who had camped there the night before. French toast, PB&J bagels and fruit filled our bellies while we caught up with Tom who had camped there. After an hour or so we proceeded on through the forest towards Trout Lake, a small town we intended on popping into for an early dinner. However, 6 miles from the breakfast magic came even more. This time it was a previous PCT hiker named Geared Up, and he was cooking up some beautiful pork chops. With a beer in one hand and meat in the other we sat down with all the others we had seen earlier that morning, smiles beaming from all our faces.
Once again we were off with the aim of reaching the 14:30 shuttle to Trout Lake in 9 miles time. The trail took us up yet another long climb shrouded within the forest before dropping us down a few hours late by a road. Hikers were gathered here around two cars. From one came small bags of fruit and cookies, from the other would come our shuttle ride.
Dennis was our driver and a super sound guy who had grown up around Trout Lake. Along the way we spoke about the Mt St Helens eruption, the Goat Rocks Wilderness and winters of past. Trout Lake is a tiny town with three main buildings; a grocery store, cafe and bakery. We ate at the cafe and chilled at the store with everyone including Prometheus and Not A Minor who had reached the town earlier that morning. We killed a few hours here but intended to get back on the trial via the last shuttle, and were joined by Prom and NAM in doing so.
We only walked a further mile to a creek tent site, but the day had been such a fun one with all the magic and food that we had treated it like a true Sunday. Around a fire we chatted into the evening before retiring for sleep to the sound of the rushing creek.