Going it alone

Posted By on September 5, 2011

Monday

Much has happened since Sunday morning’s report. First, having been told by the forest service that the Dollar Lake Fire had closed the Pacific Crest Trail and that a USFS and PCTA-approved alternative route would be at least a day or two in the making we made arrangements to be picked up and come home, disappointed that we’d been stymied only two days’ hiking from the WAshington border. Then, in swept a USFS employee named Mary Ellen with just such a plan, sending us east around Mt Hood. Because it was a longer route it would take us three days instead of two, but we werent complaining. At 11:30 am we were back on the trail. Did a tough 15 miles till dark.

But things again turned bad. At 5 I awoke to the sound of my brother-in-law Glenn throwing up. Every few years he has a vertigo attack and this was one. We were fortunate, though, in that we were camping on a major road (highway 35) and though I hAdnt had cell phone luck the previous night, I was able to connect with
My sister-in-law Ann who was there in three hours.

This isn’t the happy ending I’d imagined. Glenn and I first met — We were college age — when we went backpacking on Eagle Creek with the Youngberg sisters. I was looking forward to revisiting that trail for our final stretch to the Columbia after 26 days of PCT backpacking together. Instead he’s headed back to Albany and I’m hiking alone. I can see the fire (see pic) but it’s A few ridges away And after reaching Wahtum Lake I’ll descend to the north, spending the night along Eagle Creek. The plan is to
Meet Sally and walk to the “Entering Washington” sign Tuesday afternoon on the Bridges of the Gods But it won’t be the same without Glenny.

20110905-022443.jpg

20110905-022531.jpg

20110905-022556.jpg

20110905-022605.jpg

20110905-022622.jpg

About The Author

Bob Welch is a writer and speaker who crafts stories of heart, humor reminding audiences that we're all pebbles in the water, our ripple speading far beyond what we might think. The author of 12 books, he has been honored six times by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for his columns in The (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard.

Comments

3 Responses to “Going it alone”

  1. paul says:

    Hang in there. Sorry to hear about glenn. Nothing you or he can do about getting sick. One of those things you guys ought to agree to meet again next year and walk that last section together. See you soon at work.

  2. That’s a beautiful area. I’ve backpacked there, but not since high school, which was A LONG TIME ago. I’m envious.

  3. Paul H says:

    Bob thanks so much for blogging this adventure. I have been following you all summer, and it has been awesome to watch and read about you doing something I will never be able to do. I have no doubt you have many people like myself who have loved this vacation from “real life” and just want to say a big thank you!

Spam prevention powered by Akismet