Day 118: Lunch Off Trail

With just 10 miles to go to highway 140, we woke up this morning with visions of a lunch at Fish Lake Resort which is just 2 miles off trail along the highway. We took our first break after about 2 hours of hiking and to our surprise had already done nearly 7 miles! Those visions of a nice lunch must have put a real pep in our step. We knocked out the last 3 miles pretty quick and were on the highway by 11am. We had a bit of a tough time catching a ride down to the resort as most people zoomed by us with narry a thought of picking us up. At one point a jeep stopped behind us and we ran over only to find the driver was parking for a Sunday day hike, what a drag. Finally, after about an hour and a half of sitting on the road with our thumbs out a wonderful man from Klamath Falls (40 minutes east of the trail on highway 140) who was heading to Medford (40 minutes west of the trail on highway 140) stopped and picked us a ride down to the resort! We were so very grateful that he had to go to the airport for an educators conference and took the time to give two smelly hikers a 2 mile ride.

After arriving at the resort we plugged in our electronics as hikers are want to do. The next order of business was the cafe. We both ordered “The Backpacker” which was a grilled chicken sandwich with grilled mushrooms, grilled onions and Swiss cheese. I had a side of fries and a side salad and pie just had a side salad, but he skipped the fries in lieu of two chocolate milk shakes. Once we were good and full we hit up the store for a road soda to add to the pack and by about 2pm we were headed back to the road hoping to get back to the trail. We stood on the corner of the highway and the turn for the resort for about 20 minutes before deciding we needed to start walking toward the trail in case we didn’t end up getting a ride. Well, turned out we never did get a ride and we had walked the 2 miles back to the trail by 3pm. That was an unexpected 2 miles we didn’t factor into our already planned 22 miles today, so now we are looking at a 24 mile day instead.

Once we were back on the trail we had 12 miles to go to get to Christi’s Spring, our chosen camp for the day. We took a break after the first 6 miles and pounded our sodas we packed out. Water and Vitalyte got us to the resort, and apparently caffeinated fizzy drinks were going to get us to camp. After hiking the remaining 6 miles we finally arrived at the spring at 7:30pm. Our late arrival time meant we were a bit late to the party, meaning 3 other hikers had scooped up the obvious campsites near the trail. Fortunately, we took the trail down to the spring and then followed another side trail for a bit to a nicely hidden but quite good couple of campsites. We were both pretty tired from our 24 miles that included a road walk for 2 of those miles so we pretty much put up tents, ate dinner and were in our bags. Tomorrow I think we only have about 20 miles planned but may end up going more if we are feeling good to set up for a half day to get into Mazama Village the following day.

Godspeed.

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