Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail: Day 114 | Crater Lake, OR | Mile 1818

By August 17th, 2016 No Comments

So now we are in Oregon, and we are TIRED. At this point we have been on the trail for almost 4 months and our bodies are exhausted. Probably mentioned somewhere before, but now we are averaging at 24 miles a day which is equivalent to running a marathon every day. Given poorly nutritious diet and the endurance training that we are putting our bodies through each day, we feel very low energy. I mean holy cow, stuff that we eat on the trail is NEVER eaten back home. Unfortunately, we have neglected taking any vitamins while on this journey and now we are feeling it. First thing we did upon arrival into Ashland is stock up on vitamins and supplements.


We took a full day off in Ashland and once we were back on the trail it felt like we haven’t even rested. This was when we thought that trail started to throw a bone into our hike and really challenge our endurance, patience and perseverance.


One day, while walking and looking down at my phone, I had the misfortune of walking into a broken tree that was overhanging the trail. I hit my head so hard that it took me off my feet. Thankfully I was wearing a hat and did not split my forehead open. I have recovered very quickly with a few minor headaches. Morale of the story – don’t text and walk.


In a few more days, right before arriving at Crater Lake, I felt a very sharp pain in my stomach that would come and go. I knew that it was a symptomatic pain and that I have caught something, either a virus or a bacteria. Then I remembered that just a few days ago, we drank unfiltered water from a creek (yay!!!) and the most common stomach sickness that hikers get on the trail is called Guardia. Guardia is a parasite/bacteria that swims in the water. While a virus will generally be in and out of your systems within a few days, Guardia will stay for several weeks – definitely not an option when you are out in the wilderness. Not waiting any longer, I immediately asked Serge to figure out the logistics and a way out to get to the nearest hospital, which happened to be over two hours away. We did not have a car and there are no buses that travel frequently to Crater Lake. Serge had to ask park officials to arrange a paid shuttle so we could get to hospital. I was tested Guardia negative and released from ER with a recommendation of taking some “Pepto Bismol”.


I think the look in her eyes says it all. When you’re low on energy and you have a sick stomach, but you still need to make 20 mile day. It can get real tough…

The next day I started vomiting and having diarrhea. Thankfully I happened to have some medicine that helped stop the diarrhea and I was able to eat a little. Already running low on energy, and almost not eating anything made it even harder to hike. Meanwhile, Serge struggles with all the dust from the trail that caused severe irritation to his eyes. Of course, just a few days apart, my beloved hubby goes down with the same stomach virus. At this point we had to make a decision to get off the trail for a couple of days, to rest, regain our strength and hopefully get better.


The kindness, generosity and the willingness of people to go our of their way to help a stranger in need… has brought a lot of faith in humanity

The next day I started vomiting and having diarrhea. Thankfully I happened to have some medicine that helped stop the diarrhea and I was able to eat a little. Already running low on energy, and almost not eating anything made it even harder to hike. Meanwhile, Serge struggles with all the dust from the trail that caused severe irritation to his eyes. Of course, just a few days apart, my beloved hubby goes down with the same stomach virus. At this point we had to make a decision to get off the trail for a couple of days, to rest, regain our strength and hopefully get better.

It was our luck that PCT happened to cross a small dirt road and there were a few locals camping/fishing in the area. We approached a guy and asked how far is it to the nearest paved road where we could have better chances of catching a ride. It was about 15 miles away and would take us nearly half a day to walk this distance. Serge was having a difficult time standing on his feet, I think the man saw a trace of distress on our faces and kindly offered to give us a ride to the nearest road. Upon approaching a busy highway intersection it was still another 58 miles until nearest town. Instead of dropping us off at the intersection this guy offered to take us straight to town. He drove one way for 1 hour 45 minutes. Not expecting anything in return, out of his kindness and good will. We have countlessly repeated that this trail has showed us so much human kindness, love and compassion that this was another act that strengthened our faith in humanity.


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