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[pct-l] Hiker Sightings and Travelogue

	I went on my second annual Northern California birthday trip.
Happy birthday, the Northerner, wherever you were this year!

	Here are the hikers I met last week:

Mon 09 Aug 2004	-- Seiad Valley -- noon

	I had lunch with Super Girl and Fritz (male) at the Wild West Cafe.
	Formerly the known as the Seiad Cafe, the owner has leased it out
	to a new operator, who has changed the name but not the pancakes.

	I tried the Seiad Pancake Challenge (how could I travel that far
	and not?).  Since I didn't barf, I consider myself a two-pancake
	winner, not a loser, thank you please.  I ate my third pancake over
	the next 2 days.  I dumped the remaining two pancackes at the end of
	my trip, after showing them off to several astonished people.

Tue 10 Aug 2004 -- Crater Lake -- noonish

	About 30 seconds after I pulled into the PCT trailhead parking lot
	just west of the southern entrance to Crater Lake NP, Wicked came
	walking along.  What great timing!  Too bad that I missed the
	group of hikers that was just a few minutes ahead of him!  Wicked
	accepted water and a light lunch.

	As I drove toward the Park entrance, I came across Fritz (female)
	and 1 Gallon walking back to the PCT trailhead.

	I arrived at Mazama Village (the store near the southern entrance
	to the Park), and saw Phoenix, Peaches, Raru, Juniper, Sisu, Kokoy
	(? a section hiker), No Trace (and hey, he signed my register!),
	and Rhythm (off trail for the season due to foot injuries).

	Phoenix had a foot problem, too, so I took him to the nearest medical
	doctor, in Chiloquin, about 30 miles away.  He saw the MD, got
	treatment and advice, and I hauled him back to Mazama Village.  It
	wasn't how I'd planned to spend that afternoon, but that's what
	trail angels are for, right?

	I saw Salamander when I returned to Mazama Village with Phoenix.

Tue 10 Aug 2004 -- Willamette Pass -- approx 2100

	I met Iceman as he was hiking back to the trail.  I saw Billy Goat
	getting ready to leave the Willamette Pass Ski Area facility.  Radar
	and Scrote were still inside the restaurant, and I'd apparently
	missed nearly a dozen others.

	They make good Pizza there.  I ordered more than I could eat,
	thinking that Radar and Scrote might still be hungry, but they
	weren't, and it was past hiker midnight, so they left.  Between
	leftover pancakes and leftover pizza, I had more than enough food
	for the next few days.

	I checked a few other PCT road crossings during my trip: I5
(actually, the road paralleling I5) south of Ashland, Oregon 140 near
Lake of the Woods, Crater Lake NP north crossing, Oregon 138 north of
Crater Lake, Castle Crags east entrance and campground, the Castella
road walk, California 89, California 299 (and the dirt road crossing
to the south of the main road), California 44 (Old Station) and the
Hat Creek Rim trailhead.  I didn't find any PCT hikers at these spots.

	McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park (California) is well
worth a visit on a hot summer day.  The waterfall is astonishing (to a
born-and-raised Southern Californian), the cool canyon below the falls
is very pleasant, and the beach on Lake Britton hit the spot (though
to be fair, the swimming area is small and overcrowded).  The trails
around the falls are graced with informative, useful interpretive
signage.  Maybe now I'll remember again how to tell a white oak fro a
black oak.

	Subway Cave, near Old Station, was also well worthwhile.  I
got there near the end of the day, but it was swill warm outside, and
the descent into the coolth of the cave was welcome.  I had fun
walking through the lava tube; in fact, I went through twice.  Be sure
to put fresh batteries in your flashlights *before* entering the cave
:-).  I strongly recommend wearing hiking boots instead of sandals (I
walked it both ways) due to the roughness of the lava floor.

	I'd like to thank the authors of various PCT reference books
and PCT trail journals for alerting me to the beauty of these two
destinations.  If you are ever in the area, I recommend that you give
them a visit.

	Due to the fire east of Redding, CA, the views of Shasta,
Lassen, and Castle Crags were fairly low contrast.  Perhaps I'll try
again next summer? The views of Crater Lake were stunning, as always;
I visited there before the smoke (and later, the local fire that shut
the PCT there) caused trouble.

	Watch out for low flying birds when driving U.S. 97 on the
west shore of Upper Klamath Lake!  My rental car wasn't damaged (at
least, I didn't see any damage), but as for the bird... when I looked
in my rear view mirror, I saw a lot of feathers...  Watch out for
viscous night-attack rabbits on California 299, near Burney.
Apparently, they won't watch out for you.

	McCredie Hot Springs, about 25 minutes (?) drive west of
Willamette Pass, was both more and less than its description in "Hot
Springs and Hot Pools of the Northwest" made it seem.  Except where
they were too hot, at the inflows, the pools weren't quite warm enough
to relax my muscles. After a while, a group arrived (notable for the
fact that the adults spoke mainly Russian, although the kids spoke
American) that objected to clothing-optional use of the springs, so
the nudes went to one side of the creek while the prudes took the
other.  Later, their kids started tearing down the creekside soaking
pools and chucking the pool rim stones into the creek.  I dressed up
to give the adults in charge a dressing down, so to speak.  Summary:
not quite as good as Deep Creek Hot Springs, but perhaps a worthwhile
side trip, if you know someone with a car at Willamette Pass.

	I saw some great Perseid meteors on the nights of Aug 11 and
Aug 13.  On Aug 12, I was too busy driving through Redding, CA, to see
the peak of the meteor shower.  The other two nights, though, I spend
at camping sites that were far darker than any near Los Angeles, even
in Joshua Tree National Park.  It was nice that the celestial
fireworks coincided with a new moon, too.

	Much, much further off the trail, I found a really good
swimming hole and camping spot on the Trinity River.  It's a great
place to hang out and de-stress after rushing back and forth across
northern California and southern Oregon.  I can't be a trail angel
through my entire vacation. :-)

					Craig "Computer" Rogers