If you missed the first post or just want a refresher go here: O is for Oregon.
When we last left off I was just waking up and foolishly thinking the “Oregon Bear” had stolen our food. After my sister mocked me for a bit she went back to sleep a bit more, but I knew I couldn’t sleep with the cold and the pain from my feet.
I got up and wandered around the area where we had set up camp. When we arrived the night before it was already pitch black so I had no idea how beautiful it was. There was a little clearing which made it ideal for tents and then it led off to a lake. I walked down to the water to dip my feet in and hopefully soothe the pain a bit. I took some pictures while I was sitting there, enjoying the scenery and the cold water against my aching feet. I posted most of them in the last entry, but here’s a refresher:
For a moment I forgot that my parents were missing and I hadn’t slept last night. I didn’t feel the pain from my swollen and blistered feet or my stomach that was desperately craving real food after the pop tarts and potato chips of yesterday’s dinner. I just sat and admired the stillness of the morning, the gentle mist that was rolling off the lake while the pine trees stood guard around us. This is why I love hiking. This is the power of nature.
I knew I couldn’t sit there forever so I let my feet dry off in the sun and went back to wake up my sister and Kevin. We ate the other half of our food rations and then consulted with each other on our next moves. My sister was convinced my parents were ahead of us, she thought maybe they had gone to the next stopping point, instead of just resting along the trail. Since she was our local expert at the time we all agreed the best thing to do would be to hike back to our cars and drive to the next meeting location, SURE that my parents would be there waiting for us.
The moment I had been dreading had arrived. It was time to put my boots back on. I gingerly stuck my toes in and as soon as the boot started feeling snug I felt shooting pain. Knowing I couldn’t really walk barefoot down the trail I took a deep breath and shoved my feet in as quick as I could, wincing at the close contact. Every step put me in agony. I knew how annoying I was being because I kept crying out in pain, but I couldn’t stop. It hurt so bad. Kevin offered to carry me, but I knew it was a halfhearted offer since he was already wearing a backpack. When we got back to our cars I took off those boots and traded them for flip flops immediately. I would take hiking in sneakers or even sandals over putting those torture traps on again.
We had to drive to the next meeting location and I was struggling to push the pedals because even that contact was still bothering my sore feet. The rental car was in my name only. I had driven Kevin and I to Oregon from Las Vegas- 12 hours of driving-all by myself. If something happened I wanted to be driving since I would ultimately have to pay for any damage. But then the road we were following turned into a dirt road. And then the dirt road turned into a not-maintained dirt road. And then the road turned into something only pick-up trucks and maybe off-road jeeps could tackle. There were gigantic sharp rocks EVERYWHERE, huge potholes and gaps in the road, tree branches sticking out all over the place… I was so stressed I told Kevin he had to take over driving. He said, “Of all the times I could have helped you drive…you’re going to pick now.”
But him driving didn’t reduce my stress so I had him pull the car over when there was a little turn off. I said we should walk up the rest of the road and just come back for the car later. Luckily, my sister had the sense that I would not like driving this road in the rental so she had stopped her car and was walking towards us in the opposite direction. For the record, she drives a Scion TC. Which is like a little sporty, low-to-the-ground vehicle.
Once we piled the three of us into her car, plus all the camping gear, we were literally just scraping along the road as all the rocks hit the underbelly of her car. We eventually got to a section that was almost a straight vertical incline with a ditch on one side and a giant boulder of a rock on the other. There was no way her car was going to make it so we backed up a little and found a place to park. This area was actually a campground of sorts, and there were other people around, but it was clear those people knew the type of terrain they had to travel to get there. We were the only ones with an actual car.
We left our car and kept walking up the road to where the Pacific Crest Trail intersected with it. We sat there for awhile, just hoping our parents would cross our paths. It didn’t take us long to notice the mosquitoes. Of course, we left the bug repellent in the car. Too afraid to miss our parents we stayed and swatted our new enemies away. Kevin ended up counting over 80 bug bites. His skin so mottled it looked like he was cursed with crazy body acne. My sister and I had suffered a large number of bites as well, but nothing compared to Kevin.
A hiker coming in the opposite direction walked by us and we stopped to ask them if they had seen our parents. They had not, but since our parents were hopefully behind us at this point we asked her to give them the message that we were here waiting if she happened upon them.
It was nearing dusk and we were getting hungry so we decided to leave our post and head back to the car to make dinner. We made a lovely pot of macaroni and cheese and then realized we had no eating utensils. (Remember, my sister and I have been doing this stuff our whole lives, but for some reason on this trip we managed to do everything wrong.)We went to some nearby campers and luckily they were EXTRA prepared and had a whole set of plastic utensils they let us have.
We set up our tent, but I ended up sleeping in the car because I was too cold again. That will happen when you go camping without a sleeping bag and nothing but a fleece jacket…
It had been two days now and we had no contact with our parents. We were getting increasingly worried and wondering what to do. We decided to spend one more day at our location and if we hadn’t seen them by then we would find a ranger station and report them missing.
I did not realize how long this story would be (but it is a great one I think 🙂 ). I will have to make a part 3 to finish it up as my time is limited! Hope you enjoyed reading and can bare the suspense of waiting for the end!
Part 3 and the finish! – Oregon: The Ending!