Day 98, July 30th
Start: bridge of the gods, mile 2,155
End: Panther creek campground, mile 2,190
Miles hiked: unknown, but hypothesized at 20.

We wake up and head inside around 6:45. Marijo has a giant breakfast spread for us hungry hikers. I eat three full breakfasts before all is said and done. She and her daughter, Drue, drive all ten of us to where they picked us up, at the Washington border at the bridge of the gods. She has kindly offered to meet us at trout lake, some 85 pct miles, yet only 30 minutes from their home. It saves many of us days worth of food, and some supplies we won’t need, mostly cold weather stuff, as the forecast calls for a big heat wave. They are just so kind to us, it’s amazing. The whole group raves about it after they drop us off.

Today, we take the ‘Not-a-chance’ alternate. It’s the original pct, she says, and if passes two breweries and multiple bars. It’s not hard to convince us that this will make for the most fun day. Mac and carrot are total BA’s though, and decide to hike the pct trail, rather than this alternate. The pct is both longer and much harder, so props to them.

Today also marks the exit of JrSr. He has hiked with us, and kept up (much to my surprise after meeting him in skinny jeans) for the past 600+ miles. He started by doing 30+ mile days with us. He had unbelievable chaffing to start, and was still working on getting his trail legs, yet he stayed with us. On top of this, he was upbeat, positive, and hilarious the entire way. Dude was a real gem in our group, and we’ll all miss what he brought to the group. He’ll finish up Washington next year, and complete the pct! Dude is legit, skinny jeans and all.

As we enter Stevenson, woody complains of his broken tooth. He broke a tooth a few day as back, and it’s really bothering him. We pass a dentist and urge him to go. He hates the dentist, yet he goes. Crispies stays with him while Guthrie, coughee, chance and I hike on. We make it to the bungalow, a bar in Carson, and make a stop. We play pool, eat burgers, down some Rainier, and have a great time. I put on ‘bad, nationwide’ by zztop as we play pool. One of my favorite childhood songs that my dad used to play when I was young. Seemed fitting for the scene of us nationwide travelers.

“Easin’ down the highway in a new Cadillac, I had a fine foxy broad, I had three more in the back. They sporting short dresses wearing spike heeled shoes. They smoking lucky strikes and wearing nylon, too. Cuz we’re bad, we’re nationwide.”

Not quite applicable, actually not at all. But I love the song, so it notes reference.

Crispies catches us here and says woody is having surgery. Must be serious. Marijo, again, comes to the rescue, taking woody in, helping him out, and offering him another night at their house. How lucky to have her here and so willing to help when sheriff woody really needs it.

We all hike out, meeting trail angel ‘fun hog’. She gives us some water and fruit next to the road, and says she’ll be at panther creek, our destination. Awesome! We get there around 6:30 pm, and have dinner with her while sharing stories. She’s lived an incredible life, and tells us amazing stories as she serenades us with her pink guitar.

I retire to my sleeping bag, where it is damp from the moisture in the air due to the nearby river. It’s peaceful, and the white noise puts me to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.