August 3, 2016, Mile 2052: Ice Cream and Gentler Terrain

At Trooper Spring, mile 2052

Interesting night. In the middle of the night, I was awakened by loud voices and a bright flashlight. The voices were calling, “Search and Rescue. Riley, Riley, is that you? Riley, Riley.”

It took a minute to get my wits, and then I said, “No, this isn’t Riley.” They asked me to stick my head out for a negative ID, and I signed my name as well. Turns out that somebody passed on a tip (later disproven) that Riley was using an orange tent. I have a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1, which is definitely orange. The SAR team apologized, and all I could say was, “No apologies needed. Thank you for checking.” Lord have mercy. **

I awoke to sunshine and no wind, with a delightful view across the lake. Love mornings like this.


I headed down to Olallie Store, which was just two downhill miles away. It’s a tiny store, with snacks and resupply items, piped water, and no electricity other than a small generator. It’s a great place to take a break over ice cream and cold drinks. Mmm…ice cream!


I stayed for a couple of hours, talking with different people. I met Cashmere, a woman of about my age, who is another member of the Women of the PCT group.

Before leaving, I attempted to get my hydration system set up. No dice. Chia Seed and her husband Quinoa had a syringe, so I could completely backflush the filter.  The filter is working fine, but I can’t get the inline system functioning. So from here on out, my system is two 1.5 L bladders for dirty, and two SmartWater-esque bottles for clean. Not sure if I can fix this at home.

With my second-best hydration system in play, I headed nine miles toward Trooper Spring 2052.

As of the last day, the terrain has changed noticeably. It is much closer to Washington than it is to the lava fields and burns of just a few days ago. Looking at the map, it appears to be more of the same for at least awhile. So tomorrow I’m going to try for my first 20 mile day. It’s a personal goal, and if something crops up I won’t be overly concerned, but it’s a nice-to-have.

** Footnote: As of mid-September, Riley has not been found. The search was called off in early August, and his family has returned home to California. Lord have mercy.

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