PCT Mile Marker 1820 – 1820
Miles Hiked 0
I couldn’t sleep. I was too hot and I thrashed around and kept waking up completely sideways in the bed.
At some point I realized I haven’t used a pillow much in the last few months, so maybe that’s what the problem was. I stuck my arm in the pillowy pile and shoved it back and forth until there was a blank space where I could lay my head.
I slept for a while, but was up and posting pictures to Instagram at 5:00. I finally fell asleep again, and hard. I woke up to my mom and my nephew sweetly staring down at me, smiling.
It was time for breakfast.
I pawed lazily through my resupply and took a shower. I cleaned up my poor foot the best I could.
Then off to Dutch Bros. for an enormous iced coffee before we headed back to Crater Lake to just be tourists.
Too bad I didn’t have a DSLR.
That would’ve completed the look.
My little nephew took a long draw off the straw of my iced coffee in the holder between us. Are kids allowed to drink coffee these days?
I gave him a look.
“What?” He said. “What’s the problem? We share the same genes.”
He put his arms out and shrugged his shoulders. He’s not quite eight.
They took me to the grocery store so we could get sandwich stuff and a few extras for my resupply. Gluten-free bread and deli ham and sliced cheese and mayo and mustard. Fresh, delicious sandwiches would fill my belly for lunch! I felt so, so happy with anticipation.
Back in the car, my nephew said, “Can you eat this?”
Me: “I don’t know, what does it say on the ingredient list?”
Nephew: “Um…it says you’re better off not knowing.”
Did I mention he’s not quite eight?
We sang songs and told stories and recited poems together in the car. Typical family stuff.
We laughed about hiker conversations which often entail how long your phone battery will last if you are in airplane mode with your Bluetooth turned on or off. And how long after your snack break do you start planning on what you’ll eat for dinner?
We took photos of the amazing Crater Lake, its sapphire blue waters shimmering and magical even through the smoke from the fire. We did the gift shop and the visitor’s center. My nephew started on his booklet to earn his Junior Ranger Badge.
We watched the little movie about the lake, learning about its creation, what critters lived there, how the caldera was formed, where the water came from and went to…
We watched the helicopters shuttle back and forth with buckets of water.
Nephew: “They’d put it out a lot easier if they just launched water balloons at the fire.”
And then I was so hungry I thought I would faint. We drove around to a lovely lookout and I made sandwiches in the trunk of the car and handed them out.
Mine was on a paper plate, laid out and beautiful. It only needed its top to be put on.
This Beauty Needs A Lid.
I smiled to myself.
My tummy rumbled.
I reached in the trunk to grab the potato chips, and I bumped my own plate.
My beautiful sandwich flew in slow motion high into the air and came down mayo side first on one half, and mustard side first on the other piece. Right on the pavement.
With a sickening slap.
I bent down to pick it up.
My Mom, sensing a complete meltdown, quickly shoved her sandwich in my hand and ushered me to the rock retaining wall to sit and eat. She cleaned up my beautiful, destroyed masterpiece and made herself a new sandwich. And a second for me.
The Giving, Unselfish, Amazingness of A Mother.
Restored to Humanity after lunch, I took my nephew on an exploring mission where he had to balance on logs, hopping from one to another to make it across the whole area adjacent to the parking lot without touching the dirt.
Of course this was wonderful and he thought it was great. Although I must have gotten carried away with the make-believe because he did inform me: “You don’t have to treat me like a little kid, you know. With all the imaginary stuff.”
After telling him that I was a kid too on the inside, and I just looked grown up, he said, “That’s not true. You’re Pure Adult.”
At the end of a glorious day filled with family love and child-chatter, I made it safely to the hot tub at the motel. A group of people were in the hot tub and pool. They were all friends who were riding their motorcycles on dirt roads around the entire state. They had some adventurous experiences that paralleled mine, so we chit-chatted for a couple of hours. The hot water soothed my aching muscles.
Restored to Humanity Again.
I thought maybe I’d sleep better if I just put my sleeping bag on top of the motel bed instead of using real sheets. Maybe that would feel more familiar.
But it was still kind of hot, and the air conditioner didn’t work any better than the one in the motel in Ashland. And besides, maybe that was a weird thing to do.
So I took a Benadryl.
‘Cuz I already knew that was an effective and proven sleep solution.