I am sitting in a rest area next to highway 89. There is smoke in the air from the Chips fire and pieces of ash floating past. I am waiting for darkness to arrive so I can put up my tent next to the 'No overnight camping' sign.
I forced myself to sit here and consider my options because I have been experiencing "summit fever". I have been road walking for the past four days to get around the fire and back onto the trail. The question is where to rejoin the trail.
Officially the trail is closed until Highway 36 which is at mile 1335 of the trail. This is beyond the midpoint of the trail at mile 1326. I have spotted Humbolt Road on my map that rejoins the trail before the midpoint at Humbolt Summit (mile 1315). I had be planning to take Humbolt Road and have been making phone calls this afternoon to try and ascertain the scope of the fire and how far north it extends. The fire information phone would only tell me that the Pacific Crest Trail was closed until Chester (Highway 36) and that I should hitch there. Over the past days I have felt an irrational determination to stand at the midpoint developing. I am no stranger to these feelings - there was the time I tried to cycle into the middle of Madrid on a four lane highway with five broken spokes but that's another story...
I have sat and had good look at my map. I think I have come to my senses and will walk directly to Highway 36 tomorrow morning, about 10 miles from here. Four words, "keep away from fire", in a text from my big sister helped. I have decided I need to forget the midpoint of the trail and refocus on getting to the endpoint.
Perhaps I will return one day to walk the section of trail that I couldn't and pose for a photo next to the midpoint monument. For now, I have probably just walked past the midpoint of my journey - some hard piece of tarmac along the highway or perhaps a dusty and forgotten road in the forest.
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Recent Check-ins (View all)
21 I made it.
15 About to catch the last bus for the season out of Stehekin and planning to walk out of America in four days time on the last day of my visa...
09 It looks like some bad weather is finally on the way. My rain gear might actually get some use! Tough climbs ahead but getting closer to Canada each day and with great group of fellow stragglers.
22 Quick stop in Cascade Locks to shower, do laundry, resupply, eat and 'rest'. Across the Bridge of the Gods, over the mighty Columbia river, into Washington today - the first day of autumn.
13 Resupply for Washington all sorted with some help from Mum, who is visiting on her way home from Europe. Now it is time to escape Bend and resume the race to Canada.
Photos (View all)
30 True to the thru (Part 4 of 4)
30 The waiting game (Part 3 of 4)
30 Something was wrong (Part 2 of 4)
30 A story that needs to be told (Part 1 of 4)
21 "I knew Typo would make it" (Part 6 of 6)
19 Throwing the Hail Mary (Part 5 of 6)
10 Up and down, but not out (Part 4 of 6)
06 Crossing Cutthroat Pass (Part 3 of 6)
03 Warming up in Winthrop (Part 2 of 6)
30 We're sleeping in a toilet (Part 1 of 6)
25 Another radio interview (Audio)
21 I made it
04 Nearly there
29 Trail Magic
19 Walking with Mum
28 Cold food
28 Hello Oregon!
20 40 miles in one day
08 Official trail name: Typo
06 (Humbolt) Summit Fever
06 Road walking around a wildfire
30 Two trail birthdays
18 A picture is worth...
10 Pain and gain in the Sierra
28 Hiker hunger
27 The inquisitive marmot
19 Stage one survived
05 Live from the Mojave (Updated)
04 I just walked 500 miles...
31 Current nemesis: Poodle dog bush
23 Mexico to McDonald's
23 Gear review: Sleeping pad
18 Hot and getting even hotter
10 People on the trail: Sunset
05 Eagle Rock
03 Hiker discount: 100%
30 The beginning
25 Final preparation
17 Blogging along the way
16 No publicity is bad publicity
08 Walking before the walk
08 Maps for the trail