Sunday, August 21, 2016

Day 113 : Zero In Cascade Locks

0 miles today
506 miles to go

Ah zero day. My feet appreciate the break. Especially after the pounding they took coming down the Eagle Creek Trail. I get up around six and walk next door to the Bridgeside Diner for breakfast. I have a plateful of pancakes and bacon. I sit next to the window and watch the Columbia River flow past. The restaurant has an awesome location and window seating for those interested in watching moving water. The Bridge of the gods is right outside, spanning the Columbia River. It's an automobile bridge yet PCT hikers are allowed to walk across. I hear it can be somewhat scary since the decking is steel mesh and you can see through it down to the water below. 

After breakfast I go back to my room and inspect my backpack. I find a frayed cord that I salvage by tying a knot over the frayed section. It takes me a while to untie the offending cord. Then I think about how I could tie it differently but to the same effect. Essentially using a shorter piece of cord to do the same thing. I use my repair tape on sections of my backpack that are wearing through. Cuben fiber that is well worn loses its cohesion and fibers start to break and dangle loosely. These loose fibers get pulled on when I'm loading and unloading my pack making more fibers break. Soon there are parts of my pack that appear to be growing hair. These hairy parts become points of failure. They also are places where my pack is no longer water resistant. All this is happening here near the end, near Washington, where it's most likely to rain. I just hope it holds together for another five hundred miles.

I walk down to the Columbia Market and buy some resupply food. I think I bought too much but it's hard to buy for just three days. I have things I haven't had in awhile like Fritos and Salami. I got a couple of energy bars that I haven't tried before so that will provide some excitement to my snack times. I buy a pound of peanut butter. The backbone of any thru-hikers diet, one of the most calorie dense foods I can carry. Ten tortillas is a lot for three days. I imagine eating three a day. Some with salami and others with peanut butter. 

I go over to the farmer’s market and buy peaches. Five of them. The least number I could buy. I eat one immediately. I figure I'll carry the rest and eat them over the next few days. Wow, my pack’s going to be heavier than it's been in a while with all this food. Hiking twenty five miles a day will be more challenging.

I’m at the drive-in for lunch. It's the busiest place in town. It's a locally owned mom and pop place, not a chain. They know how to do fast food the old-school way. Excellent customer service and fast delivery of great food. I get a burger, fries, and a Coke. Well, no Coke, a Pepsi. I sit at a table containing a Thru-hiker and all of his gear. We have matching shirts, we're part of the Olympic Thru-hiking team I joke. His name is REM. He injured his foot at Crater Lake and is off trail until it heals. It's sobering to think that could happen. He had to walk out on his injured ankle only making it worse. I can completely identify with that.

After lunch it's back to my room to take a nap. It's my zero day, naps are what zero days are for. I wake later in the afternoon. I think it's time for dinner I go to the local hotdog place and get a chili dog. So much chili! I can't pick it up. I end up eating it with a knife and fork. I bring my extra food to the hiker box at the Ale House. I stop by the market for more ice cream, which I bring back to my room to eat. I drift off to sleep in a comfy bed. The last one I'm going to see for a while.

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