Miles: more than 8, less than 15, genuinely don’t know how to keep track
Date: July 5th
In the morning I wake up around 5:30 to a soaking wet tent, so I decide to deal with it maturely by going back to sleep. It’s foggy and there’s no point in getting up early. So I don’t.
Around 630 I start to get my stuff together. I buy breakfast and some snacks from the camp store. Around 830 Energizer Bunny and I get walking, back to the road. It’s only about an hour before we’re in the town of Seaside. We head to the boardwalk and walk and people watch, and then we hit a road that clearly leads to delicious restaurants and cute shops and I tell Energizer Bunny: “Um, I’m going to go explore.”
She’s down too. She doesn’t want to plan and seems happy to follow whatever itinerary I set. I spot a restaurant I want to eat at but it’s too early early for lunch so I keep walking. Then I see a bookstore. I can’t help myself and I go inside. I tell the woman the kind of book I’m in the mood for and she pulls a few off the shelf and I buy one. I sit for a few minutes and then I go back in and find some journals, too. They’re beautiful, and I’ve decided I’m not going to care much about miles in this trail so I may as well read and write. And one of the journals I’m going to use for planning this trip, which is more complicated than the PCT because there isn’t one good resource to follow mindlessly.
We wait around until 11 and then go to lunch. I try an Oyster Po Boy and realize I don’t like oysters. Oh well. I’m happy to be eating seafood that isn’t tuna packets regardless.
From there we hike along the boardwalk and then a road and we arrive at the Trailhead for Tillamook Head, which my friend who has just finished the trail said was awesome. It’s lush and green and I’m stoked. I’m also stoked because I’ve decided I’m only going to do about 10 miles a day out here, except for when necessary otherwise, which means I only have to get 4 miles to the hiker camp. I’ve decided that on this trail I will feel more like a vagabond than a hiker, and that’s okay. There will be a lot of town meals, hot tea, people watching, and hopefully more time to reflect on what exactly I am doing out here.
I walk through what is basically a wonderland and I text my husband saying we need to move to the northwest and eventually I reach camp. There I meet another former PCT hiker, trailname Dexter, and we chat with each other.
The interesting thing about this camp is there are wooden huts with wooden bunk beds set up for use. Katie’s already set up in one. I’m a little skeptical because I’m imagining spiders and rodents. My tent is still soaking wet so I set it up to dry it and hang the rain fly. Energizer Bunny is going to sleep in the hut, too, and finally I just blow up my air mattress and set it on the top bunk.
The Swiss family cook chicken legs and offer us some. Their 14 year old son knows all the states and whether they’re republican or democratic, which I find impressive. Then they offer us Swiss chocolate.
It doesn’t get dark til 9:30, which is when we go bed. I’ve brought my rolled up tent inside and hope for no condensation. I read my book with the red light of my headlamp, and then I try to fall asleep.