Mile 2226.5-2247.0 (20.5)
I slept past 7am then packed up and walked to the road. No cars passed. The road was totally quiet.
Finally I saw a car coming from the opposite direction. The pulled over and hikers spilled out. The driver said he could take me back to town. He dropped me off at the cafe when I got to work on a plate of sausage, eggs, and toast.
I thought I needed to wait until the post office opened at 9:30am to get my package, but it was at the grocery store all along. Pretty hard to get back to the trail after lingering for a while. I talked with Nemo, got my box, saw Man in Black and Flyfish and two other hikers. Lunch?
It was super tempting but my food bag was heavy and I wanted to hike. I hitched for 15 minutes and the second car that passed me pulled over. It was a guy who was going to climb Mt. Adams and was stoked to hear I was hiking the PCT. He drove me all the way back to the trailhead even though it was not where he was going.
The trail climbed for six miles around the base of Mt. Adams. It started in the forest, passed through a large burn area, and settled into a rocky and green landscape with lots of conifers and glacial runoff. I felt sleepy and yawned during the whole climb. Took a short break on a shady rock and ate a whole bag of dried mango before the biting flies drove me back to the trail.
I was feeling good now but running short on daylight. I started a very gradual descent to Lava Spring, where there was a big tentsite. The water bubbles out of lava rocks next to the trail and collects in a man-made pool, clear and cold and refreshing. There are a few other tents but everyone except McGuyver and Speed seemed to be asleep.