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McDonald’s, Klamath Falls, OR

Out of South Brown Mountain cabin by 7:30am, torn between ten miles north on the trail or two miles south back to Dead Indian. I first walked north, hit some snow, and turned around. Maybe I should have kept going, there was far less snow on the trail than when I’d walked in. Either way, I hit Dead Indian @ 8am. 12th car to pass picked me up. A Mercedes of all things, they never stop, and a convertible to boot.

Too bad he had the seat warmers on, I was already sweating my ass off.

9:15am he drops me off at 140. I strip off a layer and hope that I don’t stink too much. Before 9:30am the next ride picks me up. A bored sales rep out to Klamath Falls to make sure salespeople in stores like Walmart and smaller cellular stores are up to date on product information. His wife is a romance novelist, working through the contract for her first three books now.

10:05am I’m dropped off in Klamath Falls. Check my account balance. $26. Surprisingly McDonald’s has an outlet, in a booth, right near the soda refill machine. Good thing because my phone is almost dead. Too bad because now I can’t go to the bathroom without packing up and taking everything with me.

Sunriver, 124 miles away according to Google Maps. Hopefully head out before noon. Still have to walk across town to get to 97 and any chance at hitchhiking.

1:20pm, finally north of Klamath Falls enough to start hitchhiking. Over an hour later I get my first ride. Couldn’t tell you the time because my phone fell out of my pocket and broke open while running to the truck. Short ride, drops me off at 3pm at KLA-MO-YA Casino. Try hitchhiking from there, but no luck, so I walk.

Eddy picks me up. He had seen me closer to Klamath Falls but there was nowhere to pull over. He stopped at the Travel Center I’d just left. He was coming back from a job in KF and headed to Portland, through Eugene. But that gets me quite a ways. He hitchhiked and hiked Chile and it’s a fun conversation/ride.

4:27pm he drops me off north of Chemult where he has to go left on 68(?). Not ten minutes later some foreigners pick me up, going north, the wrong way to where they are going, but they are out of gas. So that ride is only ten miles into Crescent.

5pm I get the last ride of the day, sort of, he’s a guy who used to live in Mammoth, CA and spent nine months out of the year climbing and hiking while collecting unemployment. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, that was years ago, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask what had happened. I let him relive those times in telling me, which was interesting enough. Still, I wonder.

Just after 5:30pm I’m at Vandevert Rd waiting to be picked up by the people I’m staying with.

162 miles, 10 hours, 6 rides.

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Dead on the Deschutes River Trail
Cowboy Camping on the PCT

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