Monday, January 20, 2020

Day 37: Arrival into Oroville!

August 21: This morning, I woke up anxious to get to Oroville, Washington. Oroville is the psychological halfway point of the trail. Every trail has an actual halfway point and a psychological halfway point. The psychological halfway point is typically the town or other major landmark that is closest to the actual halfway point and for this trail, that town is Oroville. The actual halfway mark is another day (or so) of hiking on the other side of town, but Oroville is definitely the psychological halfway point and I was anxious to get into town!

The morning was beautiful, especially with the cliff-side views from my campsite. It would have been a wonderful day to linger and enjoy the atmosphere for a bit, but I couldn't wait. Nope, I had to get to Oroville! And I was on the trail and hiking by 6:30am.

It's a beautiful morning from my campsite!

The trail was mostly level at first through thick trees before descending thousands of feet to the farming valley below. I passed a day hiker a mile or so from the trailhead at the valley bottom--the first hiker I had seen on the trail in over a week. We talked for about a minute before continuing on our separate ways. She didn't know where the trail was headed having spotted the trailhead as she was driving past and wanted to check it out. I told her it went uphill to some nice viewpoints over the valley but past that, there wasn't really anything worth checking out. The viewpoints were a good turn-around point.

The trail came out at a trailhead off of Highway 97 next to an apple farm. The rest of the day's walk into Oroville would be on the busy, paved Highway 97--definitely not a fun or pleasant experience. At least the road had a fairly wide shoulder to walk on, but that's about the only good thing I can say about the road walk.

In town, I headed to the Camaray Motel and was delighted to see their sign welcoming PNT hikers to town. What a friendly place! =)

I checked into a room but was surprised when I opened the door and found two people already inside. Oops! This room was still occupied! At least I didn't catch them in a compromising or embarrassing position.

I headed back to the front desk with the woman who was in the room to get things sorted out. Clyde put me in another room and the woman and him were discussing their situation when I left.

This new room was unoccupied--yippee!--and I dropped my stuff then headed off to the post office to pick up my maildrop. I had only mailed it two days earlier and figured that there might be a small chance that it hadn't arrived yet, but it had arrived. Yippee!

Then I headed across the street from the motel to a pizza place where I ordered a burger and salad. It seemed like I should have ordered pizza from a pizza place, but I was really in the mood for a burger. It was mediocre, though, and afterwards I wish I went with the pizza.

Later, when Clyde asked me where I went for lunch and I told him, he said that they have the best pizza in town. Then when I told time I ordered the hamburger, he said that that wasn't the best option. There was a better place in town for burgers. Oh, well.... Live and learn!

The rest of the night I spent locked up my motel room catching up with email and planning out the next couple of weeks in detail. This next stretch of trail is the longest, most remote section of the entire trail and my plan was to cover the next two weeks without getting off the trail to resupply. Logistically, it got even more complicated because I needed a permit to hike through the North Cascades National Park, so I called them up to work out a schedule depending on what campsites were available and when I thought I could make it to the park.

Basically, I had to pick out specific campsites where I needed to camp almost two weeks before I would arrive. There were so many things that could happen that could slow me down, or maybe if the trail is in particularly good condition (ha!!!! I crack myself up!) I could arrive early.

Ahh... so if I want to avoid livestock, I have to do my hiking before June 15th or after October 15th. Good to know!

I took a short break at this bench just before the trailhead.
It's an apple farm! Apples are big business in Washington. *nodding*
There were also a lot of migrant workers picking apples so I guess it was apple-picking season as well.
I thought this sign was funny. When they say "don't feed the cougars," I'm pretty sure they're joking that you shouldn't let them make a meal out of you--but it could also mean literally not to give food to cougars.
Highway 97 is a miserable road walk!
Crossing over the Okanogan River
Oroville is located just 4 miles south of the Canadian border. But how long will it take to get over the border? That is a mystery....
The psychological halfway point of the trail! Hurray!
I thought this might mean I'd finally see someone on the trail. Nope! I was the only walker for next 1 mile!
Good grief, Okanogan County! What's wrong with you people?!
Best welcome I've ever had to a motel! =) (Although I'm not sure why "hikers" is spelled with two i's.)
What a beautiful mural! I like that they have the American and Canadian flags next to each other as well. =)

1 comment:

GG said...

"Don't feed the cougars."
I guess some people are just that dumb that they need to be told.