Trout Creek Camp (2224.9) to Forest Service Road 23 (2229.9)
5 miles & zero
Today was town day. Only 5 miles were between myself and a well earned lunch in Trout Lake. From the comments on Guthook (now FarOut) – the app we use for navigation on trail and comments from other hikers – I knew that there would be a shuttle running to town at 12:30. With this on my mind I slept in and took my time to pack my tent.
It should be an easy hike down to the forest road or so I thought. until I bumped into another girl on trail. She must have left town shortly because she was wearing clean clothes. We chatted for a while, she recommended the pizza place and then she said that the shuttle times have changed. There would be one at 11:30 and one at 2:30. I looked at my watch – it was 11! – and at her with big eyes. She: You could do it. It’s about a mile and all downhill from here.
I began to hike fast. Just around the corner I pulled out my phone and checked. It was two miles to the forest road! Not one. Two miles in 30 minutes. It was crazy. Also the top of my left foot was hurting a bit and I could feel it with every step.
However. Waiting for hours at a Forest road for the next ride didn’t appeal to me and so I was in for the sprint and literally ran down the mountain. I basically doubled my normal hiking speed which is something I can do for a while if necessary. Now it was. While I descended and climbed as well (the definition of downhill is sometimes different) I thought that I would need the help of the shuttle driver. Maybe he would be late for some reason.
I met another hiker in clean clothes hiking towards me. My watch showed 11:30. The shuttle wasn’t late and I still had ways to go. I didn’t give up and as I arrived at the forest road I walked to a big pickup truck and a car. Vehicles meant I got my ride! What a run!
Thankfully I threw my pack in the back of Pat’s truck and hopped in. Pat is a retired firefighter who lives in Trout Lake and volunteers to get us hikers down the mountains.
14 miles later I arrived at one of my favorite trail towns. Trout Lake us very small and the center of things is a small well stocked grocery store I new from my last stay. The owner Bev rented out a little room in the back of the store and I had the best of memories about my time there in 2019.
This time I certainly would be stuck with camping and so I paid the $5 to camp in their backyard. Laundry was for free as well as a towel and some soap for a shower at the nearby campground. After lunch at the cafe next to the gas station I decided to go for a shower and do my laundry. It was late afternoon/ early evening when I was finished with most of my town chores.
I spend some time chatting with other hikers when Bev called for me and told me the room was available for two nights. How lucky am I?! For $40 a night (it was $25 in 2019!) I got to stay in my favorite room on trail. The only downside is the washing machine next door that will be busy until late at night as all hikers are trying to get their laundry done. However! I always wanted to be back and it’s great to be here again. I love this little town!