PNT day 35 & 36 – Palmer Lake


Oroville (578.3) to Palmer Lake (595.8)

17.5 miles

It is nearly 11 pm as I write these lines so this blogpost has to go quick.

I left Oroville and hiked for about one mile on the Similkameen Trail. The rest of today’s hike should be roadwalk all the way to Palmer Lake. It was fairly level but it was hot! Although the road went along the Similkameen River the maps didn’t show much access to water for the first 15 miles. So I left Oroville fully loaded with seven days worth of food and full water bottles. I would soon find out that the maps were wrong and there were quite a few places where I could access the river water. Thank god because the sun was burning down like crazy!

But the best water source today was a small cooler standing next to the road in a driveway with the words “water hikers” on it.

I opened it and saw the most beautiful thing ever: eight half liter bottles of cold water and some ice between them. Dropping my pack I grabbed a bottle and dumped Half a liter of the cool fresh stuff right away. I put together a heart out of stones as a little thank you from my side. This water was just priceless! I resisted the urge to drink another bottle. There are other hikers behind and I wanted them to find some water too.

I left Oroville this morning and pulled out a joker I had carried for a long time and send ahead later. Custom insoles for my shoes! Maybe that could solve my foot problem?

Well, it didn’t. Instead I developed a total of four new blisters. When I arrived at Palmer Lake my feet were as sore as ever. This wouldn’t work. Passing by the lake a woman called me in and asked if I needed water or anything. I ended up sitting together with eight friends having some lemonade and Oreos. They even invited me for dinner – lasagne, how could I say no?! The campground I initially wanted to camp was dry and busy. When I had started setting up camp one of the men came and told me that I could camp on his property. Together we moved my stuff and now I have a nice and private spot under some shady trees.

I joined the group for dinner and Jackie mentioned that I could stay another day and they could drive me up the road all the way up the mountain. Given the conditions of my feet I had no other choice than taking this generous offer. Another day of rest wouldn’t hurt. But I also wasn’t sure if it would bring any improvement to my right foot.

The next day I would wake up with a lot of pain in my right foot when I stepped on it. For the first time I thought to myself if it wasn’t better to give in and end this hike. Was it too much?

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