When I woke again, it was almost time for the Shelter Cove store to open. I decided to let Sierra sleep while I tended to the resupply box.
I had just settled down at a picnic table, mocha in one hand, and the contents of our resupply spread across the table, when a lady popped out from the store. "Someone just called from the ski area. Your daughter apparently left a bag in the restaurant. They are bringing it over right now."
A few minutes later Lauren arrived carrying a bag of treasures, including special notes and drawings, some of which Sierra has carried since Southern California. So many people might have just thrown them away, but Lauren took the time to track us down by talking to some of the people she had seen us talking with, and then hand delivered them to us. I was touched by her kindness.
Although we hoped we might find a ride back to the trailhead, we did not. Car after car passed as we walked the road, and then the highway. We stopped briefly at the Willamette Pass Ski Area to thank Lauren. As we were talking to her, my brother's friend John drove up and offered to take us the short distance remaining back to the trailhead.
The Bobby Fire closure reroute involved miles of hiking on a hot, dry, paved road. Hiking the reroute was tedious. Many other hikers chose to skip around this reroute, and I can't say that I blame them. But we are "purists," committed to hiking every step of this year's PCT, with no flips or skips. Skipping the reroute was not a choice.
Late in the afternoon we spotted a bush covered with what seemed to be furry yellow seed pods. "Caterpillars!" Sierra exclaimed. Sure enough, the furry little "seed pods" were caterpillars covered with muppet-like yellow hair.
Although the reroute followed "Waldo Lake Road," we never actually saw the lake. The road paralleled the lakeshore, staying at least a quarter mile away with a thick wall of trees in between. Charlton Lake wasn't visible from Charlton Lake Road either, but by then we didn't care. The reroute was over.
We continued north on the PCT, glad to be back on regular trail tread once more.