When I think of a train station, I picture something like the commuter rail or the Amtrak Station from Providence to New York or Washington DC or the Euro-rail. What I don't picture is something like the train station in Klamath Falls. This train station had two (2!!) trains per day. The northbound train left at 6:30 am. The southbound train left at 10:30pm. And that was it for the trains in Klamath Falls. No bustling waiting area filled with students and people in business attire. No dreadlocked hippies playing guitar for money by the vending machines. No security personnel with bomb sniffing dogs wandering around. Heck, the train station closed down from 12pm to 6 pm. And since I had stupidly slept in, I had missed the only northbound train. I would have to spend the entire day in Klamath Falls.
And yes, there were a couple nice little cafes to eat at, and a movie theater, and a couple pubs near the university. However, when you are in a town whose chief industry is harvesting blue-green algae from Klamath Lake for health food stores, your options are bound to be limited.
I was at one of the little cafes when I started to notice many other hikers coming into town- hitch-hiking down from Crater Lake with the same plan as I had: take a train north around the fire and get back on the trail. A few of us started making plans: we should book a motel in Bend now, so we can get our resupply and secure a ride back to the trail without worrying about finding lodging. (No go. Bend was having a micro-brew fest and all the lodging had sold out months in advance) Well, we could just try to get a ride without staying in Bend at all. (By all accounts on the Facebook PCT group, rides were kind of hard to secure from bend to the trail) Maybe we could go further north, to Portland, hike south through Oregon, then flip flop back to Washington. Or maybe go north through Washington and flip flop back to Oregon.
And then somebody checked to PCT website for fire closures. The Crater Lake fire was the least of our worries. There were fires in Central Oregon, in Northern Oregon, in Southern , Central, and Northern Washington. A firefighter had gotten killed the day before in Washington. There were trail closures with 50 mile road walks to detour the closed sections. Fifty mile road walks on roads that were closed to cars.
It didn't really want to do road walks. I've done lots of miles on roads in my life-- usually in 26.2 increments. They are called marathons and they are fun and all, but not why I came out to the PCT in the first place. I really wanted to walk the trail and see the views and experience nature, not clomp along on asphalt.
So many options were swimming around in my head. I could wait it out somewhere in a campground for 2 weeks to see if the situation got any better. I could go back up to Crater Lake and take my chances. Or.... I could finish this next year, when the fires were out.
I went back to the train station and bought a ticket for the southbound train at 10:30 pm.
The conclusion of this adventure would have to wait.
Until the next adventure....Peace, Love, and Trail Magic!