Day 130: The Day We Saw the Fishing Tournament on the PCT

Just like the Wienermobile, a fishing tournament is not exactly something I expected to see on this trail. Yet there we were this afternoon, sitting in the grass in Shelter Cove, Oregon, watching a crowd of a couple hundred people listen intently to the announcer as the results of the contest started to roll in. Given my interest in fishing (to those who don’t know me: zero or even less), this was quite a cultural experience for me. (And, even more so, to Treeman and Hedgehog, who are from Berlin — a place where I somehow doubt they have many fishing tournaments.)

Shelter Cove was our resupply point for this leg of the PCT, and it’s really just a resort/RV park/set of cabins set on Odell Lake, a large reservoir out here. It’s actually quite pretty and fairly laid-back. Arriving on a Saturday, and the Saturday of this annual fishing tournament, no less, the place was absolutely packed with non-hikers. I’m not sure which crowd found the other more strange: the dirty hikers opening up packages and devouring all the food in sight from their designated picnic-table area, or the rather large people attempting to catch rather large fish…and all the rather large people watching, or waiting, for them to catch or not catch those fish. It was definitely a collision of worlds. However, one thing many of the hikers appreciated a great deal: the cookout provided for the tournament — tri-tip, barbecue chicken, baked beans, and corn bread — could be eaten by anybody for just $7. Sadly, Bucket and I heard about this too late to partake; I’d already devoured an entire large frozen pizza (after heating it up, thank you very much), but we had a little off someone else’s plate, and it was delicious.

We had a rare and wonderful treat here, too: my cousin Ellen sent us a care package stuffed to the brim with food! As she put it, it was “a little bit gourmet, a little bit not so gourmet”, and that ended up being absolutely perfect for us. We plan on eating the fancy salami with some shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for lunch one day…and following it up with Red Vines and Ho-Hos, also from the box. There was so much great stuff in there, and we’re rolling out of Shelter Cove with backpacks full of delicious treats we’d otherwise never get out here. It’s going to make the next few days wonderful. Thank you so much, Ellen! (And the decorations on the top of the box were fantastic!)

Tonight we’re camped about seven miles past Shelter Cove on the trail, and, at least so far, I really, really like this section of trail. After many, many miles of dry trail and long water carries, this section seems to be packed with lakes. Our campsite tonight is on a relatively small isthmus between two lakes, and we passed another lake on our way up here. It’s a gorgeous place to be, and being around water again just makes everything seem happier and better, even beyond the practical considerations. I have high hopes that this will continue for some time to come…hooray!

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