[pct-l] Callahan's burns

Carl Siechert carl at pct77.org
Thu Sep 7 23:22:55 CDT 2006

That's great, Gottago! Thanks for sharing. Getting to Callahan's for dinner
prompted one of our longest hiking days too. (This was back in the day when,
like most thruhikers, we were averaging ~17 miles/day.) Here's my journal
entry from that day, July 17, 1977:

This (Wrangle) would be a great campground if it weren't for this geology
class monopolizing it. During the night they kept driving in, nearly running
us over and making lots of noise. They got up early (fortunately, we wanted
to too) and we eyed them jealously as we had Grape Nuts while they had eggs,
then packed sack lunches. We finally left at 8:15, after their dust had
settled. We hiked on Road 392, the old temporary route, to Grouse Gap,
because it saved us 0.8 miles. The Bombers were there; they had camped at
Siskiyou Gap. We decided to eat there (having gone almost 10 miles before
noon) and bypass the Mt. Ashland Picnic Area. From there we took the flowery
(really tall lupine) trail to Road 4059. All paved walking to Callahan's, so
we changed to tennies. We met a nice elderly couple at the trailhead, told
them of the nice meadow ahead. They passed us a couple of times on the way
down and offered us rides, but we declined. We kept hiking pretty fast, with
thoughts of all the soup, salad, and spaghetti we could eat keeping us
going. We noticed upon approaching Callahan's that the parking lot was
empty. Shit! Closed Mondays. We hiked nearly 21 miles today (including a
mile out of our way) and made it by 5:15 (they open at 5:00—except Monday).
Dejectedly sat down to our own dinner of freeze-dried chop suey. We have
decided to lay over until tomorrow night. Our last layover was at Mammoth,
and we've got lots to do: writing, figuring schedule for next week, etc. Not
the ideal spot for a layover, but we were really looking forward to this. A
guy came and talked to us for awhile—reported that Callahan's isn't too
good. We'll find out tomorrow.

A few other historical notes:
* In 1977, Callahan's was just a restaurant; the lodge hadn't yet been
* It was still owned by the Callahan family.
* "Tennies" were the tennis shoes we carried to use as camp shoes. Only a
little bit lighter than today's trail runners, they felt *great* compared
with our heavy (7 pounds/pair) hiking/mountaineering boots, which were the
standard PCT footwear then.

So, to finish the story, here's the next day's journal entry:

Layover days are nice, even in relatively undesirable places. It just feels
good to be able to sleep in, and not have to walk all day. We camped right
by the front door at Callahan's, and were tired enough that even the bright
light didn't bother us much. We slept in, then read in bed, and finally got
up for a leisurely ham and cheese omelet breakfast. We had plenty to do
today: washed clothes (rinsed the salt out), wash ourselves, write letters,
write log, read, sno-seal boots, etc. Of course we didn't accomplish as much
as we had hoped, but did OK. I spent a good portion of the day trying to
figure out Schaffer's PCT book, and which way we should go to Crater Lake.
It is the most mixed up, confusing book I've seen. (i.e. the maps we are on
for the next few days: 11, 31, 32, 33, A, 18A, 34, 27, 28, 29, 30, 36). The
verbal description is almost as logical. By 4:30 I finally had a schedule
figured out for us, so we went into the bar to begin our celebration of The
End of California. We moved into the restaurant shortly after they opened,
and soon after we ordered, Bob & Gary walked in. We had been speculating all
day on whether we'd see them. We moved to a bigger table, and had a good PCT
reunion and good dinner. We had a bottle of Mateus with it—excellent. The
food was good, but not really all you can eat. After a few refills (but
before we began to feel like we'd eaten something) we were cut off. Nice
people at next table gave us some of the spaghetti—then we signed the cast
on leg of eldest daughter. Since we didn't get our fill at the dinner table,
we headed back to the bar. Bob and I (and Bill and Gary somewhat less) got
our fill of Blitz (Oregon beer). We talked quite a bit with the owner Don
Callahan, and his son Randy, the bartender. They were ready to give us more
spaghetti when some old bag came and kicked us out. Slept on Callahan's back
yard tonight.

Okay, I admit it: at age 21 I didn't have sophisticated taste in wine!

1977 Kelty Kid
ADZPCTKO co-conspirator

On 9/3/06, Linda Jeffers <gottago at lindajeffers.com> wrote:

> Below is a journal entry from the day I would hike my longest mileage
> ever,
> just to get to the well known Callahan's!

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