NaNoWriMo Update: Week One
Okay, I’m behind on my word-count, but I plan to do a couple of marathons this weekend and catch up by Monday…
Word Count: 4362
Synopsis so far:
Nineteen-year-old Horatio Smith (trail name “Rat”) has completed 2000 of the 2650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail before falling ill with giardia south of Mt. Hood in Oregon. His meticulous planning to arrive at the lava floes north of Jefferson Park and there take pictures of the historic passing of Hemmingway’s comet are thwarted when all of his electronics, GPS, digital camera, and even his flashlight, fail on the very night the comet passes overhead.
After spending three days sick in his tent at Scout lake, he wakes, feeling weak but well, and pushes on to the campground at Olallie Lake. He’s about out of food, and is looking forward to retrieving his re-supply box and gorging on candy bars and microwave goodies at the small store at Olallie.
Also, he needs to call his mother in Rockwood, before she has the National Guard out looking for him!
Reaching the campground at dusk he finds that, to his dismay, the store is closed, and the campground seems deserted. There’s a truck parked in front of the camp-hosts RV, but no one answers his knock. Disgruntled, Rat lays out his sleeping bag and pad on the porch of the store, assuring himself that when it opens in the morning, he’ll be the first to know.
As he drifts off to sleep, Rat ponders the fact that he can’t remember seeing another thru-hiker, or, in fact, anyone, since taking sick at Scout lake. Too tired to follow up on this, he falls asleep.
Waking late the next morning, the store is still closed, and it appears that the campground is deserted. Desperate and out of food, Rat breaks into the store and retrieves his resupply box, he tries the phone but it’s dead, as is the power. He fills up on cold canned food and semi-melted ice-cream bars from the powerless freezer, as summer rains continue to sweep across deserted Olallie Lake.
As he repacks his gear, Rat wonders about the emptiness of the campground. Could it have been a forest-fire evacuation? That seems unlikely, given the almost constant rain of the last two weeks. And if it was the crappy weather keeping the campers away, surely the camp-hosts would still be around…
Where is everyone?
Leaving a note of apology and a promise to pay for the supplies and the broken window, he repacks his gear and hits the PCT north, headed for Timothy Lake, and from there on to Timberline Lodge.