Saturday, August 14, 2010

The "Disraeli Gears" Pass Through Oregon on the PCT

Last April I met the "Disraeli Gears" while day hiking on the Southern California section of the Pacific Crest Trail. They are three 20 something Israeli soldiers who had just been discharged from their duties and decided to make the PCT the adventure of a life time. The name, "Disraeli Gears" comes from the title of a 1968 album by the Rock band, Cream. When Thomas, Yuval and Ishai started out on the Pacific Crest Trail another PCT hiker noticed that they hiked as though they were marching in lock step with each other. They appeared to be a machine on the trail and with a little creative association ... voila! "Israeli Gears!" Ishai admitted that they hiked as though the were still going on patrol with the Israeli army.

The "Disraeli Gears" are from left to right: Tomas, Yuval, and Ishai

Well, the "Gears" arrived at Cascade Locks on the boarder of Oregon and Washington just a couple of days ago (August 12th). When I met them on the trail three months ago I offered to hike with the guys for a few days when they got up here in Oregon. I received a call from Ishai last weekend and he said that they were near the Three Sisters Wilderness section of the PCT and moving at a 35 mile per day pace! I declined joining them, since I could not get off work with such little notice, but I did agree to meet them at Cascade Locks and treat them to a cold beer and hot lunch at Connie and Jeff Ganz' Pacific Crest Trail Pub and Hostel right there in Cascade Locks.

Pam went to the Locks Thursday morning, which was the anticipated day they would arrive, and I followed up after work. They arrived at the Locks at about 2PM. Yuval was a couple of days behind Thomas and Ishai, so we missed him. Thomas needed to finish the entire trail by the first week in September in order to get back to his sister's wedding in Israel, so Ishai stayed with him and set a fast pace to get there in time. Yuval joined up with another group of hikers, opting for a slower pace. Or course, slow to these guys is 20 miles a day!


We offered to take them home with us in Wilsonville to replenish their supplies and rest up for the final 500 mile Washington stretch. They gladly took us up on the offer, which was our priviledge and blessing. The picture above is Ishai on the left and Thomas on the right soaking their worn out feet. Pam was able to given them her special "foot spa" that she so much enjoys providing for guests. They had been struggling with athlete's foot for a long time, so a good epsom salts soak was just what they needed. Having done some long distance hiking I know how it feels to get a shower, rest on a comfortable bed, and drink a cold beer after a week on the trail. They were so happy to be refreshed!



Here are Thomas and Ishai enjoying a nice mexican dinner with us in Canby. They don't have Mexican restaurants in Israel!


While staying with us, Ishai and Thomas replenished their food supply for the last stretch. Notice the diet! I wouldn't mind Snicker bars twice a day!



Thomas said his new package of Frosted Flakes, shown here, taste just as good crushed after a couple of days in his pack!



Pam and I took the guys out to see the llamas. Here Ishai is feeding our miracle llama, Rainy. Ishai said that the Israeli army uses llamas for packing gear in the rugged mountains of Israel.


Time to get back on the trail after a day's rest. Here, Ishai and Thomas are putting on their shoes in the park before crossing the Bridge of the God's in Cascade Locks.


Beginning the Washington section of the PCT by crossing the Columbia River over the Bridge of the Gods.


I offered to take them across the Bridge to begin the PCT on the Washington side, but they immediately declined my offer, insisting that they cross themselves. I had forgotten that crossing this bridge is a true milestone for every PCT hiker!

Blessings to you, Ishai and Thomas, as you travel through Washington and may you arrive in Canada happy and healthy!

7 comments:

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