Day 135: hiked 25.1 | 2008.8
The castle was gusty in the morning—the air autumn crisp, containing a bite that foreshadowed colder times.
There were miles of wobbly lava rock, the remnants of a volcanic explosion. I really hated walking on that stuff.
I was under the impression we were hiking 27 miles, but night clawed its way in earlier than before—the nights were growing shorter and colder. I was hiking in near dark at 8:11 pm before finding Nicholas and Milkshake.
Day 136: Hiked 24.1 | 2032.9
The morning was darker. 5:15 am was no longer the kiss of dawn.
All day featured views of Mount Jefferson. It was glorious. The end of the day featured a dead horse in the river. Yep, a dead horse was half submerged in a river. It was bloated and disturbing.
There were rumors of rain, so we put on our rain fly.
Day 137: Hiked 22.1 | 2055
The rumors were true. A wet, misty world awaited us outside our dry tent. It was a soggy morning and afternoon, but the Ollie lake resort store gave me motivation. They’d have coffee, I know it. They did. I had a cup or two. The sun dried our wet gear during my coffee and lunch.
Day 138: Hiked 23.8 | 2078.8
I find that I get bored of hiking if the terrain is similar for multiple days. The mist transformed the boring pines into a lush, enchanted forest. It was the change I needed that day.
I’m a slave to miles. Or so it seems. There have been days where we walk by the most beautiful lakes and camp spots all because we need to stay on schedule. I passed by Timothy Lake in dismay as another glorious camp spot was forfeited in the name of miles.
I arrived at Little Crater Lake hoping we could call it day. Luckily Nicholas agreed. Little Crater Lake was fascinating. It was an artisanal spring fed lake. The water was placid and crystal clear. You could see straight to the bottom, which was 45 feet deep. A path led me to a small campground where I met Nicholas and also found Skinny and Mini, a retired married couple who we would see day to day.
Day 139: Hiked 18.1 | 2096.9
I climbed the large shoulder of Mount Hood to get to Timberline Lodge. I didn’t realize how high the lodge sat on the mountain. The famous ski destination and tourist pit stop was build in 1937 and was the location for the film The Shining. It was a popular stop for PCT hikers because it was directly on trail. They also had a breakfast buffet that was famous among thruhikers.
We showered in a super secret location that was technically off-limits (the guests-only sauna shower). The Timberline’s bar the Blue Ox made pizza, which was our next stop. The bar was tiny. I later read that the architect realized the lodge didn’t have a bar and last minute converted a storage closet to accommodate the mistake.
Day 140: Hiked 14.5 | 2111.4
The breakfast buffet was elegant and delicious. I wish I could have ate the fresh waffles and pastries, but was still satisfied with the eggs, sausage, yogurt, cut fruit, smoothie, and coffee.
Despite our late departure we managed to hike 14 miles.
Day 141: Hiked 32.2 | 2143.7
I was so proud of myself when I arrived at our campsite after hiking 27.5 miles. I was early. I had arrived at 6:30 pm. Nicholas was waiting when I showed up. “I’m totally fine camping here, but it is only 6:30.” He said. “Yeah, but it’s getting really steep and there are no marked spots on Guthooks.” I replied. “There are comments about sites ahead.”
I got greedy. I was proud I had arrived early. I had hiked pretty fast the whole day. I could manage one or two more miles. Why not? So we continued hiking. But there were no sites to be found. Only the steep mountain slopes with a single trail cut into its side. Day turned into dusk, and dusk into night. We hiked in the pitch black while I had a slight breakdown. I essentially turned into evil Bilbo. Do you remember the scene from Lord of the Rings when Bilbo sees the ring after giving to Frodo? He looks scary. Well, that was me. I got scary. I became evil Bilbo.I went from swearing up and down the trail to laughing hysterically. I’d curse how I hated everything, then I’d laugh seconds later. I knew I was being ridiculous.
Eventually we settled on a semi flat square of dirt. We hiked 4.5 miles more, totaling 32 miles. My biggest day yet. I’m just glad Nicholas loved me through my crazy moments and looked like evil Bilbo.
Day 142: Hiked 4 | 2147.7
Thanks to our huge day previously, we only had to hike three miles out of town and then a mile through town to get to Cascade Locks. We saw Monster and Cheese It before taking a five dollar shuttle to Portland.
Milkshake found two guys to host us for free on Couch Surfing: Tyler and Peter.
After getting Voodoo Donuts, we met Tyler. We took showers, did the laundry. And went dancing at the Goodfoot.
Day 143: Hiked 0
Portland adventures: breakfast, gear shop, REI, lunch, art show, dinner, movie.