Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day 113 Sat Aug 9th

Up and hiking by 0545, more easy trail miles. The terrain is just amazing, flat, no trees down and we just cruise! By noon we had hiked 20 miles and were on the homestretch for the day! Timberline Lodge was our destination and it was only 5 miles! This is what we thought Oregon would be like! Flat terrain, smooth sailing and big pine trees! We had one spot where we could have seen Mt. Hood from the trail, but it was all fogged in. Reached the lodge around 2:30 or so, chilly, foggy and just plain yucky outside. The group reunited in the Blue Ox (a small pizza pub) where we ate pizza and were just happy to be inside and warm. Boomer is here (he lost the trail the same spot that we lost it a few days back, but being alone, he gave up and had to hike BACK to Sisters and hitched up here to the lodge!!) Yikes! I guess the rain from that storm washed away all of our footprints and he was on his own (really)! So, then Thrust heard that there were rooms available and he jumped on one! Neighbor, Slider, JB, Thrust and I are all splitting a room. I'll be happy to be sleeping on the floor, it will be dry, warm and just wonderful! There is an All You Can Eat breakfast in the morning that we'll all be there for and then we'll start the 1.5 day hike to Cascade Locks (last town stop in Oregon!!!!) So, we'll be in Cascade Locks on Monday!

Day 112 Aug 8th

Didn't sleep all that great, between some people who had a bonfire going and the lightening in the distance it was a short night. Hiking by 6am and found the trail to be amazing! We were lower in elevation now and the "Oregon Muleskinners" maintain this section of trail and it is spotless! I mean, they raked the trail and removed ALL the rocks from it! Wow and someone told us that there are NO downed trees for the next 50 miles! Smooooth sailing for us! Stopped for lunch by a nice cold spring around 1130 and we had already hiked 18 miles! Amazing! Walked through one batch of mosquitos and I used up the last of my 1.1oz can of deet! Then we climbed higher and there was a breeze and no more bugs! Yeah! Things are looking up! Stopped early (4pm) because we were near a campground and they had picnic tables! Whipped up some Chicken Polynesian, then mashed potatoes for dinner. Only 25 miles tomorrow to Timberline Lodge which is the lodge at the base of Mt. Hood. It is funny though, we saw Mt. Hood yesterday, but haven't seen it since, the trail is completely in the woods and all you see are big trees! We were sleeping by 7:45 and then the party started up with the campers, we realized it was a Friday night.....but didn't realize we wouldn't get much sleep for the 2nd night in a row! Oh well!

Day 111 Aug 7th

Slept until 0520! Wow, we were tired! Hiking by 6am, more snow, more trail finding. Had to cross Russell Creek and the book says to cross it early in the morning because the water is milky (so you can't see through it) and it has a swift current.......well, I was nervous, but when we got was still covered in snow! yeah! We took a break there and dried out our gear (tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag, tent fly, etc. it was all wet/damp from last night) Walked though Jefferson Park, what a beautiful area (I'll attach pictures soon) More snow, hiked up a ridge and into Mt. Hood Wilderness and we could see Mt. Hood in the distance, only 50 miles away now! Wow! Hiked downhill (actually slid down the hill on the snow) and past a few ponds, some mosquitos were out, but nothing like a week or so back. Camped at Ollalie Lake Resort (which is closed due to snow damage) and enjoyed the luxury of a picnic table to cook and eat at!!

Day 110 Wed Aug 6th

Enjoyed the continental breakfast again and then caught a ride back to the trail with 2 Outward bound workers. Sky was cloudy and it just felt like it was going to rain. Luckily I had my rainpack cover with me now (just picked it up) and I threw it over my backpack. It sprinkled a bit, but we just kept walking and caught up to Slider, Thrust, JB and Flippy, took a lunch break with them then another break a few hours later when JZ, Antfarm and Swiffer caught up! All together again (except for Boomer who was leaving town a few hours later) Mt. Jefferson is getting closer and it is huge! We saw either an immature eagle or Golden Eagle fly over our heads today, it was a pretty cool sight! More snow on the trail, we came to a large snowfield and basically just lost the trail all together. We all went in different directions looking for any sign of the trail or footprints of others before us.....nothing. Eventually Neighbor found the trail down in the valley below and we were back on track. The amount of snow for August is just amazing! We made it almost to Shale Pond for the night, but the sky had been dark and we had been hearing thunder for awhile now, it started to rain and we threw the tent up quick and jumped inside! Safe! Or so we thought......
It started to HAIL! And it poured like mad and then we realized that our nice flat camp spot was turning into a large 10 minutes, it was a 4 inch puddle outside and UNDER the tent! Eeeeek, when the hail stopped, Neighbor jumped out and dug a drainage for the small lake, but in the end, we just had to pick the tent up and move to a different spot! Cooked up some mac n' cheese after the storm was over, it was chilly out, then we jumped in the sleeping bag and slept like a rock for the night!

Day 109 Tues Aug 5th

What a great night sleep in the motel! Ahhhh, the pillows were awesome! Enjoyed the continental breakfast and then ran to the PO to mail some stuff forward (and picked up a postcard from Stinky and a letter from Gram and Papa)! Thanks guys! MJ, we forwarded your care package ahead to Cascade Locks because we already had too much food and didn't want to have any more to carry for the next stretch, but it'll be waiting for us in 100 miles!! Thank you! Then we decided to just relax for the day. The rest of the crew was spending the extra day in town and we enjoy everyone's company, so we booked the room for a 2nd night and actually relaxed! Neighbor went in the pool and hot tub. We walked downtown and I ate 1/4 pound of Peanut butter and chocolate fudge! And they have llamas on the property, so I got my picture with one! (thinking of you Grammy Peg!) Chels called the room and we talked for over an hour and a half! Wow, we needed that though! Good quality sister time in Sisters, OR! :) Around 7pm, JZ, Antfarm and Swiffer showed up and they stayed with us for the night. Nice relaxing day.