Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 162: the long shortcut

Thursday 9/27/12
Miles 2288-2303 (15 miles)
Elevation 4,441'

Hahaha, we were camped by a bunch of glaciers, and one of them looked like cookie monster throwing a cookie in his mouth. I have a pic of Kyle drinking coffee in front of this glacier, it's hilarious :D

So, the coolest part of today was the chairlift trail short cut. The trail goes around the backside of the White Pass ski area. There is a trail called the Chairlift Trail which brings you to the chairlift of the ski run, at which point it becomes like a "choose your own adventure trail" because there is no actual trail, you're just walking down the ski slopes. But the gas station where our food drop is was at the bottom of the ski slope. Plus it cut out 4 miles of the pct. So it would save time. Or so I thought. Lol!

The whole way coming out of trout lake, I didn't have maps (they were in the missing food box), and my GPS on my phone wasn't working. Go figure. Lol. I knew I was close to the chairlift trail, and I wasn't sure if it was a marked trail or not, so the first time I saw a chair lift I just bushwhacked toward it and started going down the slope. It was awesome because there were tractor tracks so I just walked on the tread down the slope. I wasn't sure where I was going but I figured all the slopes would eventually go where I needed so I just started going down hills. Now, the smart thing to do would have looked at the maps on the chairlifts and figured out where I was.

When I finally got to the bottom, I found Kyle and other hikers at the store. It was like a reunion! Apparently I took the wrong chairlift trail. There was another chair lift that the trail crosses. That was the correct one. In the end, my shortcut actually took longer than if I were to have just stayed on the PCT. lol! But it was so much more fun :). So where I ended up was way on the other side of the slope, because when I got down the hill I saw the store and the big ski lift about a 1/2 mile away. Haha, oh well. :)

It was cool to see Pitfall, Diesel, Chameleon, Doe Eyes, and Scrub Rat again! We also met a cool section Hirt who was hiking with his dog Chase. This guy trains professional sled dogs in Alaska, and Chase was a sled dog. He was sooooo cute! Pitfall and I wanted to take Chase and hike to Canada with him. Lol. Chase was such a cute puppy! He was 1 years old.

Anyhow, we ended up camping at some campground we found near te store. Cool! It was a fun lazy day today :)

Day 161: most fun day of hiking!!

Wednesday 9/26/12
Miles 2265-2288 (23 miles)
Elevation 6,000'

So, last night I made a pact with Washington. I said, if Washington will hold off bad weather til we and all the hikers around me get to Canada, I will take back every negative thing I've ever said about Washington (and Portland), and never talk bad about WA or Pdx again. :). I talk a lot of smack about the crappy weather in WA and pdx. Not as much as I talk smack about SoCal, but pretty close. Lol! Honestly though, I think WA has the better end of this deal. All it has to do is hold off bad weather for a few weeks, whereas I have to not talk bad about WA or PDX forever! And I'm not even asking for perfect weather, just decent. :). Anyhow, I think WA accepted, because today the weather was absolutely perfect. <3

We entered the Goat Rocks Wilderness today. It was the most fun day of hiking ever!! It really really reminded me of being in the sierras again, except there were more trees. What made this day super fun was the ridge walk that we did. They call it the Knife's Edge, because you're walking on the spine of a super steep ridge. It reminded me of hiking on Oahu. But not as scenic. Lol! That's my favorite kind of hiking. I love walking on super narrow spines with 1,000' drops on both sides. It's so cool, makes me feel like I'm floating. :)

We saw the sunset from the top of the Knife's edge. It was absolutely incredible. It was possibly the most dramatic sunset I've seen in my life. And this is coming from someone who lives in Hawaii, the land of epic sunsets. :) The progression of light and illumination as the sun went down was like an ethereal light show. The sun was blood red and it made the entire horizon look like glowing fire (well, the area around mt Adams actually was on fire). It was so cool. And Mt Adams was on one side and Mt Ranier was on the other. I took so many pics. :)

The consequence of this amazing sunset was that we now had to walk the knife edge in the dark. It's a gnarly section of trail to do in the daylight, much less at night. Lol! Dang I'm so stoked I didn't slip and fall, the result of that would have been very terrible. There have been hikers who fell. I imagine the steep rocky cliffside would be like a cheese grater on the skin. Yikes! Plus several of the sections of trail were so eroded it was seriously hazardous. Those were the sections you'd most likely slip and fall off the mountain.

The funny thing is, when we were on top of the ridge we saw 2 headlamps down in the valley. Based on the footprints I've been seeing all day I think it is Doe Eyes and Scrub Rat. Then in the middle of the night, a hiker passed by our campsite. Yikes!!! Whoever that was, did the entire Knife's edge walk in the dark. That is so gnarly!!!

Anyhow, I highly recommend this hike if any of you are in the area. Easiest access point is from White Pass on highway 12. But don't do it if the weather is bad or if it's high winds. If you can get it on a clear sunny day, it is absolutely breathtaking. <3

Day 160: Mt.Adams Zen Center/Trout Lake Abbey <3

Tuesday 9/25/12
Miles 2257-2265 (7 miles)

Oh my gosh this place is incredible. I could go on and on about how cool this place is. It is, by far, the most incredible place I've stayed this whole trip. Not only that but Trout Lake is so incredibly hiker friendly it's amazing. The monastery is run by 2 main people, Kozen who is a Buddhist monk and Kirk who is a Druid priest. There is a Buddhist temple on on side of the property and a large Henge on the otherside, along with a druid meditation hut that looks like a hobbit house. I took pics of the whole place, it's so freakin cool!! And Kozen and Kirk are so incredibly awesome and funny people. Kozen also speaks about 8 languages and has been all over the world. He is also a registered nurse. Check out the place: and I think

I knew this place would be epic. When we first got here we were greeted by Greta the German shepherd puppy. She is sooooo sweet. She came trotting up to us and did her puppy sniffing thing and hung around for a bit. Most epic greeting ever! Lol! One of the funniest things about this place is that there are dog toys *everywhere*. In the Buddhist temple, there was a dog chew toy and a leash hanging by the entrance. And there are dog toys all over the house and property. Lol!! I love dogs. :). Oh! So this morning we found another dog on the property. It was a super chubby golden retriever mix. She was so cute! But so fat! Lol!! Kyle and I ended up petting her for about 1.5 hours. When one of us would stop petting her she would go to the next person. And back and forth, etc. lol. Smart dog.

Oh! So, last night they made us dinner. Kirk cooked Kyle and I some organic ground beef patties from grass fed free range cows. It was so awesome! It's from a local ranch in Yakima Valley called Holy Cow. Lol! Check it out When they kill the animal, they take it away from the rest of the herd and do it in the middle of the night while it is sleeping. That is so cool.

Kirk drove us into town to help us with our errands. And by "town" I mean a small grocery store, a post office, and gas station with an attached diner. Lol, I don't know that I'd call Trout Lake a "town", it's more like a small community full of awesome people. :)

So, the bummer thing is that our resupply box that we sent ourselves did not get there. Wtf. I sent it from cascade locks on Thursday, we're not that far away. Grrrr! >:( So we have no food. We had to buy food from the store, which sucked because I have really good food in my missing resupply box. Bleh.

A trail angel in town Doug Anderson drove us all the way up the road walk to where the PCT is open again. Thanks Doug!! This was a 22 mile drive down dirt roads, not counting the 13 miles from trout lake to the PCT. Doug is so incredibly awesome. The story of how he unintentionally became a trail angel is one of those lovely serendipitous stories that make you warm and fuzz inside. Lol! Anyhow, we got back on trail and hiked a few miles. What an awesome time. I wish I could have spent more time at the monastery. If any of you live in Washington I highly recommend this place. Even if you are not Buddhist or practice Druidry, it is an absolute wonderful place to visit. They also sell their organic eggs and produce. They have a non commercial B&B there, so you can even stay overnight. :). From the Portland/Vancouver WA area you'd go east along the Columbia river and the north on the 141 at Hood River/white Salmon. From the Seattle area you'd go down the 5, then east on the 12 toward white pass, then south on forest road 23. Gosh, I could go on forever about how cool this place is! But it's zzz time :) Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 159: mowing to Trout Lake, and another fire

Monday 9/24/12
Miles 2217-2238 (21 miles)
Elevation 3,922'

Well, the PCT is closed due to a fire. Again. Dang this one has been going since September 8th. It's around Mt.Adams. We've been smelling smoke on and off all day. I thought it was been cloudy the last few days. It's actually been smoke, not just clouds.

Kyle has not been feeling good all day. That's a bummer :(. I suppose since I was dying through half of Oregon, now it's his turn to feel like crap. That sucks, he's been feeling Bleh for the last 2 days. Despite that we still did 21 miles by 5pm.

The road we came to was a very lightly traveled paved forest road. The PCT is closed north of here, due to fire. Luckily, a couple who was driving back from Seattle picked us up. Whew!! There were hardly any cars coming down the road and so getting a ride was difficult. Trout Lake is 13 miles from where the PCT crosses the road.

We went to the Trout Lake Abbey. It is a Buddhist monastery in the area, and it's amazing!!! They are also an organic farm, they grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables, and have a chicken coop. They also have a small stream running through the whole property, it is an awesome irrigation system. They let us stay inside since Kyle wasn't feeling good. They rent out their facilities to various groups for retreats and stuff, so there was a hostel-type lodging area in one of the buildings upstairs. They also operate a non-commercial B&B. This whole place is awesome!! The toilet they have is amazing. It has a bidet in it and the seat cover is heated. That is the first time I've ever sat on a heated toilet seat! Lol. Plus there is a cool German Shepherd puppy named Gretel who understands German and Danish.

So, the bummer thing is the PCT is closed north of here and the detour is a 30 mile road walk. That really really sucks. Road walking in my shoes with a pack absolutely sucks. Problem is, I don't know if we can get a hitch around the detour because these are all dirt forest roads that are sparsely traveled. Bleh. I'll figure that out tomorrow. Time to pass out. This place is amazing. <3

Day 158: cold weather makes me walk faster

Sunday 9/23/12
Miles 2197-2217
Elevation 4,965'

Ugh, so the skirt that I made for this trip that I've been wearing since the Mexican border has fallen apart. As in, the fabric is so worn out it was disintegrating. So I had to retire it. Poopies!!! :( When I was 12 my mom bought a sewing machine. At that time, I thought popular fashion was incredibly ugly so I read the booklet that comes with the sewing machine and taught myself how to make clothes. 28 years later, I still think popular fashion is incredibly ugly, so I make my clothes. Lol! :). Btw, I still have and still use that sewing machine from when I was 12. It's a Singer sewing machine. I like it, this was back when the casing for the machine was still metal and not that super crappy plastic crap they make nowadays. To replace my skirt, the only extra fabric I have with me are mine and Kyle's lime green bandanas we got from Shrek's place so I safety pinned them together and rolled it down, Tahitian style. Yay, new skirt!

You know, one benefit of it being cold is that I walk a lot faster. I usually average around 2-2.5 mph. Through Oregon it was about 2.7-3.1 mph because the terrain was so mellow. The last few days it's been really cold and I've been going around 3.2-3.5 mph. Dang! I guess there's a bright side to everything, even cold weather. Lol!

Speaking of cold weather. I've been peeing a LOT lately. Kyle has too. Cold weather tends to make me do that. However, I haven't been drinking much water, since I haven't been very thirsty. So, where is all this extra liquid coming from?? Weird...

All along the trail I randomly swallow bugs. Not intentionally, but just accidentally, like they'd be flying around my face and I would inhale them. Today something flew into my mouth and I almost choked on it. Oh well, extra protein!

Kyle and I were brainstorming various board games we could play while walking on the trail. A while ago in some town we saw these Star Wars walkie talkies. One was Darth Vader shaped and the other was Storm Trooper shaped. We figured we could have walkie talkies and play Battleship while hiking. That would be so awesome!!! :D

I've been eating a lot of chia seeds since northern California. Chia seeds are amazing. You can put it in just about any kind of food, or mix it with any kind of liquid, and drink it. The cool thing is, when you mix it with liquid and let it sit for a while, it turns kind of gelatinous, so it gives the drink some substance, and makes it more filling. At Shrek's place in Cascade Locks I picked up some random chocolate powder from the hiker box. I'm not sure what it is, its not chocolate milk. We think it might be chocolate protein powder. Anyhow, I've been mixing that with chia seeds and making a breakfast shake, and it's pretty amazing!! Wheee super duper energy!! :D

Day 157: wow there's sun! :D

Saturday 9/22/12
Miles 2175-2197 (22 miles)
Elevation 2,800'

Oh joyous day! There was sunlight today!!! :) That was so awesome and amazing. It was still cold but the sunlight was so lovely :)

Dang there's been a lot of spiderwebs across the trail lately. Poor Kyle gets all of that in the face, because he walks ahead of me and he's a lot taller. It was so bad today that he actually had a stick with him to knock out the spiderwebs. Lol! It's pretty gnarly when you get the spiderwebs all over you. It's even more gnarly when the spider is still on the web. A while ago a good sized one ended up on Kyle's shoulder. He doesn't like spiders. That was not a very fun moment. O.o

One of the awesome things about it being so damp and dreary here is that the ground is a lot softer, since it is always moist. It's a lot more comfortable to walk on. Almost like carpet. Lol. I will not be stoked when it rains a lot though, because then it'll just be squish squish squish for miles and miles. O.o

The main herd of hikers is starting to get to Canada. I think this year will be a record number of finishers. I hope all the hikers who finished will do a Sun Dance for all of us still in Southern Washington. Or perhaps sacrifice a JMTer to the Sun God. Lol :D

I found a bag of plums on the trail today!!! Oh joy!! It was sitting on a picnic table all by itself, near a road intersection. Thank you anonymous person who left a bag of plums! They were delicious!! Fresh fruit is not something you get often on the trail so this was like finding gold. Lol! Kyle was 3 miles up the trail so I walked with a paper bag of plums in my hand for 3 miles, trying not to eat them all before I got to him. They were funny looking football shaped plums. Oh well they were still delicious. :D

We camped on a tiny little spot on a switchback on a hill. Since northern california we've been camping in campsites that other people have made. In high-use areas or sensitive areas, it is better environmental stewardship to use pre-existing campsites than to make your own. And there's been enough flat areas around that we'd always come across something when it started to get late. Except tonight. There was a small flat-ish area on a switchback that Kyle graded. We managed to fit the tent in that corner and over the trail. By the way, this is one reason you don't want a big tent. In fact you should go with the smallest tent you're relatively comfortable in. Especially in the Southern California area, flat spots are hard to come by, and a lot of them are small. This Stephenson tent would definitely not fit in most places I camped at in SoCal. Then again I didn't use a tent through most of SoCal. Anyhow, hopefully no one is night hiking the PCT tonight because we're pretty much blocking the trail with the tent. :(

Kyle and I have a lot of random conversations throughout the day, especially in the evening. Tonight we were talking about the lunch boxes we had when we were little. Remember those plastic lunch boxes that had the thermos inside (do they still make those anymore)? I had a Strawberry Shortcake one and Kyle had a blue Aladdin one. We loved our lunch boxes. I guess when you're little and in school, that's your only sense of expression. That, and your backpack. Lol.

Day 156: first day in Washington!

Friday 9/21/12
Miles 2156-2175 (19 miles)
Elevation 1,464'

Dang. First day in Washington and it is cold and overcast the whole day. Holy crap wtf?!? Bleh. I don't like Washington, I think I'm gonna turn around now and walk back to Bend! Haha just kidding :). Ultimately I am grateful that it's not raining and not that windy. Plus I'm sure it could be a lot colder.

I ran into Mark Trail today! I haven't seen him since about mile 500! He is southbounding from Snoqualmie Pass in WA to Cascade Locks OR, then going to Big Bear CA and southbounding from there to the Mexican border to finish the trail. It was nuts, when I first saw him he didn't have a shirt on. I thought, holy crap you're nuts!! I had my beanie, jacket, and gloves on. Lol. He was making a big deal about bad weather in the goat rocks area. One of the first and best pieces of advice a previous thru-hiker gave me was: don't buy into the hype. Seriously. If its bad weather when I get there I'll deal with it then, but I'm not gonna stress out over a bunch of hype. Lol.

Oh, I experienced something new today. There has been a rolling mist blowing over the trail the entire day. On some parts of the the trail, the mist would condense on the pine needles of the trees, so when you walked under the trees it would be raining. Lol! That was so weird!! Ive never experienced that before! It would rain when you walked under the trees! Haha. Washington is weird. :)

Oh, I meant to say this a long time ago. To Denise from San Francisco who sent me the care package, thanks!! The sobriety test gum was hilarious. Coincidentally, I got that, and your letter while I was in Bend (land of epic beers), and I was staying in the "San Francisco" themed room at the Mills Inn B&B. Cool. :). Oh, whoever you were looking for, do you remember their trail name? I might have their contact info, the trail is a small world. :)

Anyhow, I survived day one in WA, and it didn't rain. Yay!! Thus far WA is not very pretty. In fact it is very grey and Bleh. But then again I just went through Oregon, the land of Epicness! So yeah. Washington, you have a lot to live up to. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 153-155: double zero in Cascade Locks, and WA!!

Tuesday 9/18/12
Miles 0

Wednesday 9/19/12
Miles 0

Thursday 9/20/12
Miles almost 0

Well, we unintentionally did a double zero in town. Almost a triple zero actually. Lol! I was quite busy though. I don't know what it is, everytime we do town stops I seem to be busier than when I'm actually hiking the trail. Seriously. We did laundry, and Shrek had a lot of plaid loaner clothes. Plaid is the theme for loaner clothes here. I guess it's a Portland thing or something. Anyhow, he also has all these robes, one of them was pink and fuzzy. When I took Kyle's clothes I said he should either walk around naked or wear the robe. So he chose the robe. Lol! It was quite awesome. I took pics. Too bad he didn't have pink fuzzy house slippers. Haha :D Scallywag later wore that robe, I said he should walk around town in it. He said he would if he had pink bunny ears. Lol!

I crafted quite a few items at Shrek's house. I made another tyvek food sack because Kyle needed one. I also made a compression sack for the tent. And I fixed my rain cover for my pack. And Squizzle now has a Mohawk and hiking kilt. Haha! He looks pretty cool. :)

On our second night there, me and Kyle got interviewed by a couple who reads my blog. He is a film maker from the Portland area and they are trying to make a documentary relating to the PCT and were shooting a pilot to try to get funding for the movie. That was really cool! I was so stoked to meet them, they were awesome! And the coolest thing was, they took us to a McMenimans restaurant after. It's an Oregon chain where they take old buildings and transform them into epicness! There was one in Bend, it was a former schoolhouse and it is now a restaurant/pub/movie theater and I think it had a hot tub too. The one we went to was the Edgefield one which was outside of Portland, in Troutdale. It was AMAZING!! Oh my gosh! The property it is on is an old insane asylum. It is now a hotel. The building itself looks a lot like the Xmen mansion in the movie. There's a restaurant, and about 6 or 7 mini bars and pubs all over (one is a grateful dead themed bar). They brew their own beer there and have their own winery and tasting room. They also have a movie theater on site and they show outdoor movies as well. Oh my gosh, the Ruby beer there is possibly the yummiest beer I've ever had. Dang it was good!! They have a lot of other beers as well. I had a burger, and their tater tots were yummy as well. Oh man it was so good and the whole place was so epic!! <3

On Thursday, my resupply person visits us with a box of Voodoo Donuts from Portland and a growler of Jasmine Mead from Rogue Brewery! YUM!! Thanks CJ!!! :D That was so epic and amazeballs! I love the cereal topped donuts, and the maple bar with bacon.

Kyle and I finally left at 10:30 that night. We walked across the Bridge of the Gods which goes over the river. The stateline is halfway across the bridge. We are now in Washington! The bridge is really cool, it's a grated bottom so you can see through it. Walking across that in the 5 finger shoes was kinda scary, my toes would get stuck in all the holes and it's really easy to trip. Lol! But it was really cool walking across that at night.

We camped shortly uptrail at around midnight. Zzzz!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 152: epic side trail, and Cascade Locks!

Monday 9/17/12
Miles 2132-2155 (23 miles)

We took an alternate trail into Cascade Locks and it was AMAZING!!! Oh my gosh, the trail today reminded me a lot of Hawaii. There were so many waterfalls and the trail followed a creek the whole way, and it was just soooo rad!

Getting to the trail was kind of nuts though. We took a shortcut trail off the PCT called the Indian Spring Trail that connects to the Eagle Creek Trail, and it pretty much went straight down. I had to make sure not to step on any twigs laying horizontally across the trail, or round rocks, otherwise my feet would slide out from underneath and I'd fall on my butt. Lol! Basically we were dropping into the Columbia River Gorge. It's a deep canyon. We started at around 4,000', and Cascade Locks is at about 200' elevation. Wow. Thats so nuts. I think that is the lowest elevation on the whole trip.

We saw the strangest thing in the creek. There were fish in there and they were HUGE! Like the size of really big koi fish. And they were splashing and and making all kinds of commotion in the water. We thought they were fighting. Later we found out they were coho salmon and they lay eggs by moving their tails rapidly back and forth to dig a hole to lay their eggs. Cool!!

The trail goes right into Cascade Locks so we walk into town. The Columbia River is huge! The biggest river I've seen on trail thus far. The Columbia River Gorge is a world famous place for windsurfing. But they do it by the town of Hood River which is 20 miles east. Darn. It woulda been rad to go windsurf. Except the water is probably so cold.

Right before it got dark, we find our way to Shrek's Swamp, he is a trail angel in town. He bought the house in February and is in the process of renovating it himself. Its a cool little house with a huge yard where hikers can camp. There's also a shower and laundry room. Yay! Time to do laundry and not walk for a bit. Lol!

Day 151: Mt.Hood, waterfall, and tents

Sunday 9/16/12
Miles 2111-2132 (21 miles)
Elevation 4,245'

Weather is weird out here. It is colder in the mornings than it is in the middle of the night. Wtf?!? That seems odd. In Hawaii I've noticed the coldest time of day is around 4am. It is consistently like that. Out here it seems to be around 8am. Weird.

We had some epic views of Mt.Hood today. I took lots of pics. The trail basically went around it so I saw the other side of mt.hood too. Sweet! The trail went by Ramona Falls which was a cool waterfall. Dang there were lots of day hikers today. Where are they all coming from? Must be a road access nearby.

You know what I've noticed in Oregon that is different from California is that out here, people actually use the forest service roads and dirt roads. I'd be in the middle of nowhere and three cars per hour would be driving by on some dirt road that looks unused. Lol! That's pretty cool. Seems like people here access the outdoors areas a lot more. Yay Oregon!

Today's hiking was really epic. It kind of reminded me of Hawaii. The green-ness was a much more lush and bright type of green, more than the typical dark conifer green that we've been doing through for the last 1,000 miles. Plus a lot of it we were up on a ridge so the views were really cool. Only downside of being on a ridge is that there's no water. :( But its not very hot and there's so much shade that I don't need as much water throughout the day like I used to.

I met a day hiker couple who were super cool. The wife said she used to be 70lbs heavier but was inspired to lose the weight so she could go hiking and take photos (she had an expensive looking Canon camera around her neck). Way to go lady! That's so awesome. :)

By the way, I hate my tent. It is pissing me off. It has pissed me off since the day I got it. Not because it's a bad tent. It's a fantastic tent, actually. It just totally absolutely sucks and is completely impractical for thru-hiking. It's a 4-season Stephenson's warmlite tent, which is a small company in New Hampshire that makes ultralight backpacking gear. Probably out of his garage, as most of these companies are. Winter camping in New England is pretty frickin gnarly. So this tent is bullet proof. Which is fine if it's snowing and hailing but sucks in any other kind weather. Why do they call it a 4-season tent anyways? It should be called a Winter Tent. Or a Crappy Weather Tent. Because its ridiculous to use it in any other type of weather. Blah. The only reason I still have the tent is because in norcal, i thought it might rain a lot in Oregon (it didnt). Now i have it still because of the possibility of hitting crappy weather in Washington. Im hoping i dont. Plus it's kinda late in the game to get another tent. Although I would looooove to get a Big Agnes Fly Creek Platinum UL 2. If any of you guys are in the market for an epic backpacking tent, that's the one you want. No wonder half the people on trail have those tents, it's amazing. Well, most people have the regular version, the Platinum one is more epic but retails for about $500. Still. The 2 person version weighs about 2.1 lbs and its practically bulletproof. Hee Haw has that very tent. I'm so jealous. Lol. It is such a perfect tent. The regular version is about half the price and slightly heavier, but not by much. If I were to get a tent that would be it. Except after this trip I won't need a 2 person tent anymore. And I already have my solo Notch tent, which I love. Although if I could do it all over again I would have bought the solo version of the Platinum Fly Creek, because it's lighter than the Notch. And it stands up better in high winds. When I was using my notch, if it was windy I'd have to put extra stakes in. Although usually if it was windy I just wouldn't use the tent at all. Unless it was really cold.

We ended up camping on a ridge. It was windy but just minorly so. Yay! That's awesome because wind = no condensation! Which means I don't a e to spend all morning wiping down the inside of the tent! Yay!!! Lol. Wow you can really hear the wind from up here. It must be howling down in the valley below. Up here it's not too bad.

Kyle and I were just talking about how wind, water, and lots of cars driving by make a similar noise. Last night by the river we were listening to a similar noise all night but coming from river instead of wind.

Day 150: blazing to Timberline Lodge, mini reunion

Saturday 9/16/12
Miles 2107-2111 (4 miles)
Elevation 4,800'

We camped just outside of Ollalie Lake, next to another lake. It was really pretty. Walking back to the store this morning, we ran into Scallywag! Cool! It was awesome to see him again. I like Scallywag he has really good energy. Sam gave us as well as some section hikers a ride to Timberline Lodge. Thanks Sam!! You're awesome!!

Timberline lodge is a really cool place. It is a historical building on Mt.Hood that still is in business today. There are lots of outside shots of the lodge in the movie The Shining. There are some plaques after you walk in the lodge entrance explaining the history d the place. I didn't get a chance to read it. Bummer. Anyhow, there is a buffet here that we've been hearing about, so that's what we were all excited for. Kyle and I didnt get a chance to gorge in Bend so now we're making up for it. The food was yummy. The deserts were absolutely outstanding. Oh my gosh I ate so much. Lol! I was quite impressed at how much I ate. Kyle too. It was like a mini hiker reunion at timberline lodge. At the buffet we saw Spins, Babboon and Jeff. There was also the "Rolling Stoners" crew of Pocahontas, Chef, Funk, Trooper, Cowboy, and Shep Dog. And Pitfall was there.

It was a super busy and crowded day at the lodge. There was a car club there, 3 weddings, as well as all your daily tourists. I can't even imagine how much money it would cost to have a wedding there. I worked as a banquet server at many places and frequently did a lot of weddings. I've also performed at a lot of weddings when I was dancing with a Tahitian halau. I'd oftentimes see the bills for the various weddings I've worked at. Holy freaking crap. The timberline wedding had to be at least $10,000. It looked fancy schmancy. So maybe $15-$20,000? That's just so freakin nuts. $10,000 would fund 2 people's thru-hikes. Especially if they already had gear. I never understood why people would want to spend so much money for 4 hours in a room full of people, (oftentimes half of whom don't necessarily want to be there). Lol. Seriously. In my days as a banquet server, walking around the room you hear all kinds of conversations. People watching at a wedding is incredibly entertaining. :D I saw the bride walking around the lodge. She looked pretty stoked. Congrats, and more power to her. She coulda just taken the $10,000 and thru-hiked the PCT with her husband-to-be. :) That sounds way more fun than 4 hours in a room with a bunch of people. Lol! But meh, to each their own. :)

Speaking of people watching. After the buffet, Kyle and I could hardly walk. Lol. We were so full. So we sat on these comfy chairs outside the restaurant in the main foyer of the lodge and people watched for 3 hours. There are LOTS of tourists there today. As well as wedding guests. And thru-hikers. It was an epic afternoon :)

We finally left the lodge a little after 6pm with Jeff. By the way, Mt.Hood is normally a year-round ski mountain. This year there was not enough snow to ski at this time of year. The trail wraps around to the other side of Mt.Hood. Lots of water from snow melt yay! We ended up camping by a river with Jeff. I finally got to finish my tyvek food bag! I was working on it since south of Bend but I ran out of dental floss (which I've been using as thread) and finally got more today. Yay! I've been using regular plastic grocery bags as food bags since the beginning of the trail and I'd rather replace it with a longer-lasting bag. Like tyvek. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pics: Timberline Lodge --> Cascade Locks

behind Timberline Lodge, Mt.Hood iin the backgorund

Mt. Hood is normally a year-round ski area, but this year the snowfall was not enough and what was there melted really fast

the backside of Timberline Lodge, which is along the PCT

the backside of Mt.Hood

lovely oregon views

more Mt.Hood

this is where we camped

Ramona Falls

the bridge next to Ramona Falls

that is Pitfall, he is really cool
Kyle enjoying an amazing sunset, we've had one pretty much every single day since we've started hiking :)
sorry this pic is sideways!  this is the begnning of a huge waterfall, i was pretty much sitting at the edge of it.  its about a 300' drop behind me
sorry this pic is sideways!  tilt your monitor :D  Tunnel Falls, you can see where the trail goes towards the falls and then behind it.  it was rad!  they blasted this trail right out of the cliff.  it must have been incredibly labor intensive
sorry this pic is sideways!  if you're on a laptop, tilt the screen sideways :)  this is tunnel falls, the trail goes behind it.  cool!
this is coming out from behind Tunnel Falls
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we were doing laundry at Shrek's Swamp which is a trail angel who lives in Cascade Locks.  Kyle refused to walk around naked so I suggested this loaner robe that Shrek had. :D
one of the many waterfalls I passed on this part of the trail


Pics: Bend --> Ollalie Lake

this was a HUGE burn area by Santian Pass, it burned in 2006 and we spent all day and the day after next walking through it

Three-Fingered Jack

the back side of Three-Fingered Jack

Kyle, leaving me a note on the trail

Kyle having a relaxing morning (yes, he packed a tall can of Coors with him, lol)

i think that is Mt.Jefferson, I don't remember

this is actually a river.  it is frozen on top and you can hear the river running underneath.  it was cool, the first time i've ever seen anything like this.  to the right of the pic you can see the river coming down the mountain and only this part and down to the left it is frozen.  the trail goes across this frozen river.

Mt.Jefferson, I think.

i honestly don't even remember taking this pic.  lol.  it looks pretty unreal, the clouds were amazing. 

the structure holding up this sign has seen better days.

snow...what the hell.

more beautiful Oregon views

another burn area... :(

walking on a graded ridge is fun

yay Oregon trees!!

this was the view of Mt.Jefferson and Olallie Lake from the front porch of the Ollalie Lake Resort store.  and by Resort, I mean little cabins and yurts with no electricity or plumbing.  it was a cute little rustic vacation spot that the trail goes right by.

Pics: Shelter Cove (Odell Lake) --> Bend!!

The Three Sisters Wilderness is a very popular place amongst locals.  There were lots of backpackers and day hikers and equestrian people out this weekend.  Its a cool area.

glorious Oregon trees


we camped here at the very spot i'm standing when i took this pic

the other side of the lake, standing at the same place i took the above photo

reflection of trees in the lake

another burn area

one of the Three Sisters, the coloration of the mountain was so awesome.  that red at the top was really cool.

a random exposed stretch of trail

we were walking by this fire all day, watching the smoke billowing.  it was gnarly.  this was the day Kyle got lost and he didn't find me til around 9pm.

Obsidian Falls.  this whole area was covered by shards of beautiful Obsidian all over the place.  its so awesome.

yay, water!  there were patches of snow/ice here and there

lots of lava rock in this stretch before Mckenzie Pass, which is the road we hitched into Bend on.

the trail goes through many lava fields

reminds me of the kona side of Big Island <3

cool cars we saw at the observatory on McKenzie Pass

part of the breakfast we got at Mills Inn Bed and Breakfast.  it is an AWESOME place in Bend to stay, the waffles are amazing!!  the whole breakfast was incredible :)

Squizzle, after he got a bath