A long day today that started out much tougher than I was expecting. I usually have twelve to fourteen miles in by noon, but I only had barely over ten today. The morning was spent climbing over a pass to enter into the Mt Hood wilderness. And right at the boundary was the first real view of Hood.
I got up about the normal time and listened to music a little longer than normal and the bagels this morning were everything bagels and not presliced so I had to get up and out of the tent to eat breakfast. I think I was on the trail about 6:30.
The morning was very cool and breezy. And since the trail was on the west side of Mt Jefferson, it was also very shady with no direct sun. Jefferson is a pretty big mountain with lots of snow still on it, so the two streams we had to cross were not trivial, since they were full of raging snowmelt. Pat had said to try to cross them in the morning when there was less snowmelt, but I don’t think it helped. I didn’t get wet on either one, but I did have to go upstream sixty yards or so to find rocks I was comfortable crossing on.
Later in the morning, the trail split off of Mt Jefferson and kept climbing to the next butte to get over a pass to get to the Mt Hood wilderness area. It was probably 10 am when I hit the pass and the view was incredible. You could see Mt Hood immediately to the north, Adams to the left of it, and St Helens further left. These volcano mountains stick out like a sore thumb among the others.
The trail down the pass was steep and rocky and passed a large snow field. There were multiple trails down and it was easy to avoid the snow, but it was hard figuring out which was the real trail. The trail finally got back down to the woods and got a bit easier again. It also started passing many lakes, large and small.
I stopped for lunch a little early the side of a lake because I needed to stop for water. There were several other hikers there eating as well. More hikers came as some left so there was always a small number of hikers there the whole time I was there.
It was six miles to Lake Ollalie Resort where I planned to stop and have a coke. I didn’t need any food, but coke is like crack cocaine to a hiker. Those six miles took forever. I have no idea why, but I was slow as molasses all morning and afternoon.
I finally made it to the resort store, which was a quick five minute walk off the trail. They had no power in the store, but had a refrigerator and freezer that I am guessing ran off of propane. They had a small solar panel to run credit cards. I got two cokes and a snickers. Those went down quickly, so I had to add a Pepsi and a whole tube of Pringles. And why not get a Klondike bar as I leave? My coke stop got quite substantial, but it did the job because I was hiking much faster all afternoon and into the early evening.
When I finally stopped for water, it was seven and several other hikers had also stopped. I was planning to go until about eight, but the terrain afforded no campsites so I had to go until about 8:45 before I found a good campsite. Walking thirty minutes in the dark is not that big deal, and did put me close to 28 for the day despite a slow start.
The Timberline is now 39 miles away, which probably puts it a tiny bit too far to get to for breakfast on Monday. I’ll see if I can do more than 30 tomorrow to put me less than eight for Monday morning. The next two mornings I need to get early starts to be able to have a chance. I might need to start cutting music time a little shorter. These are the sacrifices I have to make to make the miles.