PCT mm 2094.4 – Timberline

What a sad and happy day today.  Sad because this phase of the journey is over when my momentum is high, and happy because I made breakfast on time and I got to spend some time brewery hopping with a former coworker, Steve.

I had set an alarm for 5 am just to make sure I didn’t oversleep and good thing I did, because when it went off, I was dead asleep.  It was still pitch black, so I listened to music for twenty.minutes before rousting.  It was 6:20 by the time I had finished breakfast and set out on the trail, so it was pretty much usual time.  But this morning it seemed darker than normal.  Maybe it’s the shortening days, maybe it’s thicker woods, maybe it’s both.

The morning was cool, and the hiker hobble had me going pretty slowly downhill to the road about a mile away.  it was a pretty busy highway and I had to boogie across it quickly.  Traffic was coming from both directions even before 7 am.

After the road, the trail was officially on Mt Hood now.  It was a five mile uphill climb all the way to the Timberline Lodge.  By my best guess, I should be there by 9 am.  The trail was steeper than normal but not a bad climb, but I did generate alot of sweat.  There were two water sources on the way up, but I had enough water to get there without any more.  I did get hungry on the way up, and had to stop for a Clif bar.

About a mile and a half from the lodge, the trail popped out of the woods and went straight up an arm between two canyons.  The trail here was very soft sand and it was like climbing a giant hill on the beach.  It was a very tough climb and so demoralizing being so close to the lodge.

When I got to the top of the hill, the trail was actually above the Lodge.  It went right around back into a small section of trees that were a designated campsite for the trail, just 300 yards from the lodge.  I am sure none of the guests had any idea they were so close to a small village of homeless hiker trash.

I made my way down to the lodge and set my pack outside one of the back doors and cooled off for a few minutes.  I changed into my town shirt and went inside.  I had to wait about ten minutes to be seated in the dining room.  They like to keep all the hikers together and I sat with two other hikers.

The buffet was everything I had hoped and dreamed for.  Eggs, sausage, ham, potatoes, fruit, granola, yoghurt, waffles, and pancakes.  The coffee was good, but the food was better.  I only had two plates since this is a meal after a hike and not loading up for more hiking.  I was quite hungry by the time I was seated.

Next up was to check on the bus schedule.  I had just missed the last.morning bus and would have to hit the first afternoon bus at 2:45.  I had called Steve about a week back, and he invited me to stay with him, so after figuring out all the connecting busses, I texted him with my estimated arrival time.  It worked out almost perfectly because he works near the airport and would get off work about an hour before the last bus made it to the transit center.

I made all my connections and all the busses were on time, so Steve was right there when I arrived.  It’s been at least five years or so since I had seen Steve when he came to Florida and we went tubing down the Itchitucknee river.  I’ve gotten gray and he looks.exactly the same.

We hit two breweries downtown and had appetizers at both of them.  We got flights and all the beers were good.  One was a raspberry radler and it was quite tasty.  I still can’t believe there are 84 breweries in this town.

We went back to his house and chatted a while, before showering and starting a load of laundry.  Getting clean never gets old.  Tomorrow I will do my chores in town and fly out of Portland before dawn the day after.  So this is the last blog entry for the next nine days.  You’ll have to go back to reading about the Trump/Clinton election for your entertainment for a while.  Enjoy that.


  1. Congratulations on going as far as you have. Your feet will get some rest to finish it later. Sure have enjoyed the blogs and pictures.

  2. No, no! Your fans need a daily blog about your trip to the wedding and back! Will you shave? We hope not! Sarah dutifully sends each one! And besides, the TV night comics are all on vacation for the next few weeks…….no “Real Time” with Bill Maher, no “Daily Show” with Trevor Noah, and no “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver! And Larry Wilmore got cancelled…….bah.

    Best to you, and hope your feet recuperate nicely!

    Bob Brown

  3. James (Jim) O. Bledsoe,Jr.

    August 30, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Congratulations on what you have done. Let your feet get some rest so you can go back and finish the rest. Have enjoyed the blogs and pictures.

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