Day 127 (01/08/2018): Tentsite at Mile 2023.5 to Trooper Spring at Mile 2055 (31.5 Miles)
Today was a good day. Hiked out 5 miles to the ﬁrst creek where Casey, Pat and myself split up. They headed back down Hunt’s Creek and I kept on truckin’. Got another 30 mile day in too! The trail was absolutely mindblowing once I popped out of the forested area and got my ﬁrst good view of the north face of Mt. Jefferson. Glaciers ﬂowing down from just under the peak with lush ﬁelds full of wildﬂowers and lakes galore. Mosquitoes haven’t been an issue really recently which I am ecstatic about! This whole week has been pretty crazy, from everything changing with the scenery in the Cascades, to seeing old friends I haven’t gotten to hang with in years. Pretty amazing so far here in northern Oregon.
Day 128 (02/08/2018): Trooper Spring to Barlow Pass Trailhead at Mile 2091.5 (36.5 Miles)
Bluebird day with blueberries all around. Seriously, blueberry bushes everywhere. What a blur of a day. I can barely remember speciﬁcs. I do remember Little Crater Lake and that intense blue water. Gorgeous! Lots of forested area as well, but at one point Mt Hood poked out of the trees and graced me with its magniﬁcence. My feet almost went numb due to the repetitious momentum I kept through the afternoon, I couldn’t really feel them by the time I walked into camp and met “Worm”, “Donkey”, and “Mouse”. They are going SoBo and Donkey handed me a beer right when I arrived! Classic way to end the day. Apparently some day hikers had just dropped them off. Cowboy camping tonight under the tumultuous skies, waking up at 5am, hiking at 5:30, Timberline Buffet at 7:30! Can’t wait to gorge myself on this long awaited feast of breakfast delights.
Day 129 (03/08/2018): Barlow Pass Trailhead to Tentsite at Muddy Fork Mile 2108.9 (15.3 PCT Miles) (2.1 Ramona Falls Alt Miles)
I am so tired. Cowboy camping was a bad idea since it rained for the ﬁrst time in a month and a half starting about 2:45am. I immediately packed up and started slowly walking up the hill in the dark towards Timberline. The smell of damp moss on rotten old growth trees was really intense though. It reminded me of Southeast Alaska, and Juneau in many ways. Made some coffee at a stream around 4am in the dark. Once at the ridge the sun was coming out, but the wind and rain picked up and it got quite cold. I hurried over to the lodge and found a seat at an outlet to charge my battery pack and Bluetooth headphones. Before the buffet started I ran into Seeker which was awesome! Then Pacecar and Groover as well! We all ate breakfast together and I learned that their other hiking partner Everest’s birthday was today, also that they drank a bit too much at the Timberline Bar the night before celebrating said birthday. After breakfast (which was everything I’d hoped) I threw together a cheap little resupply from the W’yeast Deli and vending machines before hitting the trail again. Upon reaching the Ramona Falls alternate trailhead Seeker, Everest, and I decided it would be dumb not to go see it since it didn’t add extra mileage and you get to see a kickass waterfall while walking by a beautiful stream. Let me just say that it was certainly, one hundred percent worth it! Even though I slipped and fell into the creek while trying to get water. My camp tonight is where the Ramona Falls alternate meets back with the PCT at Muddy Creek. The sound of the rushing river is so soothing.
Day 130 (04/08/2018): Muddy Fork Tentsite to Random Tentsite at Mile 2139.2 (30.3 Miles)
Wow, what a great rest! Listening to Muddy Creek put me right out. The trail today was incredibly beautiful and really well maintained to the point where I was wondering where all the other people were at. I only saw a handful of SoBo hikers today as well. At Wahtum Lake I took a dip in the water which was really nice, then up the trail a little ways decided to take a side trail up to Chinidere (chin-a-deary) Mountain. Dunno how many off trail peaks that is now, gotta be close to twenty. I walked a bit further than I originally anticipated, but got another 30 under my belt! Right at the end of the day I happened to glance over and see a strange shape in the trees, a knot with a stick through it that looked almost like a head biting on to a stick. Creepy, but cool. Camping tonight with Peck at a tiny little site just south of the spring and tomorrow is all downhill into Cascade Locks where I’ll resupply, pick up a couple new pairs of socks thanks to Austin at Cloudline, and be on my way again Monday morning. Great day today overall. Really loving the Northern Oregon section. Washington here I come! Just after Peck and I made dinner a random hiker came by and bought Peck’s used (extremely used) smart water bottles so he could use his Sawyer filter on his SoBo section hike. Gross!
Day 131(05/08/2018): Random Tentsite to Cascade Locks Campground off Mile 2146.9 (7.7 Miles)
All downhill through a lot of burned area and rocks. Wonderful sunrise though. Got into Cascade Locks about 9:30am and immediately got a coffee, small resupply, then headed to the campground where I took a shower with all my clothes on. Hiker Trash laundry. Resupplied for three days to go to Trout Lake, then went over to Thunder Island Brewing for a free beer and relaxing few hours charging devices. I ordered BBQ Nachos that were scrumptious and filled my hiker hungry belly, great beers at that place too. I ended up having too many actually and woke up a little hungover. Although it helped me go to sleep and not hear the train that runs directly next to the campground all night.
Day 132 (06/08/2018): Cascade Locks to Stream and Tentsite at Mile 2167.3 (20.4 Miles)
Got a bit of a late start today due to waiting for the post oﬃce to open at 8:30am. Worth the wait though for two fresh pairs of socks! So comfy. It was very hot and very steep uphill in sections today. Walking across Bridge of the Gods and eating handfuls of blackberries made it better though. I saw a snake hanging out sleeping in a tree. The forest changed very quickly into lush green moss covered trees and ferns everywhere. Really amazingly beautiful. The streams are ice cold, although I did run out of water and had to hike about 5 miles without. Totally my fault though for not reading comments and seeing what was ahead. Really good day overall and I ﬁnished at 6:30pm so not even that late. More lounging around and reading time! I’ve been rereading Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang”, really hits home while I’m exploring the great outdoors.
Day 133 (07/08/2018): Stream and Tentsite to Trailhead at 2197.9 (30.6 miles)
Damn, what a hot and humid day. Lots of elevation gain with little to no wind. Basically just sweating bullets from the time I started hiking just after 6am. The forest is really pretty, but as far as the views go, they are limited to say the least. Even when a random clearing would occur the smoke and haze from wild ﬁres made visibility only a couple miles at best. I brieﬂy saw a silhouette of Mt Adams though so that was cool. I didn’t realize it until camp but my right armpit is all red and irritated due to rubbing on a wet shirt and backpack straps. Bummed on that. Oh well, hopefully tomorrow is cooler.
Mt. Jefferson’s western face before the morning lightThe sun beams through a smoky burned sectionIf you look closely there is a horse in this stream which unfortunately lost its footingThis trail just keeps getting better and better!Mt. Jefferson and the northern face full of glaciersCould spend days and days camping and enjoying this view!Mt. Hood peaking out through the smoke in the distanceClassic PCT trail markerLittle Crater Lake was an ethereal blue colorMt. Hood’s south faceCowboy camping was a bad ideaAfter stuffing myself at Timberline Lodge I was reminded how far I’ve walkedRamona Falls was definitely worth the side tripTree Pirate biting on his stick knife (I’ve been in the woods too long)Mt. Hood building afternoon clouds around the summit“You made it to the Bridge of the Gods. Guess that makes you one. Go you! Hike on!”The view of the Columbia River from my tent in Cascade LocksThis snake sleeping in a tree was certainly surprising!Looking back down the valley towards Cascade Locks and Mt. Hood