A short day up to Timberline

Miles: 2088.5 to 2107

Mileage: 18.5, plus 0.2 to Timberline Lodge

Day: 99

Sleep felt so nice and came so easily. Go figure. After the last four days, both Richard and I were beat.

It was nice to think that we only had 18 miles to Timberline Lodge, but then again, 18 miles never felt so long.

My motivation for the day was two fold: firstly, there is a hot tub at Timberline and I spent the 18 miles imaging myself sitting still in the hot, hot water; secondly, Richard’s mom and sister were meeting us at Timberline for a zero day and visiting.

My left hip had been giving me daily pain for almost a week. I was able to walk through it, but I knew I was creating a lasting injury. But with 200 miles to go before we were done for the summer, it didn’t matter. I would deal with recovery later.

The weather was clear and warm. Most of the day was uphill. Fortunately, it felt much easier than it looked on the elevation profile. Light packs from eating through all our food helped. Both Richard and I were down to about 1,000 calories or so. Not a lot, but civilization was half a day away.

I listened to the last of “I am Malala,” as we climbed up to Timberline. Her story is very inspiring and it helped me walk through the final shoulder before the lodge on Mt. Hood. The entire shoulder is not dirt, but sand. Deep. Dry. Dunes. I’m not sure how that mountain is standing as it seems to be crumbling.

We were within sight of the Lodge by 3 p.m. And, as it always happens, we were stopped by day hikers with questions just steps away from taking off our packs and beginning our period of rest. My most memorable moment akin to this on the A.T. was in West Virginia, just miles from the ATC Headquarters in Harpers Ferry. It had been raining all day and I was soaked and cold. A very nice older gentleman stopped me in the pouring rain to inquire about my hike. When had I started? What was my name? Was I really out here all alone? Geez dude. The rain. The rain. I talked to him until my teeth started chattering and then excused myself to keep hiking and produce more heat.

On the trail just above Timberline Lodge we talked with a man who thruhiked the A.T. in the 1990s. He was very nice. And we encouraged him to explore the PCT.

Soon, we were in the Lodge, checked in for the night and on our way to the hot tub!

We relaxed in the hot water until we got a text message from Annette that they would be arriving soon.

We met them and drove down the hill to our lodgings for the night, in a huge condo rented out by the lodge. Richard made fried eggplant sandwiches and I washed all our clothes twice.

Then showers, visiting and sleep.

Our first glimpse of the summit. It doesn’t look like it in this photo, but the trail there is all sand.
On the way up Mt. Hood.
On the way up Mt. Hood.
Richard’s legs after five days of hiking on ultra fine dirt. I washed my legs and feet daily, which felt amazing.

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