[August 14th 2012 - Cascade Locks, OR]
Hitched out of Sisters and got back on trail the night of the 8th. I hiked up from Santiam Pass through a huge burn area and found a nice spot for the night. The next day was longer, dropping far into the valley around Mt Jefferson and climbing high up from the bottom to a ridge at 7000 ft with a surprising amount of snow. I met several southbounders here and ended up pushing on for several more miles through one of the longest snowfields since the Sierras, hoping to make it through before it softened up. I camped at Breitenbush Lake camp for the night with Redbeard.
In the morning I hiked an easy 7 miles downhill to Ollalie Lake resort for some snacks, then made it another 28 through some really easy trail, below treeline the whole way. I ran into Joe here, who I hadn't seen since Mammoth Lakes, more than 1000 miles ago. My camp wasn't so great this night and a group just up the hill with a truck kept me awake.
The next morning we paid a visit to Little Crater Lake. It's a spring that has eroded a big sandstone block into a large pool. Surprisingly cool! Then it was about 20 more miles to Timberline Lodge. Strange to be at Mt Hood now since I only got my first glimpse of it two days before. We had dinner in the Blue Ox bar in the basement since a wedding reception was going on in the main dining room and we felt really out of place as dirty hikers. We camped in some trees back on trail.
In the morning we got a breakfast burrito and hit the trail, making it about 25 miles for the day to a campsite on the ridge. Then the next day another 20 down through the Eagle Creek alternate trail to Cacade Locks. The trail behind Tunnel Falls was really cool. It's built right into the cliff high above the river and then passes behind a huge waterfall and out the other side. The rest of the trail was ridiculously crowded with dayhikers, many wearing little more than shorts or bikinis, trying to get to the river. It was very hot.
We made it into town and pitched camp at the Port Marine park, where thru-hikers can camp for free. The Pacific Crest Pub is unfortunately closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I'll miss that, but the rest of the town is nice. Randomly I found myself camped with three Germans, two thru-hiking and another section hiking. I'm leaving Wednesday morning for White Pass.
Rough schedule plan:
August 15 - Leave Cascade Locks, enter WA
August 20 - White Pass
August 23/24 - Snoqualmie Pass
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org