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Rcluster - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2013

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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
City: Eugene
State: OR
Country: USA
Begins: Aug 16, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Aug 27th, 2013
Start: Timberline Lodge
End: Paradise Park - 5745 ft
Daily Distance: 8
Trip Distance: 51.4
Hours Hiked: 5
Daily Ascent: 1811
Daily Descent: 1980
Max Elevation: 6090
Entry Lat: 45.35217
Entry Lng: -121.74697
Breaks: 3

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 2,564
Journal Visits: 7,535
Guestbook Views: 338
Guestbook Entrys: 8

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Paradise Park on Mt Hood

We drove up to Timberline Lodge last night and slept in the van. We didn't do our normal early start but decided to take advantage of the buffet breakfast at the lodge. We've talked about it in the past but we never seem to be here at the right time. Now we are, and it was great! Maybe a little too great actually because neither one of us felt like hiking right away when we were done. We did manage to get going about 10:30 but I couldn't fasten my pack's waist belt for another couple of hours.

About 3 miles in we come to our first river crossing, the Zigzag River. Several years ago we walked this trail to the viewpoint that looks down into the Zigzag and I'm glad we had done that. We knew what to expect, otherwise we probably would have turned around and headed back to the van right there. The crossing itself isn't so bad, but from that initial view it looks like it's about a mile to the bottom and a mile back up the other side. It's really not but you don't have anything to use for a size comparison down in the canyon so it's hard to tell. Looking up the Zigzag you are looking right at Mt Hood. Actually we are looking at mostly clouds, but occasionally some rock will peek out (peak out?) so we know what's really hiding up there.

It takes us a little while but we finally make our way down to the river. There are a few other hikers there and we watch a couple step their way across on some large rocks. The rocks are dry so we give that a try also, and Julie and I both make it across without any trouble. This is a much easier crossing than at Russell Creek last week. Now we start to work our way back up the other side.

1:45pm - 4 miles walked
We come to a trail junction with the Paradise Park trail and decide it's time for a short break. We're still not sure exactly how far we are going to go but my feet are hurting already so probably not as far as we had hoped. We continue on north towards Lost Creek where we are planning on getting water. Soon we meet a couple of hikers who are hiking the Timberline trail, which goes completely around Mt Hood. They have just crossed the Sandy River and climbed up the ridge so we get so good first hand info. It turns out that both the Sandy River and the Muddy Creek are wade through crossings. No rock hops, no log crossing. Hmmm....

3:45pm - 6.4 miles walked
Well, we walked on out to Lost Creek and then took a good look at the maps. We were thinking about dropping 5 miles down the ridge, crossing the Sandy River, going another half mile to Ramona Falls and then turning back. In light of knowing that means getting wet, we are revising that a little bit. Actually we are throwing that part out completely. We are going to turn back here, go back to the Paradise Park trail we were at a little while ago and climb up into Paradise Park. We'll get water there and spend the night.

It's a pretty good climb up into the park. Whoever built this trail didn't believe in switchbacks. We do finally hit the Paradise Park area and it is as beautiful as we have been told. High open meadows filled with wildflowers, bare rocky slopes with great views to the south and west, patches of trees with the promise of shade, and towering above all of that are the steep, rocky, glacier dotted slopes of Mt Hood. The mountain is playing in the clouds today so we only catch glimpses but it is quite a sight when it manages to break out of the clouds.

5:45pm - 8 miles walked
We have found a campsite near Lost Creek where we got water earlier. It's tucked into some trees and up away from the water so we should be protected from the wind overnight. We have the tent set up by 6:30 and Julie grabs the camera to take some photos while I start in on the journal. By 8:00pm the temperature is dropping and it's starting to get dark so we're getting ready to climb in our nice warm sleeping quilt for the night.

Animal sightings: Chipmunks, Birds, Bats

Keep walking!

Snowplow & Rubber Legs

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Journal Photo

Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2013

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. Join the PCTA to support this trail.

 

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