Daily Miles: 23
Total Miles: 2092
Even though it was warm when we went to bed last night, it was quite chilly when we woke up. We ended up wearing our down jackets for over three hours in the morning…not sure we’ve worn them so much when hiking this trail.
We headed out by 6:15 and with the really smooth and easy trail, we hiked almost 8 miles before we stopped for our first break. We entered the Mount Hood National Forest this morning. The signage here is pretty cool…most trail signs have the letters carved into the wood, however, the signs today have letters coming out of the wood in an embossed style…very unique.
We took our morning break at Little Crater Lake which is a large spring that is 45 feet deep. The water is so clear, that you can see large dead trees in the water at the bottom of the spring. The color of the water is a very interesting shade of blue. It was a really cool sight, and with a wooden bench near the water, it made for a nice break spot.
Today, there were definitely a lot more hikers on the trail…both day hikers and backpackers. Getting closer to Mount Hood, plus with the weekend starting tomorrow, we weren’t surprised to see more people on the trail.
Not too long after lunch, we got our first good view of Mount Hood for the day. Looking at the mountain, it was hard to believe that we would be camping on the slopes by evening…it just seemed so far away.
In the middle of the afternoon, we came across a guy doing trail magic. He had beer, apples and salmon jerky. He is currently slack-packing his son who is hiking the trail. We have been leapfrogging with his son for the past few days, so it was nice to meet his dad…and the treats were a welcome surprise.
When we arrived at our expected campsite, there were already several people set up in the area. There were two guys with hammocks who had taken the only reasonable hangs at the site. So, we decided to set up camp a little ways down the trail from the designated campsite. MountainMan is cowboy camping near us, while Gazelle set up her stuff at the designated campsite. We all ate dinner together, though, and it was nice to relax and hang out.
Tomorrow we have just over two miles to the Timberline Lodge where we are going to enjoy the breakfast buffet. We have been talking about the buffet for over two weeks now, dreaming of all the food we will eat. Tonight we will sleep good, with visions of waffles and bacon in our dreams.