August 21, 2017
Mile 2092 – Mile 2111.65
So, last night we experienced our first consequences of not hanging our food. I woke up around midnight to find Gummies getting out of the tent, saying he heard something scurrying around our packs outside. He couldn’t find any evidence of tampering, so went back to sleep. I lay awake for a while, listening to some small woodland creature scrabbling around outside. When I finally got up and checked out my food bag, I discovered that a mouse had chewed a neat little hole through the material and buried its little mousey face in one of my chocolate bars. It kept coming back, so I ended up getting up and hanging the food bags in a small tree. I only put them a few feet off the ground so that the mouse couldn’t reach them, but was of course immediately paranoid that a bear would for some reason come and tear them down and eat everything. I eventually managed to fall back asleep, only to dream about that exact circumstance happening.
Due to the nighttime mouse-capades, I didn’t get moving as quickly in the morning as I expected I would, given my level of excitement for the buffet. We did eventually get hiking, and after a bit found ourselves winding around the base of Mount Hood with absolutely stunning views. It was beautiful, but the trail was uphill and through deep sand, which is a real pain in the ass to climb on. At last, we reached the short side trail to Timberline Lodge, which is a really cool building that was built in the 1930’s.
The breakfast buffet was amazing. There were freshly made waffles with whipped cream and berries, cheesy scrambled eggs, French toast, breakfast potatoes with veggies, tons of fresh fruit, pastries, and even smoothies (and of course meat-related items, if you’re into that kind of thing). Soooo good. After breakfast, the solar eclipse was beginning, so we headed outside to watch. We got eclipse glasses from some trail magic several days back, and they worked super well. The eclipse was actually super cool to watch. I was getting a bit tired of hearing about it from all the hype that’s been going around, but it was totally awesome. We weren’t right in the zone of totality, but we were super close, so the sun almost completely disappeared and it got really dark. Sooo cool.
Light of the eclipse
Afterwards we got ourselves hiking again, and spent most of the day winding our way around the base of Mount Hood. It was kind of a hard day, with lots of steep ascents and descents, and I was tired due to the midnight mouse incident. After lunch, we had to navigate a ton of blowdowns, which were a total pain in the ass and took a lot of time to climb over or go around. We spent a lot of the day in the forest, which was really beautiful and started to look almost like a rainforest.
Near the end of the day, we ran into a bunch of dudes who were thru-hiking SOBO, and it was really fun to get to talk to them and swap stories and what lay ahead/behind. Just before getting to camp, we got one final view of Mount Hood, all lit up in the pink glow of sunset. We arrived at camp pretty late, and ended up setting up and having dinner in the dark. It’s now way past hiker midnight and I’m exhausted. Tomorrow we’ll situate ourselves as close to Cascade Locks as possible, for a short hike in the following morning.