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PCT 2015 Day 117: Welcome to the Pacific Northwest

  • Start: 2,034.5
  • End: 2,061.5
  • Miles: 27
  • Camp: Pinhead Saddle

Today I woke up to the sound of rain. I shouted for Chug to put on his rain fly and scrambled to hide the backpacks under a poncho. It was 5:10am, so no falling back to sleep for me. Lying awake in the tent, I heard some scuffling as the wind got up, and assumed it was an early-rising squeak but was actually the poncho getting blown into the creek. Bit of a crazy start to the day.

The rain stopped but it was overcast all morning. This wasn’t a terrible thing though, as we had the largest climb in Oregon ahead of us: over 3,000 feet up and over into the Mount Hood Wilderness. We had our last views of the Jefferson glaciers and a first view of Mount Hood as the trail crossed the ridge. I like it when the trail gets to a summit like that; brand new views appearing out of nowhere. There haven’t been too many of them recently because of all the forest, so today’s was especially good.

I’d had to buy a new flavour of Pop Tarts in the Grocery Outlet in Bend, and it wasn’t agreeing with me for some reason, so the rest of the morning is a bit of a haze of feeling generally unwell. It was largely downhill though, which helped a lot, and I had some good podcasts to keep me going. 

Just before lunch we hit Ollalie Lake with its small and shabby but surprisingly well-stocked store. Doc and Fancy Feet were already there as well as Steady and three German guys who seem to keep themselves to themselves. Steady had some good info on the next section of trail, as she’s just finished hiking that bit southbound, filling in the gaps for her second complete pass of the trail.

We hiked out with Doc and Fancy Feet and leapfrogged them the rest of the day. They had already taken the campsite on the side of the hill we were aiming for so we had to carry on walking. However we found a lot of flat spots for camping in a saddle just a quarter mile on. And now it is only 38 miles to Timberline Lodge and the famous buffet breakfasts and lunches.

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