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PCT 2015 Day 119: Escape to Timberline

  • Start: 2,085.4
  • End: 2,099.6
  • Miles: 14.2
  • Camp: Government Camp

Rain rain rain. This morning it was raining so hard that I suspected it wasn’t going to be possible to lie around until it stopped. During a lull in the downpour we hastily packed up and ran for it. Even with full rain gear it was cold and wet, and a brief respite in the covered trailhead amenities (aka the pit toilets) couldn’t really help. The hike up to Timberline Lodge, where I had a resupply box anyway, was a lot of uphill, so I also got nice and sweaty from the inside of the rain jacket. 

As we approached the lodge, the trail moved above the tree line (the clue is in the name, I guess) and became steep and sandy. I slowed to a crawl as I fought to stay on my feet in the side winds. It was tricky to find the right path in the cloud, so eventually we just headed straight down the nearest trail and hoped for the best. We turned up at the back of the lodge, unable to find a way around to the front to find a likely looking door, so we flagged down a passing waiter at the only door we could see that didn’t look like it had a wedding behind it! Indoors at last!

Timberline Lodge is a National Landmark, a rustic-looking but pretty fancy ski lodge. It’s also the Overlook from The Shining. Stanley Kubrick was asked not to use the room number 217 (from the book) in The Shining, because there is an actual room at Timberline with that number and people might be afraid to stay there. They used a nonexistent room number, 237 instead, but the lodge says that room 217 is requested more often than any other room.

After warming up by the fire for a bit we went to hit the buffet lunch, where  we were joined by Doc and Fancy Feet and Baggins. We all spent the afternoon drying things out in the day lodge and resupplying, along with Spike, Eat it up, and Horizon. It hadn’t been possible to get a room at Timberline Lodge, the last one having been taken by the three quiet Germans, so eight of us headed into the nearby town of Government Camp for the night to stay out of the weather. Shadowhawk was around with a rental car, so he kindly shuttled us all down the hill. Steady was at the same hotel, and I saw 12Percent heading up the stairs just as we were sorting out a room. I guess some people are still around this area after the “PCT Days” fair that was in Cascade Locks at the weekend, but still it feels like a lot of hikers around.

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