Day 68, 8/2, Teakettle Spring, M-2136, 32mi

Unfortunately, much of today’s views were obscured by haze and smoke being blown in from surrounding areas. It was supposed to be 105 degrees in the nearby town of Cascade Locks (4000′ lower), so I as feeling lucky that the temps were as comfortable as they were…helped by elevation, the thick forest canopy and even that layer of haze.

This is Ramona Falls. The vegetation has definitely made changes recently. There have been ferns and cedar trees and an overall feeling of a greener understory.

There was an early morning log crossing over some swift moving water. It had an old decaying rope lashed onto the upper log which actually provided a little psychological assistance as the lower log got fairly narrow by the end.

Breeze thinks he’s onto to the next big thing in backpack accessories…”Trail Nuts”.
I think it just looks like he blew out his shorts and has some sort of weird condition.

Normally, this would have been a spectacular view of Mt. Hood but today it is mostly obscured by haze.

Most of today’s views looked like this 😦

There was a double rotor helicopter making laps with a water bucket in an effort to put out an ongoing persistent fire nearby. Unfortunately, this fire prevented us from hiking a common alternate route through Eagle Creek and the famous Tunnel Falls.

Scooping water out of the lake.

This brief section of trail gave me traumatic AT flashbacks from the White Mountains. The PCT was kind enough to build an actual footpath through the giant rubble rather than making us scramble.

I’m camped with Monster for the the 5th night in a row. Tomorrow he’s going to visit some friends in Portland for a couple days. It is definitely one of the warmer nights I’ve had…In using my sleeping bag in “quilt” mode for the first time.

Day 67, 8/1, Sandy River, M-2134, 24mi

Another great day with an easy 24 miles.

There were six llamas sharing last nights camp spot with us.

Mt. Hood as the sun rises.

And a little later this morning.

This photo makes me laugh. First, we all have the same pack and they’re lined up against the outhouse. We were super excited to have an outhouse a little ways down trail this morning.

As we got closer to Mt Hood the wildflowers started popping.

The lone ski run getting the ski camps back to the bottom of the mountain.

I think they call it a day around 11am (when I arrived). The snow gets too soft and they need to maintain for a summers worth of campers.

Timberline is a fantastic example of Parkitecture built by the CCC in 1937. It was also used in the movie The Shining.

The Lodge is very Hiker friendly and many of us parked are butts on these couches for a good part of the day while charging batteries and using free wifi.

After a 4+hour siesta there were 10 more miles of hiking. Most of it was pretty easy until we got to an area of giant blow-downs. These logs are about 4′ in diameter and could Bering the trail length-wise.

The scale of the Mt. Hood area is awesome. Notice the waterfall at the bottom? That is prob about 150′ tall.

One last obstacle was crossing the chocolate-brown Sandy River. The log and a couple rock hops kept me dry.

Home for the night with Monster and Breeze.