Distance hiked today: 29.1 miles / 46.8 km.
The Timberline Lodge: constructed from 1936 to 1938 during the Great Depression, it was built and furnished by local artisans. Its majestic wood and stone construction is a thing of beauty, and visitors pay big money to stay in its rooms.
Enter: hiker trash.
Walking in with our smelly backpacks and dirt-stained everything, you could say we're out of place. But the lodge is surprisingly hiker-friendly, seating the lineup of disheveled trekkers in its Cascade Dining Room with white cloth napkins and fancy water glasses, knowing full well that we're about to destroy the breakfast buffet. I honestly felt bad touching the napkin.
Fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, bagels, eggs, sausage, waffles, pancakes, pastries, hash browns, coffee, and more. The only question is: how much can you fit on your plate?
After nearly inducing a food coma, we managed to leave the lodge at 10am. We took a parallel alternate trail to see Ramona Falls, a beautiful cascade down black rocks.
Today might have been even hotter than yesterday, and super humid. There was no hope of drying out the sweat. I tried not to carry too much water to lighten my pack, but was rationing hard with 3 miles to go to the next stream, moving slowly. And as if the trail knew my predicament, boom: trail magic. A woman with a converted van was set up next to the trail with fresh fruit, snacks, and cold drinks. It was amazing, and we stayed for almost an hour.
Now it was nearly 7 o'clock and we had 13 miles to go. Another late one. As the sun set we took out our headlamps, and I had to wear my bug net to be able to breathe through all the months and bugs flying at the light on my head. There were lots of big blowdowns which we were now navigating in the dark, it was hard to see through the bug net, and my blister was getting really painful. We decided to camp a couple miles earlier and make up for it in the morning. I changed out of my wet clothes and hung them in my tent to dry, skipping dinner and foregoing my sleeping bag in the heat.
Total trail mileage: 2126.8 miles / 3422 km