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Pacific Crest Trail – Days 2/3 Lower Twin Lake to Timberline Lodge

Pacific Crest Trail – Days 2/3 Lower Twin Lake to Timberline Lodge

on Aug 11, 2014

After our first day we were all a bit tired and worried about Yogi and The Professor being able to continue on with us. Yogi had some pretty serious blisters going on and we definitely wanted to put her health and safety first. We gave them the option of bugging out if the felt they needed to and there was some serious consideration before we all agreed that we had plenty of time reserved to complete the trek to our destination and that we could take a rest day at Lower Twin Lake to let her feet heal so that the two of them could continue on with us.

The first night we had some visitors. After dark, I was woken from my sleep by a noise that sounded vaguely like a log rolling down a hill. Stalker, who was in a hammock about 10 feet from where my tent was, called out, “Did you hear that?”

I replied, ”Yeah, what is it?”

Feeling slightly nervous I turned on my headlight and tried to look out the little windows on the rainfly of my tent. That was a useless venture as the light just reflected back in on me and I could see nothing. I turned out my headlight and looked outside to see nothing but darkness.

Stalker finally confirmed that we had deer running around in our camp. Fortunately, they were not creatures that we really needed to worry about. We learned the next morning that Yogi and The Professor had one sniffing about their tent. They smacked the side of the tent and the animal proceeded to get spooked, try to run and clothesline itself on a rope they had hung next to their tent.

The next day, not much happened. Stalker and I took a little walk up to Upper Twin Lake. It was nothing really spectacular… just a similar lake higher up on a hill.

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Most of the day was spent discussing how many miles and what the goal for the next day would be, lazing around camp, and eating as much food as we possibly could to cut down weight on our packs. We had all packed too much food and decided the natural solution was to dispose of it in the most natural way possible.

The professor had a particularly delicious but heavy bag of what he called “Energy Bombs.”

They were little balls of dense, food materials, slightly smaller than a baseball and weighed about twice as much.

They were heavy. The bag he had I swear had to weigh about 10lbs. We set off to eat a couple of them but still had plenty to go. Fortunately we learned that they worked great as fuel for my Solo-Stove.pic2

Light one of these babies up and it would burn and burn and burn and be great for boiling water and cooking dinner. Eventually we dumped all we couldn’t eat into the fire so we didn’t have to carry them.

The next night we were awoken by another surprise. No animals this time. This time we were greeted with thunder, lightning and rain. It was quite the storm and I honestly enjoyed it that night, while nice and dry in my tent. Watching the flash of the sky and then listening to the rolling, rumbling, clapping thunder outside. It was pretty epic.

Finally it died down and we were able to get to sleep.

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 The next morning it was still raining. Not hard, but just enough to make everything wet and… well wet. Really, really wet. Stalker and I had to rescue Yogi and The Professor as a small lake had formed in front of their tent and they were unable to get out.

After a soggy, rainy breakfast we packed up all our wet gear as dry and as best as we could and started back up the hill. Yogi was feeling pretty confident about her feet and after a day of rest we were all chomping at the bit to get back on the trail and get this done.

We had to climb up out of a valley to get back to the PCT from our campsite, which wasn’t too bad. After that it was mostly downhill to Barlow Pass. After Barlow Pass, the trail makes it way back up the mountain to Timberline Lodge. This meant the first half of our day was all downhill.pic4

As we headed down the hill to Barlow Pass, we were passed up by a group of hikers that were doing the PCT in its entirety. We stopped and had a brief chat with them about the storm the previous night and how they got around the forest fires around Mt Jefferson. They told us that they had pretty much hitched a ride from Hwy 20 to Hwy 26 and would come back next year to do the section that they missed.

When we finally reached Barlow Pass we stopped to use the real toilet (outhouse) pic5and let Yogi treat her feet with more body glide to prevent further blister torment. We had a little snack and checked out the cool sign that they had.

After crossing the highway the trail immediately took a turn upward. The climb to Timberline had begun. It started out not so bad. The rain was still coming down and the trail was pretty much a creek in a lot of spots at this point. It was only a matter of time and our shoes became quite wet, and with them our feet.

Eventually we climbed out of the woods and into the next elevation zone. (I am not sure what they are called. I am sure there is some technical scientific name but I am honestly to lazy to Google it.)

The rain had stopped at this point and we were hiking through a fine mist and fog. Since we were out of the trees the wind had also kicked up, which when you are wet is not the most pleasant thing to have happen. The day was starting to get a bit miserable. We were wet, cold and tired from climbing for half the day. Believe it or not, starting the day by going all downhill was no picnic. We learned throughout this trip that we would actually rather go uphill than downhill.

 

Fortunately we weren’t so miserable we couldn’t enjoy the amazing views. The wildflowers were pretty and the fog made it interesting as you couldn’t see really how high up you were on the cliffs or how far we still had left to climb. It really was like hiking on an alien world.

Several thoughts kept us going during the latter part of this day of hiking. First was that we were going to hike down to Timberline Lodge and have a nice hot meal, with a beer and get dry and warm. Next was the fact that we were almost done for the day. Unfortunately we had another thing to consider. Where were we going to camp for the night? We were all tired, cold and hungry and there were campsites on the PCT near here but really, none had water, or good shelter, and none we very desirable. We decided to figure out a plan during dinner.

We finally made it to the lodge and shuffled our way inside and upstairs to a place towarm up and get food. It was nice to be dry and get some warm food, and coffee, and beer! Stalker and I were especially happy to get the beer!pic7

During our overpriced, delicious and warm dinner we debated options. They ran from trying to get a room at the lodge to dry off all our stuff to hiking on until we found a suitable campsite to calling for a ride into town to dry our stuff off and come back the next day. We finally came to a consensus that it would be best to get a ride into town, dry our stuff out and come back to complete our journey the next day. I made the call and Heisenbaker was on her way to rescue us.

The main contributing factor to our decision was that everything we had was soaked. We didn’t want to spend the rest of our trip being utterly miserable. I knew that many a PCT hiker takes a trip into Portland or outlying areas when they get to Timberline to resupply or just take a day off so we didn’t feel to bad about our decision.

Heisenbaker finally arrived and we headed back into town for the night. It was not a restful night as we all had to unpack our stuff, dry it out, and repack it and get ready to head out early in the morning. It was good to be home for the night, and take a nice hot shower but I know that I at least was very anxious to get back on the trail.

Here are the day 3 hike results! Tune in for the next days adventure! Timberline to Paradise Park!