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Pacific Crest Trail – Day 5 Paradise Park to Lolo Pass

Pacific Crest Trail – Day 5 Paradise Park to Lolo Pass

on Aug 19, 2014

After a chilly night with some strange dreams at Paradise Park, I was ready for some coffee. The previous night I had set all the coffee making implements right outside my tent door inside my vestibule so that all I had to do was unzip the flap a bit, light my stove, boil the water and pour it into my coffee pouch.  My plan was executed perfectly the next morning and a few minutes after waking I had a nice hot cup of coffee. I had not yet heard anyone else stirring in camp, so I decided to get out of my tent and stretch my legs a bit.  It was very shaded in camp and quite chilly still, so I made the choice to seek out some warm sunlight.  Fortunately all the clouds and mist and fog had blown off the mountain and I could see the sun was out in full force.  All that was required of me was to climb up the mountain a bit to get to it.  I poured the rest of my coffee in my cup and took off.We were in a really nice spot where all you had to do was take a short trail up and then you were on your way up the mountain.  It wasn’t long before I was sitting on a rock in the sun enjoying a very quiet, amazingly beautiful morning on the mountain, soaking in the sun and enjoying life.  If I could have lived in that moment for the rest of my life I would have.  It was a good 20 minutes before I saw anyone stirring down at the camp.  It felt like I had the whole mountain and the whole world to myself. Suddenly there were no questions being asked, no restraints on my time, no having to carry a heavy pack up and down the hills.  I had absolutely nothing to do but just soak in the sunlight, sip my perfect cup of coffee and enjoy the moment.Then I ran out of coffee… Back to camp I went. Everyone finally woke up and we ate breakfast.  We took some time to relax and enjoy the stunning view of the mountain before finally...

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Pacific Crest Trail – Day 4 Timberline Lodge to Paradise Park

Pacific Crest Trail – Day 4 Timberline Lodge to Paradise Park

on Aug 12, 2014

The rain was gone. We were dry and very happy to be back on the trail. I think we were all very happy to be back on the trail. We had all successfully lightened our packs a bit, dried everything off and gotten a good night’s sleep. I even ran to REI and got a new pair of shoes as my hiking boots I started out with would not have been dry in time and were doing horrible things to my feet. Good for day hikes apparently, not so much for backpacking. It was still a bit chilly starting out but we quickly warmed up. Today was going to be a shorter day as we only had 6 miles to get to Paradise Park, but that worked out since we were getting a bit of a late start having to drive back up to the mountain that morning. Most of the fog had blown away and we were able to get some pretty nice views of Mt Hood and surrounding areas at times. We finally got the to the section of the trail that went down the ZigZag River and were greeted with this amazing view. One of the best parts about this section of the PCT is the stunning view you get of rivers down in canyons. One of the worst parts is that, usually, after you get this jaw-dropping stunning view, you get to take the trail down to that river, cross it, and then climb back up the other side. Well, ok, it’s not really that bad. I honestly enjoyed every grueling minute of it. We began our descent down to the river. It was a very pretty trail and the further down we went the more beautiful it got. It reminded me a lot of the Eagle Creek Trail but steeper. When we got to the bottom of the trail we decided that it was a good time to take a break and eat something and just enjoy the view for a while. We had a bit of a sketchy river crossing but it wasn’t too bad and we all made it across unscathed. There was a pretty nice waterfall upstream so Stalker and I...

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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. 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...

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A Quick Saturday Adventure

A Quick Saturday Adventure

on Dec 15, 2013

It’s amazing what you can find out in the woods if you just go a few feet off the road.  Saturday, Stalker and I decided to do just that.  We met up and headed off into the Clackamas Wilderness to find some adventure, some cool sights and scope out some potential future explorations.  We had no actual plan but found some really cool stuff just wandering around. Stalker and I had debated for a few days what we were going to do on Saturday.  There was the possibility that he might have to work and I had to be back to town around 2pm so our options were limited.  We eventually decided to just head out into the wilderness and drive around and stop when we found something interesting. Our journey took us out past Estacada to the Clackamas Wilderness.  We had decided on a general area and were both thinking pretty much the same thing.  We didn’t want to commit to a long hike but we wanted to have some fun and do some exploring. We got to Fish Creek Road (this has the trailhead to the Clackamas River Trail) and decided to start by following it to where the old road had been washed out and maybe take a little hike and explore the old road.  Before we got there we had to stop to get our first pictures of the day.  Across Fish Creek there was another stream that ran into it.  Normally, eh, not a big deal but this time the stream was frozen.  We were intrigued. We snapped a few pictures but really needed to get going to more interesting things.  We both wished that we could cross the creek and go exploring up the stream but that wasn’t really in the cards for this day.  We would have to come back at a later time. As we continued down the road we saw a couple more frozen streams and a few things up the hillside more that looked like they might be some sort of waterfall.  I think it was probably just small trickles of water that normally you wouldn’t notice, but once it is frozen it looks pretty spectacular. Soon we came...

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