35.1 miles (Miles 2060.4 – 2095.5)
PCT Mile 2060.4 – PCT Mile 2095.5
The sky turned pale, the clouds billowed in giant, thick puffs on the horizon, and the sun began to set. Then the sunset turned the forest around me to pure, beautiful gold… and I became the richest girl in the whole entire world.
I had a faaaantastic day, and it was a great follow-up to struggling through the rain yesterday. First of all, it didn’t rain. Second, I had awesome hiking company for most of the day. Third, I was treated to some exclusive, deluxe trail magic. Fourth, I came up over a crest in the forest to as opening to see a shocking beauty across the valley.
No rain: It turned out to be a beautiful day all day. The sun was out and shining through the trees, giving me glimpses of its warmth as I hiked, there were white, puffy clouds that floated across the sky, a light, comforting breeze now and then, and the overall temperature was simply pleasant.Aaaah. Perfection.
Hiking company: I met Legend briefly last night just before camp. He kept going for about a mile past me, but I met up with him again early this morning. We started chatting, and we kept chatting – we hiked together for 20 or so miles before he head off to meet up with his mom and sisters, who were visiting. What great company! He’s got a lot of amazing stories, adventures, experiences… all kinds of things to talk about. On top of all that fun conversation, we laughed about my Alaskan commune that we were going to call the Magoots Family Trust, or maybe the Tooty Frooty Nuthouse – with its pink and purple igloos. We also came up with a few great new definitions for Clackamas, which is the campground he was headed to meet his family. My favorite? A mass of hikers coming down the trail clacking their trekking poles on the rocks. We also discussed our mountain-lion wrestling fantasies, and how we’d totally win… and I like how Legend’s story ends with a tooth souvenier and a few broken trekking poles. Miles flew by so effortlessly – He and I hiked 23 miles by 2pm. That’s gotta’ be some sort of record for me.
Trail Magic: We met Kris through our Disco Pickle facebook page. She’s been following us and reading our blogs, and really wanted to meet us and provide a little trail magic. We discussed via facebook a place to meet and tentative times, which can always be tricky. I think Tears went through a bit too early, so they missed each other, but I ran into Kris and her daughters on the trail. I’d just filled a water bottle at a cold stream, walked around a bush, and Kris saw me and got this look of such excitement on her face. “Toots Magoots!?” I wished Tears was there, and I wished I had more time, but we made the best of the situation. Her and her two awesome daughters hiked with me on the PCT along Timothy Lake for a couple of hours. We stopped for a break right on trail and they pulled out treats! Ohmygosh! A smores muffin (yum), a cheese wrap, a cold Pepsi, some Starburst, and she included some Crystal Light energy in our favorite strawberry flavor. What a great bunch of treats! But get this… I think I received one of the best-ever, deeeluxe trail magic treats… and it wasn’t even food:
Yeah… that’s right! That right there is an on-trail freakin’ foot massage! She’s done pedicures and relexology stuff professionally, so this was incredible. I warned her of my stinkish, dirty hiker feet, but she assured me she’s seen worse, and didn’t flinch or cringe when I took my socks off. She even brought some awesome, coconutty-smelling lotion. Wow. I can’t thank you enough, Kris! You and your girls were really fun company, and I’m so glad we were able to meet up!
Afternoon beauties/Mt. Hood: After a sad good-bye to my new trail friends I cruised on and made a stop at Little Crater Lake. It’s a pond-sized body of water that drops off at the edge into an almost endless-looking crater straight down into the earth, and it’s filled with the prettiest teal water. If it wasn’t such cold water, and if it had been earlier in the day, I’d have thought about a swim. It had the glassiest surface, too. What a gorgeous little gem of a place!
An hour later, after trucking through a forest of hundreds of aged tree-giants towering above me, I came to a ridge with an opening… and BOOM!! Holy magnificent brilliance we call Mt. Hood!
It was spiraled with a few clouds, and they were dipped in pinks from the sun’s setting glow. What a scene. I continued walking until dark and enjoyed the forest taking on a different light until the sun finally sunk below the horizon.
I started my day hiking with a most incredible, unique and hazy sunrise through some far off trees in silhouette, below a thick, low-ceiling layer of cloud… and I ended it with a dramatically lit sunset and a view of Mt. Hood… and sandwiched in between was some pretty great people, fun conversation, and great-feeling, strong hiking.
Tonight I love wild mushrooms (don’t worry, I’m not eating any!). They’re everywhere, and they’re all different and so neat-looking.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!