a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 2023.5 to 2040.2. Forest camp to Meadow camp
We only went to bed at 10.30pm last night and therefore allow ourselves to sleep in today. When we finally manage to leave the warmth of our sleeping bags and get out of the tent, the sun has just climbed over the mountain tops. We decide to eat our breakfast in camp so that our tent can dry in the meantime. And also because we just don’t feel like hiking just yet. We don’t start hiking until 9am, which is probably one of the latest starts we’ve had on trail.
The first part of the day is all downhill and in the woods. I am always cold when walking in the shade of the forest and today is no different. But I refrain myself from putting on my down jacket because I know that soon we will start climbing again and I will be feeling too hot instantly. We reach a nice little creek in the bottom of the valley and then start hiking up again. And up we go, for a couple hours, through forest and burnt areas with no forest left. Those burnt trees always make us feel weird, it’s like hiking on a different planet. We have cell service here and immediately sit down and read our new messages. It’s even weirder to suddenly be connected to the outside world when you feel like you’re hiking on the moon or wherever.
We know that there is a large creek coming up in a few yards, with a dead horse lying in it. It says so in the Guthooks (our GPS app) comments. According to one of the comments, an equestrian tried crossing the creek, which turned out to be quite strong. During the creek crossing the horse slipped and fell, and the woman on the horse broke both legs and had to be helicoptered out. The unfortunate horse was beyond hope though and they had to shoot it. As to why they just left it in the creek to rot, we have no idea. While Dario is kind of excited to see it, I don’t especially look forward to this macabre scene and hope that we can’t make out the horse. It is said to have blended in well with its surroundings, namely the large grey moss-covered rocks in the creek. When we reach it I explicitly don’t want to look at it while Dario feels the need to spot it and take a lot of pictures of it. We have posted one below, maybe you will be able to make out the back of the horse. It does look surprisingly like one of the rocks though. Can you spot it?
The actual creek crossing proves more dangerous than any of the crossings back in the Sierras. It takes us about 25 minutes to find a suitable place to cross the creek without getting our feet wet.
We soon start looking out for a nice place to have lunch. And indeed, we find a beautiful spot right next to a creek with milky glacier water where we settle down to cook some pasta and ramen noodles. It’s hard to get going afterwards, this place is just so nice and would be a great campsite… but, it’s only 3pm and we still have a few, ok, 10 miles to go. We pull ourselves together and hike on. And when we enter a beautiful meadow we are soon rewarded with the most magnificent views of Mt. Jefferson in the background. And huckleberries. Loads of them. And time slips away while we stop every couple meters to pick a handful and shove them in our mouths. Our lips, are tongs, our hands, everything is soon blue. Dario starts falling behind, he sure loves those huckleberries!
We leave the meadow to climb another mountain and when we reach the top we can see Mt. Hood for the first time. Wow! That’s where the Timberline Lodge is, our next stop, three days from here. Let’s just hope the weather stays nice and we keep seeing Mt. Hood until we actually reach it. We say goodbye to Mt. Jefferson in the back and start our descent in direction of Mt. Hood. The scenery is absolutely stunning. The temperature and the weather is perfect. Our bodies don’t hurt. We eat delicious berries. Downhill. Only 4 more miles to camp. We are in a really good mood and enjoying the beautiful day. This is what we’re out here for. Moments like these. Priceless.
We reach our tentsite by a pond in daylight, which is quite special these days, and quickly set up camp. Some sun rays even reach us in the tent and we soak them up. As usual Dario makes dinner and I write about our day. The sun sets. We make ourselves comfortable in our sleeping bags, watch “The Great British Bake-Off”, which is the perfect entertainment in a tent in the middle of nowhere, and eat our pasta meal. Life is good.