Location- Near spring
Elevation- 4,117 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 21.8 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 2,116.2 miles
Weather/Temp- rainy, overcast, 40s 30s
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 1
We all got up early for breakfast, and I am happy to report that the rumors were true; best breakfast on the trail. The sheer quality of the buffet food was amazing. It was like all you can eat gourmet, and the servers were incredible.
My heart was broken that I hadn’t left myself a big enough window to take a zero here. The atmosphere at Timberline was probably the most laid back, comfortable, most hospitable I’ve encountered in one spot on the trail.
I hiked out around 10am with Butters, and made the decision to hike with him all day. We moved along at a good clip until it began to rain in the early afternoon. This time I took off everything but my shorts, and put the rest in dry bags. Since I don’t have all my cold weather gear with me, I was determined to tough out the cold temps and rain in as little as possible, that way I’d have all dry, warm clothes when I camped. There was no telling how cold it would get up here tonight.
Butters could hike pretty quick, but he liked to take long breaks. It took some getting used to, especially in the inclement conditions, but I stuck with him. I actually found myself quite cheery despite the weather; I felt like I was on the AT again. Everything was so green, muddy, and wet, I was reminded of Vermont.
By 6:30 pm we called it a day near a strong flowing spring. For the first time in my long distance hiking career, I set up my rain fly tarp as an “A-frame” ground shelter, then set up my ground sheet and sleeping pad beneath it. I was totally protected from the elements, and totally cozy.
It’s still raining light but steady, and I think it’s calling for more of the same in the morning. I have about 28 miles to reach Cascade Locks and my deadline tomorrow.
How ironic that the weather would go to crap three days before I got my rain/cold weather gear back. I suppose it’s only fitting for my entry into Washington; I only hope it’s not going to be a pattern for this final stretch…