Backpacking Prep Trekking

I’ve been doing a lot of hiking this season in preparation for an extended distance hike in September. I’ve been slowly adding weight to my pack and tackling challenging elevation gains. It’s been interesting, but each hike has been successively leading to the next hike.

2014 Treks

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Last week I had a free day and I also did not have to be at work until 5:00 pm the following day. My friend James posted on FB that he was looking for some hiking buddies for his week of Stay-Cation. I suggested an overnight trek into the woods with a camp-out and a trek back, and he agreed to do it with me! So off we went on an adventure that was both quick and rewarding.

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The Bull of the Woods
There is something magical about this section of the Mt Hood National Forest. There are many peaks and valleys, lakes and hot springs, creeks and rivers, and from the highest spots you can see the Cascade Mountain Range from Mt Rainier to the Three Sisters. The Bull of the Woods is sandwiched between Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson – two peaked snow capped volcanoes! Yes Please!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of hiking out in the Bull of the Woods recently and had hoped to do a loop into some of my favorite spots, yet a missed turn on my path brought me into a whole new beautiful spot. Twin Lakes!

Gear Packed – Tent, Sleeping Pad, Sleeping Bag, Hammock, Bear Vault (full of yumminess), Backpacker Stove, Cookware & Fuel, Camp Towel, Flip Flops, Camera, Headlamp, Knife, Warm Clothes, Water Filter and Bladder.

Pansy Basin

The Route Intended:
Pansy Basin to Welcome Lakes (~6 miles one way)

Mother Lode

The Route Taken:
Pansy Basin to The Mother Lode to Twin Lakes (~10 miles one way)

The path we took brought us up and over a pass, down through a burn area from 2011 into a low area (The Mother Lode) full of rhododendrons and wild blueberries/huckleberries. We ate a lot of them. A whole lot of them. They were sweet, ripe and delicious.

Twin Lakes

The trail wound up towards a fork for the Twin Lakes Trail which took us to a scenic overlook camp spot, which we took a long needed rest at, then ventured on around 2.5 more miles to the Twin Lakes area.  Part of the trek passed us over a scree field with amazing views of Mt Jefferson. The scree field echoed with a tingly vibration that sounded like music. It was a musical delight. The water in the lake was warm and crystal clear, nestled inside of a mountainous basin.

Happy Camping!

– Denny

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