PCT Hike – Day 16

PCT Crater to Hood

Crater Lake to Mt Hood

Today is the Equinox! I am about to begin my last long day trek. It will put me in Timberline range on Mt Hood. All my gadgets batteries are dead and my pen is almost out of ink!  So, no pictures today except for the mental ones I get to take, unless I can find a sunny spot to get my phone a little charge.

It has been a never ending UP heading towards Mt Hood. My feet aren’t as unhappy as they have been when I go down, but I’m definitely working hard on the climb. I’m hoping for a water and camping spot soon. According to my maps, there should be one not far from here. I actually think I can hear the trickle of a stream not far away. Off I go.

Just as predicted, WATER and a wonderful last night camp spot in the middle of the woods on the side of Mt. Hood. I am just three miles away from Timberline Lodge where I will be going in the morning.

Crater to Hood

Crater Lake to Mt Hood

This has been quite the adventure. I was hoping for silence. I got some, but I got a lot of internal arguments as well. Still a lot of processing going on and I can see how making a longer trip would be more conducive to silence. I still am glad I did this alone.

I am dirty. I really hope I can shower at Timberline tomorrow. That would be the sweetest thing ever.

I made my last trail dinner – Lentil Soup and Trail Bread. The asshole birds showed up and were diving at my bread trying to take it away. I went maniacal on them waving my trekking poles at their darting attempts while yelling obscenities at their existence. I’m sure the scene was epic from an outsider’s perspective. They didn’t stay around long (thankfully), so I was able to eat without them swarming around my head.

The creek in the gully is gushing and the sun is setting. I have been out of “communication” for two days (since Warm Springs). I hope I can charge my phone at Timberline. Mom isn’t one to worry or panic, but it would be nice to check in. I am grateful I was able to send out the “battery dying” notice to Mom and Tim, otherwise I might have had a search and rescue team tracking me down.

I am very grateful I have been able to experience this adventure. It has been amazing and difficult. Not a boot happy experience, that’s for sure. My feet dictated most of my internal conversations for the past 5 days. Conversations which were needed I guess.

I am looking forward to the winter. Time to change things up a bit. I will have a lot more free time than I did last year and I am hoping to grow my client base during the slow work and winter hiking months. I am also looking forward to seeing my cats (meow).

I keep randomly catching myself doing things and wondering if it is “okay” to do, like hanging my handkerchief by my tent door. Is it okay to put here? We are so conditioned to making sure that what we are doing does not effect anyone else in a negative way. It’s kind of annoying. I mean really, who the hell is going to say “no” out here? My other me? Am I waiting for my own self-approval to know that it’s okay to do things? Well, go do things. You’re approved.

Oh! I found a surprise piece of dark chocolate at the bottom of the bear vault – SCORE!

Thank you Didi for the amazing kale chips, the cookie and the full flask of 14 yr old scotch – what a divinity!

Theme songs from the trek (the songs I found in my head on endless repeat), and I have no idea why: Theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark (okay, I had just seen this before I left, so that’s probably why), Thriller – Michael Jackson, Malaguena from the Madison Scouts 1989 (5 beats for the 2 steps and three trek pole hits), and She Bangs – Ricky Martin (not sure why this one came up, but thinking it may be because he says “Gemini” in it).

I went from falling asleep while I wait to go to sleep, to wide awake while I should be sound asleep. The stars are out and it’s quite silent in here.

I have a light UP day tomorrow morning. The final approach to my destination.

Peace & Happy Trekking,

Denny

 

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