Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 128-Ramona Falls

Timberline Lodge junction at mile 2107 to small stream and campsite at mile 2124

Over dramatic as it was, but upon waking in the morning my first thought was "I made it through the night."  My second thought:  "is it time for breakfast yet?"  It wasn't, but judging from the light it was time to look at Mount Hood at sunrise. I got up and went up the trail a few feet only to discover that Hood was lost in a thick dark cloud.

Grand entrance of Timberline
We packed up, and headed for the lodge. We were only a little early for breakfast so we passed the time reading about the history of Timberline. Then we went upstairs to eat before all the other thru-hikers ate it all.

There had been a lot of build up for this buffet. I did a pass through to check out my options and felt very underwhelmed. I had expected more after a week of dreaming.  There was still plenty to eat-the main attraction being the waffles, which I had two of. There were five of us at the table (Portrait, Moss, Blueberry, Skippy, and me) and we ate and talked for nearly three hours. The staff was working on setting up lunch when we left.  I may have been underwhelmed to begin with, but it turned out to be the morning I had dreamed about.

Before leaving Portrait and I dropped a few things off at the hiker box. We got on trail much later than Portrait had planned-he didn't realize the buffet would take so long. I felt great though:  energized and ready to hike. We passed a lot of day hikers and weekenders as we went leaving Mount Hood behind us. It wasn't long until we were back below tree line.

Mostly we hiked. Hood was behind too many clouds to take many pictures. I felt like I didn't ever need to eat again. It seemed like we were making excellent time-not enough to do Portrait's original 26 miles, but we were doing good. We met up with Heart and Gone Fishing looking like a couple of black bears in a blueberry patch. We chatted for a bit and then pressed on.

At the bottom of one descent we arrived at a silty glacier river with a three log bridge crossing its swift moving water. It looked a little sketchy with a slack yellow rope hand hold and a boot at either end. I went first first, and it was fine even with the middle log bowing under me.

After that was the Ramona Falls Loop trail. A quick .4 brought us to the falls. Probably the best ones I've seen on the hike as far as being the tallest, widest, and with the most cascades. We sat in front of the falls on a log for lunch and while I ate I thought about how grand the west is compared to the east. It made me a little worried that the east coast will be less impressive when I return.

The stunning Ramona
We stayed for an hour and a half-I don't think either of us meant to stay so long (and it was really cold by the falls so I don't know how I managed to stay so long). The trail followed the Ramona Falls creek back to the PCT.

Portrait crossing Muddy Fork
Right after rejoining the PCT we had to cross Muddy Fork-which did look very muddy. There was a tree a cross the river-high above the churning water, but wide. Again I went first. Near the end the trunk had a twist in it that made it a little harder to walk upon. To get back on land I had to squeeze through a gap in the tree's root system that had been widened by many hikers before me.

After the river the trail went up 2,000 feet in two miles. It was a little bit of a slog-enough that I stopped responding to Portrait and conversation was left at the bottom of the climb. From the top we could see Mount Adams (we think) and had just 2.7 miles to camp.

Those miles were downhill for the most part. To me they felt unusually steep and a little jarring for my body. By the time it leveled out I was looking forward to camp. Camp already had four people in it and no water like the book said. We chatted with Doc and Blue Jay for a bit, but I made the call to press on mostly because I wanted water.

No water was listed for four miles, but I was hoping for bonus water like we had seen for most of the day. It didn't seem promising. I kept hearing phantom water that was always just out of sight. When I heard real water I knew it-no mistaking it. We filled up, I had some chocolate, and we got out our headlights-it was probably going to be a long night.

Three steps from the water we found our campsite. A little bit sloped, a little rock and root-y, but good enough for just before dark done with the day in need of dinner kind of camp.

1 comment:

  1. ah, you met skippy & blueberry...i've been waiting for that! we know them from our thru-hike, we summitted with them. enjoying keeping up with you, we are planning our pct thru-hike for 2014 :)