Saturday, September 01, 2012

Day 133-Trail Run

From wood road at mile 2179 to campsite at mile 2203

We woke up to a lot of fog that came and went like a wave while we packed up. The trail wasn't foggy, but we came to a small overlook and we were above the clouds. The valleys were filled with thick white clouds that hid most of the mountain tops.

Trail runners on an uphill
The day before we had met two men prepping the trail for a thirty mile trail run. Portrait thought we'd see our first runner at between 8 and 8:30. At 8:29 as we hiked down hill a very serious looking runner appeared before us. We stepped off trail for him, and the guy right behind him.

After ten runners it was clear the stepping off trail was going to get old, but we also knew it wasn't going to last long. We had been told the day before to help ourselves at the aid stations, but when we met an old man carrying a trash bag who told us he was the last runner we knew that the aid station would be packed up and gone.

We hiked a mile to where the station was supposed to be and found Heart and Gone Fishing eating second breakfast. No one else was around. We had snack anyway, checked the maps, and decided on five more miles to Panther Creek for lunch.

Those five miles were some of the flattest miles I've hiked on for a long time. They would have been awesome if flat didn't hurt my Achilles tendon so much. Even with me being a little slow we arrived at the creek just after noon.

We got water and settled in for an hour long break. I ate for the whole hour-just nibbling on different foods from my bag. At some point Portrait had eaten his fill and read out loud to me while I kept eating.

Before leaving the creek we took water for 11 miles. The trail went steeply up and at the top of that uphill was a small spring coming out of a PVC pipe. It wasn't listed in our guides or I wouldn't have carried water up the climb. I cupped my hands and drank.

We met some day hikers-not many for a long holiday weekend. We shared a view point of Mount Hood with a couple and their dog. But the higher we climbed the less people we saw.

Mount Adams
We stopped a few times to look at views and have snacks between lunch and the 2200 mile mark. At the marker I had a snack while Portrait made a simple marker from pieces of a pine bough. Right as we were about to leave we were passed by a two Texans brothers that we had seen in town and then another couple right behind them.

We saw them again two miles later at the water and campsite. The brothers had camp set up while the couple planned to hike on. We planned to go on also even though that would put us in camp, two miles away, after dark.

Those two miles were some of the nicest I'd walk that day. Soft trail without many rocks or roots. Slightly downhill, but with so many switchbacks it didn't feel like descending. The setting sun lit up the pines so we walked pass patches of gold. But it was dark when we arrived at camp at 8:20. September first and dark before 8:20.

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