Miles hiked: 13
Cumulative Miles: 1210.5
Camped at: ridge campsite with Jordi
It’s flip-flop time! My WA section began today, and boy am I loving this forest!! All sorts of plants and wildflowers in the understory, including berries!, and deciduous trees again! Well, in addition to the pine trees, but they are there. According to the Halfmile App, I climbed 4,350 feet in elevation today, but boy it didn’t feel like it. Ahh, the glory that is being at lower elevation once again, lungs are happy :). Granted, I was still slow on the climbs but that was mostly due to a heavy pack – 5 days of food for my ravenous hiker hunger and 4L of water the last 5 miles due to a scarcity of sources makes for some aching shoulders at the end of the day. No matter what I do, after a while with that weight the load doesn’t transfer completely to my generous hips.
This morning began with of all things, an honest to goodness bath. It had probably been over 10 years since I took one instead of a shower, and probably would have been more enjoyable if I had gotten more sleep. Going to bed late before wanting to get an early start to the trailhead isn’t the best idea. Jordi and Devon picked me and my stack of boxes up, and we were on our way to post office #1 by 8am. Unfortunately it was a small location and only took cash. Since I had 5 boxes to mail we schlepped the boxes back to Devon’s car and went to post office #2, which didn’t open until 8:30. Sigh. We grabbed some breakfast at a great local bakery, then finally got my boxes out. The drive to Cascade Locks went by fast, and we were soon playing dodge-em with cars on the Bridge of the Gods, over the Columbia River. Actually, the cars were all quite respectful and gave us lots of room. That definitely isn’t a pedestrian friendly bridge! Gorgeous views though. Devon hiked out the first 3 miles with Jordi and I, and it was fun hearing about different plants I hadn’t seen before from her. It was great to take our time all day, and so so nice to have company this first day in the third phase of my hike!
Other highlights from today – super humidity! Huuuuge flies. Seeing Mt Hood and Mt Adams in the distance. Gorgeous forest walking amidst lovely views and a cooling breeze at the end of the day – an almost perfect day of hiking :).
Flip-flop begins :).