PCT: Day 140: Cascade Locks

Miles today: 34

Trail miles sum: 1475.4

Trail location: 2147.7

Elevation: 78

Spinning on the turntable: Iron and Wine: Our endless numbered days

Today was the day to wrap up Oregon. Time to go big, or, well…uh…I guess we don’t have a home to go to eh? So, Go big or go to the van!

It’s crazy to be looking at Mt. Hood as I hike. The weather has been typical for mid-October. A few days of rain followed by sunshine. Too bad it’s August!

It’s nice to see Mt. Hood after days of cloudy weather.

How can I not love this kind of trail? Soft on my feet and gorgeous to look at. The picture doesn’t capture the many different shades of green.

I’m very happy to be heading towards family. I’ll tell you a secret; right now, I’m sick of hiking and need a few days off trail to recharge both my physical and emotional batteries. I pushed hard the past two weeks trying to arrive in Cascade Locks on the weekend and failed. It’s Monday and our kids are back at work. It would be so much easier for them and their scheduling if we came in on a weekend.

I’m also trying to build up a mileage “cushion” so that Noelle can rejoin me in CA for part of the Sierra and we can slash the daily miles radically and still complete the trail by November 3rd. Anyway, I’m tired and smell very bad.

Today the trail is wet. It stopped raining last night but the foliage next to the trail holds many raindrops. I started the day in my hiking pants and they were quickly soaked. Mental note to self: Be gone from this area before the rain arrives in the fall.

The rock piles are so much more attractive with moss on them. On a side note (our PNW friends will roll their eyes) I let the moss grow on our front steps at our house one fall. It was beautiful….and slicker than snot when it began raining. Nuff said.

Today was a fairly easy hike. I had lots of time to take pictures, which I really like to do. (I miss my Sony point and shoot. We’ll send it off for repair while we’re in town this week.)

I’m seeing mushrooms all over the place. You’d think that living around here we’d have some idea which mushrooms are edible and which aren’t. We don’t, but we have two perfectly good edible mushroom field guides in storage.

The miles pass easily when the trail is this good. I’m not seeing any deer though. Wonder where they’re hiding?

I did pass through burn out areas today. The Eagle Creek section is still closed.

I think the bark laying all over the ground was new for me to see. Seems like the bark was completely gone or still on the trees in other burned out sections. The trees still have some tiny branches on them near their tops. The combination of tiny branches and heavy tree density kept the area from being too exposed and hot.

The trail changed to hard rocks the last few miles of the day. Hard rock, steep descents kill my knees. The steep descents also play havoc with my brain. I know that I’m climbing right back up to elevation on the other side of the valley. There are no free rides on the PCT. None.

I was shocked to see one of our grandsons come hiking towards me around 6:30. Soon another grandson and one of our daughters appeared. What joy! Words escape me.

Together we all hiked into the town of Cascade Locks. Noelle and I headed across the Bridge of the Gods. So many emotions crossed my mind as we walked across.

We’ve given up so much to be here at this exact moment in time.

3 thoughts on “PCT: Day 140: Cascade Locks

  1. Wow Steve. I choked up a bit when I read how your grandkids and daughter met up with you on the trail ❤️ The PCT in Oregon is beautiful. May you continue to stay safe and healthy.

    God bless,
    Liz from FresnoRetro

  2. Chainsaw Manlove August 27, 2019 — 11:34 am

    Looks like you made a great trade for lots of amazing moments. Well done. Keep truckin’ and stinkin’!

    1. The moments are incredible! So is the stench!

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