Monday, November 17, 2014
Sept. 5: Mt. Hood Nat'l Forest to Eagle Creek, 23.0 miles
" Camping alone! Hooray... Finally. I never thought I'd say this after all those lonely nights in California, but I really needed this alone time. Technically there are 2 people in this large site, but they were asleep when I arrived + I don't know them. The last 3 nights have been crowded + it stresses me out. As Prometheus said: "the bad days make the beautiful one more special... being alone makes you appreciate people, and being around people makes you appreciate being alone." Yes. Today was gorgeous. A big climb out of Muddy Bridge up to Lolo Pass, 8:30 - 11:00 am, then flat, rolling ridge-walking for the next 5 hours. Indian Springs at mile 18, 4:30pm. I had failed to get water at Lolo Pass, so was dry + thirsty by 4:30. Still: the day was good. I'm eating food like nobody's business. Saw Mt. St. Helens, Raineer & Adams today, all clad in glaciers + beackoning [sic] me to Washington. The walk from Ind. Springs to Eagle Creek was brutally downhill: 1,800 ft. in 2 miles. Ouch. Left Pigpen, Blox, Bunyon + Ducketts there, eager to keep moving after a late hot-lunch of potatoes. Arrived at merciful Eagle Cr. Trail, glad for the mellower grade + late afternoon golden light through vine maples + tall fir trees. Paul Bunyon caught up to me at 7:10pm, a campsite I thought looked good; however, he convinced me to keep going. I should have stayed, simply because it was my gut feeling. We walked onward + found Prometheusa mile later. Of course the boys had to smoke more pot. At that point I was just irritated with all of the cigs + weed + people. Blegh. So I trekked ahead in the near-dark, grateful to find this site. The other 2 campers were decoys. I hid in the dark, sitting dead-still as I saw Bunyon's headlamp approaching. They looked, stopped, then moved on. I ate dinner right on the bank of Eagle Creek, watching the stars and moon come out. My body feels great. The 23 miles came easily with little complaints. I'm hitting my stride. Now-- to break away from the pack!!"