Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Day 14: Timberline Lodge!

 Day 14: 32 miles

    This morning we woke up around 430am with a goal and one goal only:  GET THAT BRUNCH! We had more than a half marathon to hike to get there and most of it was uphill. While I was still in the tent Peter saw 3 headlamps go past us and said it was the Thrupple. They must have woken up around 3am because the closest tentsite was 5 miles away. 

Mt. Hood 

    We started hiking and for the first time in a long time I lead out the front. I don’t know what came over me, maybe it was the imaginary smell of pancakes and coffee or potentially the cold ramen from last night was kicking in but I started hiking like a crazy person. Within an hour we had caught up and overtaken the Thrupple. Was it a competition? Absolutely not but there was no way the Thrupple was making it to brunch before me.

If you zoom in you can see a dozen nuns!

    You know that feeling when you’re in a race and your pushing hard and it feels so damn good and the only thing that might stop you in your tracks is a bunch of sand…well we hit sand. We went from the hiking pace of our lives to feeling like we were moving backwards while walking forwards. This happened roughly 3 miles before the lodge. The last hour to the lodge was the biggest slog of my life. It was almost like some sort of sick joke. At this point the euphoria was lost, along with my mojo, and I did what I could to not fall too far behind Peter. 

    Timberline lodge is a thing of beauty and is where the movie ‘The Shining’ was filmed. If you've seen the movie you can imagine it’s a bit eerie. I was here in 2016 with a few of my friends when we ran around Mt. Hood. It was so cool to be back. 

    We got to the lodge at 10am and promptly made our way to the restaurant. Luckily, they didn’t seem to be too busy and we got a seat right away. I went straight for the banana and pecan pancakes, eggs, potatoes, sausage, fruit and coffee. I think the cost of the brunch was $35US which I don't think I would typically splurge on but there was no price I wouldn't pay for a buffet brunch at that point. There were a bunch PCT hikers that had been dropped off there that morning as a drop off point to get around the closure. Our friend Rotisserie was in this group and he joined us for breakfast. The one nice thing about getting a seating around 10am is that they switch from breakfast to lunch at 11am. If you’re there then you can also enjoy the buffet lunch. I’ve learned not to gorge myself when there is still an entire half day of hiking left to do so I enjoyed some salad and veggies that were part of the lunch menu and it was nice to get some actual greens in me. Greens are few and far between on this trail. 

    After brunch, Peter had to take care of something that required the internet for about an hour and half so I sat down and digested and checked in with family and friends. Once back on trail I immediately felt ill. I liken it to being a kid at a soccer tournament and you have a bit of time between games and you go to McDonald’s and eat a burger and fries 30 minutes before you have to be back running and sprinting around on the field. Anyone else know that feeling? It was almost hard to enjoy the beauty of what was in front of me and in the moment I was a bit regretful of brunch. Luckily, that feeling only lasted 3 hours and then I felt wonderful and had reconciled my feelings towards brunch. 

    After a long and hard afternoon of hiking we set up our camp just before dark. Looking ahead, we got excited because we were going to reach Cascade Locks the following day which is right on the Oregon/Washington border. This also meant a potential hotel stay as well as Peter’s sister had sent us a package with new shoes! Stay tuned…

Marathon and Pole Vault

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