Today started with a day hike. And with the idea for what was supposed to be day hike. I’ve been hanging out in Portland, editing a journal article, and doing other such default work. But I was itching for some trail time and I’ve wanted to go to Ramona falls for several summers now, independent of the PCT. When I suggested the day trip, Stephen offered to leave me at Timberline afterwards so I can finish the 50 mile stretch to Bridge of the Gods and the Washington border (woot!).Ramona Falls: The Day Hike takes pity on worn knees. It’s a very rewarding gentle loop, and the washed-out bridge makes for a water crossing that adds a touch of excitement. I have been worried that Onyx, who is not exactly a water dog, would refuse to cross on the log. But it’s only myself that I needed to worry about. Onyx tears across like a pro, tail wagging. But part way over, I chicken out, knees shaking because my adult brain has somehow stopped being able to handle the idea of logs over water, and my walk devolves into a humiliating butt scoot. Just keeping it classy.
The waterfall itself is nice, but a bit underwhelming because I have read so much about it for so long. I end up enjoying the return walk the most, following close beside the moss-lined perfect little creek, trail soft and forest extra green. I will be repeating this stretch tomorrow and plan to take the prettier alternate again.
Then back up to Timberline I go, this time, no confusion about finding the trail. It’s already 6pm, so I head off mostly with camping in mind. The trail is sandy-gravel, with steep melt-water carved gullies to traverse. I pass by a large waterfall just upstream, glowing golden in late day sunlight, but I’m already partway up the hill before I look back and notice the perfect creek side campsite. I think whist fully of the waterfall passed by and promise not to pass up a view campsite should I see one further up.And a mile or so later I do, following a use trail to a sandy bit of forest just big enough for my single tent, on a ridge with sweeping views south and east. To Jefferson and all the ridges in between, blushing with the setting sun. My alarm is set for too early. I’m hoping to finally do a 30 mile day tomorrow, though almost two weeks off trail and the not-so-flat-for-Oregon terrain is going to make it tough. Still, it’s my last opportunity to do so this year. I’ve set myself up for 30s a few other times this year, but always made saner choices: stopping to swim at a lake, to grab a beer, or because I knew it would mean hurting the next day. So why do I want to do this? To say I did. For all the times I get asked about the most miles I’ve done in a day. And, to see if I can. Wish me luck!
August 4, 2016
Miles: 4 PCT + 7 day hike