2094 North Again, Alone Again

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!).IMG_7916Ramona 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.

IMG_7566

IMG_7601Then 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.IMG_7917And 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. IMG_7628My 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
2016: 602
PCT: 2014

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