September 11th; Approx. 20 miles
Last night I quickly rushed to switch around all my packing to get ready to hike, and then went downstairs to meet everyone more formally (and was also treated to an amazing dinner of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns). Soon we were all in bed, ready for an early 4:40am wake up.
By 8:15 this morning, we had made the drive, I met Farmboy, and the four of us, Splints, FB, their dad, and I, were on our way from Timberline Lodge (actually used as the exterior in the movie “The Shining”).
The hiking was great. It felt so good to be on the trail again that I felt I would have no problem with 30 miles, as my friend Barrel Roll was warning me I’d have to do when they caught up to me. Also there were some great views along the way of Mt. Hood, an active, but long dormant volcano.
That is, I was feeling great until at about 12 miles in we hit a pretty big uphill that really kicked our butts (except FB who’d just hiked over 90 miles in the past 3 days). This is when I started to feel everything get sore, back legs, knees, feet. Guess it wasn’t going to be that easy…
Just as we got down though from the climb, and I had been fantasizing about chocolate, I had my first run-in with a trail angel (on the trail). She saw me come out from the trail onto the road, asked if I was a thru-hiker, I said no, just a section hiker, and she replied, “Well, you want some beer and food?!” The magic words. So I walked right over (and turns out she had chocolate).
This trail angel happened to actually be a former PCT and AT thru-hiker and a childhood friend of another thru-hiker that year, Meander, Soon we were all enjoying the trail magic plus 3 other thru-hikers, Meander, her boyfriend Bacon, and a 68 year old man from New Zealand, Kiwi.
After about a couple hours hanging out, we got up (and I was starting to feel very stiff at this point) and hiked the final 3.7 to finish off the day. Even though this was a big change for my body from the motorcycle (and I could definitely feel it), I was able to keep up a good pace during my first day out.