We set early alarms and Danas friend took us back to timberline lodge at 7am. We spent a long time contemplating going to the breakfast buffet but decided against it. We saw Cookie Monster come in, he had done a 72 mile day in 22 hours, 4am-2am. Mental. He deserves that buffet!
Timberline lodge is a really beautiful place, I imagine it’s even nicer in the snow. The outside of the lodge was featured in the opening scenes of The Shining, although none of the film was shot inside the lodge I heard at least 3 people asking about it while I was there. We eventually hiked out at a rather later than planned 8:30am.
The trail was sandy to start and was hard going. I felt like I was on more of a stroll today than on a mission to make 30 miles. We had to cross a creek, not quite as bad as the one the other day but I took my shoes off and waded across.
A helicopter kept buzzing round, just flying backwards and forwards, I felt like I was in the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan! I caught up to Dana and we did the Ramona falls alternate route and had a spot of lunch at the falls.
We crossed the muddy fork river which someone had handily rigged up some rope to hold onto while crossing the big logs.
We had a 1500ft climb ahead and it was hot. Halfway a southbounder called Dirty is coming towards me and shouts “I know you!” Do you?! “I follow you on Instagram!” He treated me like a celebrity, got my photo etc – which was nice but strange at the same time!
I came across Dana, Beer Goddess and Hawaii hanging out at a spring. It was the last water for the next 12 miles. 5pm and still 12 miles to do. Ugh.
I set off first and found a bit of a second wind. The sun set. The forest got creepy. I picked up the speed again. Then it got really dark and I had to slow down a bit on account of all the tripping on the rocks.
The trail was ok until the last half mile which was really rocky. At 9:30pm I found the camp spot and saw there were a couple of people already there. I tried to be as quiet as I could but of course that’s impossible when camping! Someone stirred. It was One Of Us! Dana arrived just after me. I didn’t need water because I hadn’t drunk a single drop over the last 12 miles! Something I’m really good at – carrying water from water source to water source!
My feet are zinging. Pulsating. Throbbing. In pain. And I am very very tired.