Beginning Elevation = 4,150
Ending Elevation = 3,250
Elevation Range = 3,250 – 6,050
Weather:. Mostly sunny, high 75°F
Our mission, which we chose to accept, was to climb 2,000 feet over a 5 Mile stretch and reach Timberline Lodge to partake in what has been hyped as “the best meal on the entire PCT!”
All three of us began hiking at 5:30am, what we’ve started calling “Snickers time.” I’ve realized I’m pretty rough at this time of morning, especially when I do it repeatedly, day after day. Snickers on the other hand, thrives. It really is his time of day. He was chatting away this morning, whilst TW and I were more in auto-mode, focused on just putting one foot in front of the other.
For the majority of this first stretch, we were winding our way up through the forest. As we got closer to our goal, however, things opened up and we got to look up to the peak of Mount Hood…
Very, very beautiful. It was also sandy, soft and loose, which made for an even more difficult walk up the steep terrain. This next photo looks out away from the mountain, back from where we came from. You can see what I believe is Mount Jefferson off in the distance.
We went higher and higher. Mount Hood became more and more of a spectacle!
And then, our destination came into view…
We made it to Timberline Lodge just after the breakfast buffet opened at 7:30am. The Lodge was so cool, large wooden beams and wood carved art pieces. Apparently it’s a National Historic Landmark having been built during the years of the Great Depression.
The breakfast buffet spread was eye popping to us hikers, including hot danishses, an assortment of pastries, various yogurt flavors, granola, sausage, banana nut bread, berry smoothies, cold cereals, grilled ham, scrambled eggs, little egg and ham tarts, french toast, and the highlight for me…Belgian waffles with fruit spread and an especially delicious cream.
It was spectacular. I had to agree with Calzone, who I’d texted yesterday seeing how the breakfast was, in that it beat out the breakfast buffet at The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley for the top spot. We took full advantage, and practically stayed throughout the whole 3 hours it was open. Of course, we had took breaks during our different courses as part of our strategy for optimal food variety consumption.
After breakfast, we relaxed around the lodge for another 4 hours or so…it was great! A good restful break that was needed for the team. I also had to get some more food for the next few days, which I found at the snow boarder/skier cafeteria area (yes, there is still snow and there were still people going down today. I think the ski resort stays open year round). Just after buying food though, I ran into Pony who had received too much food in a package he’d gotten and was offering his extras up for the taking. Thus, I was able to supplement my resupply with even more goodies!
Apart from getting my food situated, I did a lot of hanging out on a large paved terrace with Snickers and TW sitting in Adirondack chairs and basking in the sunlight. We also spread some of our stuff out to dry, I uploaded some blog posts, all while looking straight up at the snowy Mount Hood. The bigger patch of snow was where folks were tskit the chairlift up to I guess, which looked really small of an area to me.
TW and I did me exploring as well. We’d heard this building was used in filming parts of The Shining, so we had to check it out. I’ve never seen the movie, only clips, so wasn’t sure what I was looking for to recognize. We weren’t sure if it was the interior even, maybe they just used the exterior? Whichever, we found a relic of the film for tourists like us…
And I enjoyed seeing the Snurfer in it’s case on the wall as well as the old wooden skies!
We’d talked about staying for lunch and then going, but turns out none of us were hungry yet. Actually, I’d started experiencing what I’d dreaded might happen, my usual illness in my stomach region. So anyway, I didn’t want lunch.
We finally left the lodge around 2:30pm. We crossed below the chairlift and then continued down the trail, passing numerous day hikers. We got some lovely views of Mt. Hood and the streams and waterfalls coming down off of it.
I believe we found our tent site around 6:15pm and were parked very near some other folks. This was a super popular area because the PCT is joined with the Timberline Trail, which we found out loops around Mt. Hood, about a 40 miles trip. Our neighbors were on their last night of completing that trail.
I was super tired. I don’t think our big breakfast really gave me energy, but maybe that was due to the sugar-filled choices that I opted for. It was a wonderful stop along the trail though getting to visit Timberline Lodge and we were all very happy about our lengthy break there! And somehow, we still managed to cover 15 miles of trail today. Woo hoo.