Ramona, Adam, Wahtum, and Saint Helen
Beginning Elevation = 3,250
Ending Elevation = 3,750
Elevation Range = 2,800 – 4,500
Weather: Sunny, high 75°F
The talk last night was to shoot for a Snickers start time, but with the added, “but we’ll see what happens,” from both myself and Mr. TW. I heard my alarm go at 4:45am, but went back to sleep for another half hour. Snickers and I left camp together at 6:00am leaving TW to snooze a bit longer.
We hiked up one small uphill section and right away found ourselves at a junction with a side trail to Ramona Falls. We’d agreed the night before that we thought this would be a nice detour and so headed off the PCT in search of some water falling down rocks. We were not disappointed!
Snickers made the wise suggestion that we take a break to enjoy the falls for a bit. Even though we hadn’t hiked far, it was nice to stop and just take in the beauty rather than trudge onward right away. When we did get going, we came to a fork in the road just after crossing the stream. We opted to go left, which looked to follow the creek down to where it rejoined the PCT. As cousin Scott likes to say, “Left is right, right is wrong.”
It was a very nice path, well worn from the many visitors going to see Ramona. It had a bit of a rainforest-like quality with lots of mossy stuff and some mushrooms growing and such. The opposite side of the creek we observed a vertical rock wall. Here’s Snickers having a gander at it. Isn’t this a cool area!?
At the junction where we met he PCT again, we ran into Pony, SunKist, and Kingslayer (he does indeed have a Jaime Lannister look about him). They were packing up and so we chatted briefly before they zoomed up the trail ahead of us. They’re speedy no doubt. Up was what it was too. We went from our low point for the day up to near the high point in a stretch of about 2.5 miles. Mostly long switchbacks through the nice Oregon forest that we’ve come to know so well.
I reached the “top” first and met a day hiker and his dog there. He was so shocked to hear I’d started back in April and was shooting to do the whole trail. I really haven’t gotten that perspective much out here, it seems most folks around the trail are quite familiar with the craziness of us thru-hikers.
I set up for breakfast and got to chat with another day hiker and her dog. This little dog was scrappy with abundant energy. I was a fan. Soon later (that word combo was for you Emily and John 😉), Snickers joined, and then a bit after came TW. He’d also gone to see Ramona Falls, but had taken the path to the right at the fork which popped him out at our breakfast spot. He said it was pretty nice. A wise person once said, all paths lead to Canada…probably someone said that.
After breakfast, we all walked together for a while. We talked of some of our plans and ideas for once done with the trail life. It was funny, we each had items that we’d listed in our minds that we plan to change or do differently post-trail. Very similar to New Year resolutions…I guess you could call them post-trail resolutions.
We got a few more glimpses of Mt Hood having passed by it at this point and looking back now.
TW and I found ourselves up ahead walking a way together, chatting away. I’ve learned quite a bit about Germany. It seems like a place I’ll have to visit some day. Austria too! Good food, good beer, and beautiful country. We all got to lunch around 1:00pm and stayed for a good hour and half or so. We even had a while that was kind of like a “quiet time” where we all nearly napped.
The after lunch hike was solo hiking for each of us. At one point, I got some spectacular views looking out to the north and could see what I believe were Mount St. Helens (the volcano that appears to have its top cut off or blown off I suppose) and Mount Adams (a new, snowy covered stratovolcano) possibly.
I met this creature during my hike too!
I reached the lake that we’d talked of reaching and made my way around passing by several other backpackers already set up. I wasn’t sure if TW had decided to go on ahead past it or not, so decided to fill up water in case. While doing so however, I heard some singing from the far side of the lake, “Stevie can you hear me? Stevie can you see me?”. I actually didnt even know what he sang at the time, but recognized TW’s voice. When I made my way over I saw that he’d found an amazing lakeside spot and was lounging in an old school beach chair! The kind that has three folding parts, likely an aluminum frame, and rubbery plastic that slightly sinks in when you lay down on it.
We had a great evening. We knew it might possibly be the last evening that the three of us would have together. TW is headed into Portland tomorrow and plans to zero spending the day with a friend. Likely he’ll catch up again, but you never know. We all went for a quick swim in the lake, which was very refreshing. And had lovely time conversing before turning in.