Sunday, July 17.
Today was a long day. And that was just getting to the mountain. Our original plan was to leave after church, get up to Mt Hood and start hiking and get an easy 10 miles in. But my wife (from here on out she will be called "Oops" as she keeps slipping on rocks) wanted to drop the kids off at her sister's after church. Her sister lives 45 minutes in the other direction. Ugh. After some needless driving, and then some needless cleaning (although she would disagree with that assessment) we took off. We got to Timberline Lodge at 5:30, and we were on the trail in no time.
The big highlight of the day was running into 5 PCT hikers. These folks were hiking from Mexico to Canada, but events in Southern California caused them to flip-flop and continue from Canada back down to where they left off in California. Lucky us!
First we met Jim Beam and Rain Queen. They looked pretty winded (and we found out why later, as we did lots of downhill that evening). According to on other hiker, they just got married. So congratulations guys!
The next set was a trio. Recess, Cedar, and I think the guys name was Skittles. They also looked bushed, as Zigzag canyon was still in front of us. You can view Cedar's on-line journal of the hike here.
The rest of the day was a mad rush for the campsite. Zigzag and the Sandy River canyons were spectacular. All the water coming from the glaciers of Mt. Hood falls hard and fast, and there are many waterfalls in each of the canyons.
By the time we got near the bottom, and I could hear Rushing Creek, well, er, rushing toward it's confluence with Sandy River, it was pretty dark. We were having a hard time seeing rocks and roots in the trail. It was then that I spotted what looked like a camp spot about 30 feet down by the creek. We took a chance and eased down to the flat spot, and lo and behold there was tent space and a fire pit.
Ever put up a tent by flashlight? Not fun. But with a creek to supply night time music, we slept well.