Leaving my parents and Timberline Lodge after two days of luxury was actually far easier than you’d expect. It came at a perfect time and at a perfect location so that Molly and I felt motivated to get the final stretch done. Two days of rest, swimming pools, buffets, meeting long lost trail friends, and of course quality family time was everything we needed to set ourselves up for the final two days to Washington and beyond.

The tears shed when saying goodbye began to dry as we wound our way North of the lodge along a busy trail. Traversing cavernous valleys stemming from Mt Hood’s slopes took us across muddy streams as we meandered towards woodland once again. Large descents met large ascents, making light work of our newly cleaned clothes and bodies. The 8 days of food in our picks weighed on us, but despite an afternoon start we made the first 10 miles by evening.

We took an alternative route to Ramona Falls which was beautiful, and decided to continue on along the Timberline Trail which would rejoin the PCT after an additional few miles but more gradual climb to the following ridge line. It was still gruelling to hike up, but the forest was so gorgeous in the evening light and this less walked trail offered sights of what may have been a woodchuck…or some large rodent at least. We settled for camp about 2 miles from the PCT junction between two felled logs.