It was dark in our patch of woods. The dense canopy above restricted the light passing through. We got up before the others and continued our way up the large hill that we had camped a third of the way up. It wasn’t too steep, but stiff sleepy legs struggled to power our bodies up.

Marching ahead, I stumbled upon many beautiful spots for brief breaks. Mt Hood could still be seen to our south and Mt Adams to our north, but it was the vast span of dense forest that caught my eye. Onwards to the top we marched before taking time out allowing Cornflake, Milkshake, and Sour Patch to catch up and join us. While chatting, a SOBO hiker came up the slope we were soon to descend and gave us news of trail magic 6 miles down the trail. With 6 miles already under our belt, another 6 miles would bring us to lunch time and a perfect opportunity to sit down and enjoy some magic.

The trail descended for a while down through the trees before flattening out at a small lava field. A large tent and sign signified we had arrived and greeting us was Mr and Mrs Cowboy, two angels providing hotdogs, corn on the cob, coffee, doughnuts, home grown fruit and biscuits. We all gorged for nearly two hours with the addition of some more food provided by another set of angels who were setting up for later that day.

They were all particularly fond of Molly, taking a liking to her as she expressed her love for a home made relish. They promised to send some to England for her return. Onwards we went once again, this time as a team tackling yet another big climb. Descending from this one, we passed several large deep blue lakes whose shores were busy with weekend visitors.

Around Bear Lake we parted ways with the others continuing into the evening for another hour or so into a woodland laden with mushrooms, you could literally smell them in the air. Once again, a group of SOBO hikers told us of multi trail magics awaiting down the line, but these would have to be tomorrow’s treats. Sleep was calling us.