Our tent flies were still wet when we awoke this morning but we knew we had only 17 miles to reach highway 26, Wapinitia Pass. This is where Bob would meet us again to take us up to Timberline Lodge, where he used to work some years ago, to get our package. Our goal was to get to the pass before Bob’s estimated time of 3pm for his arrival. We cruised through the morning with no hesitation and the trail was almost entirely covered by the trees Nanking for soft ground and cook shady conditions. We made it around Timothy Lake in good time, which was 9 or so miles from camp, which brought us to Little Crater Lake. Little Crater Lake is not at all like Crater Lake. It wasn’t once a volcano that collapsed in on itself. It’s actually a unique place where a couple of springs below the surface coincide with a fault line that eventually opened up this natural well that completely filled to the top. The “lake” is only maybe 50 feet in diameter. It its a cool little side trip if you have 10 minutes to spare from the PCT, which you do if you are doing the PCT because, well, if you have 4-6 months to spare what’s 10 minutes?
From Little Crater Lake we had 7.7 miles to reach highway 26. I cruised off as usual, and eventually came to notice a beautiful view of Mt. Hood. It ended up being a little hazy and cloudy, as the weather was, on the picture but still the mountain was breathtaking. I stopped and took some pictures. After about 20 minutes I hadn’t seen Pie yet but figured he was close. I picked up and moved on down the trail and it was only about a mile and a half before I heard my name called from the bushes. Sitting there was Bob, he beat us again!
Bob and I sat and chatted for about 25 minutes or so until Pie caught up to us. Then the three of us hiked down to Bob’s car. From there we took highway 26 into Timberline Lodge where we picked up our resupply box. Also, I should mention, by now it had started pouring rain. This time earlier and heavier than the previous night’s showers.
After grabbing our box from Timberline, we went down to the community of Government Camp and had dinner at the Mt. Hood Brewing Co. The food was good and the beer was great!
After filling our bellies we headed for the Reed College Ski Cabin. Bob used to be the care taker at the cabin back in the 80’s and he had apparently talked to the current caretaker who allowed us to stay at the cabin for the night for free. Honestly, it was the best free place I’ve ever stayed. We got showers, did laundry, had beds and Bob and I even hit a ping pong ball around for a bit!
Tomorrow we try to find a way to leave the cabin.