Day 100: A short hop to Timberline…

Day: Tuesday, 6th September 2016

Miles: 2088.8 – 2094.4
Barlow Pass Remote Site 2088.8 – Timberline Lodge 2094.4
Pitter-patter…times 1000. The rain was coming down heavily around 8AM when I awoke to a hiker walking past my tent this morning. I had only slept for 4 hours but it was bright and so much rain was falling that I could not sleep very well despite being exhausted and aching all over from yesterdays terrible idea (the 50 mile challenge)! Looking to my weather app, the forecast said it would shower for 15 more minutes, and then stay dry for the day. Of course an hour later it said the same thing, before around 10AM it changed to rain for the entire day. It was not going to get any better, and having eaten, dressed, and done everything I could to pass the time (other than hike), I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to get wet today.
It was just an 8mile hop to Timberline, and if I made it to the lodge, riches like a hot tub, restaurant and warmth awaited! Today I would also be joined by my sister, who would hike through to Cascade Locks over the coming days so I did need to get there at a reasonable hour. FlyBy and myself decamped hastily once we decided to move, before chatting to Six and Meerkat who were hiking past. Feeling elated with our 50miler under out belts, that was when we learned they had completed a 60miler. Bah humbug! We joined them for the final ascent to Timberline Lodge on Mt.Hood.
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The hike to the lodge was pretty miserable, I managed to get stung on my ankle by a yellow jacket early on, and the trail was reduced to a flowing river for the most part. When we emerged above the tree-line, we were knocked to our knees with a horrendous scowling wind and pin-prickling rain. It was thankfully a relatively quick moment of misery, as we covered the 8miles in two and a half hours. Arriving to the lodge was an episode of unconstrained joy, as we settled in front of the enormous central fireplace, where other hikers were similarly trying to dry out. In our case, the water had managed to get absolutely everywhere, irrespective of dry-packing.
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After some exploring, and cutting a deal for a room. I finally caught up with my sister who arrived from New York. We explored the hotel before she got some thru-hiker experience in our habits of laundry, drying-out and lots of food!
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The magnificent central chimney in Timberline Lodge

We managed to reserve the large dorm room at Timberline Lodge, so 10 of us motley thru-hikers would share a huge wooden clad room, with heavy quilts and some semblance of luxury for the evening. Eventually Breakaway arrived and so the crew was complete! I had a nice short rib main course for dinner, which made up for the instant mashed potatoes I fell asleep in last night. I retired to bed early, with many of my fellow sleepyheaded hikers already in bed, before writing some blog posts and finally giving in to sleep by 10PM.

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