PCT DAY 23: Tuesday July 18, 2017
Mile 2062.1 – Mile 2092.1
 30 miles (48km)
No two days on the PCT are the same.
Even if they start the same, as today did with miles of forest walking, there is always something new and unexpected around the corner.

I finally had a good nights sleep in my Taj Mahal of a tent. With the rain fly on it was warm and dry. And it is so spacious with only one person in it. Although I still wake through the night expecting Hammer to be by my side.  This new high volume version of the Big Agnes Copper Spur is fantastic, so much more headroom through the middle and the foot end of the tent.

It was dark, deep in the forest where I was camped by Warm Springs River. And it was still dark when I broke camp and made an early start on the steep gut-busting couple of miles ascent from the river. Near the top of the climb I could see sunrise was breaking, sending shafts of light onto the forest. Once I reached the top of the climb it was miles of downhill on beautiful soft trail through the forest.

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The birds were singing and I was inspired to sing along. The song that’s been going around in my head is Dusty Springfield version of  ‘There is always something there to remind me’ – missing Hammer.   Luckily I was not singing too loud as I saw a southbound  hiker approaching, it was Rudolph whom Hammer and I met on our second day out of Ashland. The first person I’ve seen since the Russel Creek crossing yesterday morning. Rudolph has been flip-flopping various snow free segments of Oregon waiting for the snow to melt.  Now he is on his way south all the way to Sierras.  We chatted for a little bit and wished each other safe travels.  Hammer would be so proud of me this morning I managed my first ever 9 by 9,  9 miles hiked by 9am.

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Pretty soon the green forest started to open up revealing a lake.  As I had not looked at the map for today,  it came as a pleasant surprise. The trail descended and wound it’s way along the shores of the huge Timothy Lake. This was a full recreational lake with people fishing, camping, boating etc. The sort of thing normal people do on holidays.  The lake looked so inviting. It was only 11 o’clock too early to stop for anything but a short break. I wanted to curl up under a tree and read a book while being cooled by the breeze coming off the lake. I was day dreaming, had to move on before the lake lured me off the trail.

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Leaving the lake it was back in the forest for the rest of the day. Except for a brief Mt Hood reveal. A few miles from the Highway 26 crossing, the huge form of Mt Hood just poped up, feeling ever so close.  It came just at the right time for me to motivate me to keep moving. It was a tough afternoon of steep up and downs. Being late afternoon I decided to stop 3 miles short of Timberline Lodge.   Ever so relieved to get to my campsite. And even better to find that I have phone reception from my tent – LUXURY.

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