Total distance: 2144.5
Getting into town has been a trip. As I walked in a man asked me to help him push his car, after my first fifty mile day, and then another man gave me a bag of cherries, then a woman gave me the secret code to the showers and finally a man gave me a beer and let me sleep in the back of his suv. My brain is pretty much jello like my legs and my eyes are burning for sleep.
I set out this morning later than I had hoped and pretty much gave up on doing the Timberline challenge where you hike from the lodge all the way to Washington. I ended up getting turned around and hiked two miles in the wrong direction early on and that really solidified my outlook on not going for the fifty.
As I hiked I began picking up speed and got to my rest stops earlier and earlier and realized that I could be in town by eleven if I pushed for it and I figured that for my last day in Oregon why not go all out. There were clouds all day covering the sun and keeping the air biting cold while I raced to keep warm. A chance of rain flooded over me all day and eventually poured out during my last fifteen miles. Oregon wasn’t going to let me go without a fight, just like it harnessed me the second I got in. This state wants it.
I didn’t take many breaks today and when I did it was only for water or to make sure things were dry. I felt awake and energized all day and for some reason had a ton of motivation and energy to knock out this challenge. Around mile 40 my ankles became weak on a rocky surfaced trail and I rolled them repeatedly while trying to keep my 3.5 mph pace for the final decent to Bridge of the Gods. I was passing by enormous waterfalls and gorgeous pools of water that beckoned as I passed, but I wouldn’t be distracted from my original goal.
- This is tunnel falls with a small path behind the waterfall.
The rain really slowed me down and brought my spirits low. Especially when darkness came. I got my headlamp and settled into a gear that allowed for speed and stability. I felt relaxed and competent in moving in the night and knew it would be a few hours before I would be finished.
Finally, after what seemed to be forever, I rolled onto the street and found the broken down car, the man, the cherries, the shower and the beer awaiting me like a surprise party.