Aug 29th
Lemiti Creek(2063.5)-Lower Twin Lake(2098.5)
Today’s Mileage: 35mi(plus .5mi side trail)=35.5mi

Today started out as another day of silence. I got going at my regular 6am time and was feeling good. It was one of my favorite mornings. The trail today was mostly a gentle downhill and I felt like I was in cruise control. I was in my lovely Oregon woods and really enjoyed the peaceful quiet. I met a southbounder who described this section as boring and I totally disagree. I could just walk in this forever!

Around 8am, I finally got decent phone reception and sat down for 30mins to get some phone calls made. I made plans to meet my stepmom and her friend at Timberline Lodge and they will hike with me for awhile tomorrow. I also got in touch with my friend who I had just barely missed at Three Sisters Wilderness. We worked out a last minute plan for her to meet me at the end of my day today, hike in a bit, and then camp with me. I didn’t think I’d get reception again, so I estimated the time I’d get there later in the day. It was a great motivator and I was in the zone the rest of the day.

I made a great pace for the rest of the morning and was feeling good. It’s amazing what can be done with the right motivation. I was consistently doing more than 3mi/hr and it felt good. I was enjoying the time to myself and saw two pairs of southbound section hikers. Around 2:30, I hiked up to find another thru hiker named Pounder who I have been just behind since leaving Ashland. It’s been fun to try to catch him this week and I have been following his footprints clearly for the last few days. I never thought I’d actually catch him and we were both happy to see another thru hiker. I’ve known Pounder since early on at the Big Bear Hostel when he and his hiking partner shared a room with me and Top Shelf. His hiking partner, Chili had to get off the trail at Shasta for foot problems and surgery. Pounder has been solo ever since and we both enjoyed seeing another hiker. We hiked a couple hours and did a short side trip to see Little Crater Lake. You can see right through it!

I got enough phone reception to see a text from my friend that she wasn’t going to be able to make it. I was disappointed, buy then realized that I had pushed so hard to meet her, that now I was in position to get a personal high for the day. I asked Pounder if he wanted company the rest of the day and we were both happy to have someone to motivate us the rest of the day. Pounder is generally known for his Scottish brooding, grumpy demeanor, but I was quite shocked to be happily entertained by him the rest of the day. I think we both had been hiking solo for so much of this section that we just needed to talk to get it out of our systems. The rest of the day flew by. I was excited to get our first full view of Mt Hood.

Before I knew it, we were done and I had completed my personal high of 35.5mi within the hours I usually only hike 31mi. As I said, it’s amazing what the right motivation can do! I’m not even all that tired or sore. I know I won’t come close to mileage like that in Washington, so this is officially my high for the trail. Yay! When we got to the campsite, Buffalo Jump Sly was there. It is quite cold and I’m wearing my down jacket for the first time in weeks. Here I am at Twin Lakes with a happy Pounder:)

We are all leaving at various times tomorrow morning and will probably see each other at the lodge. Most hikers go to the breakfast or lunch buffet, but it is too pricey for the small amount my stomach has been eating. I’ve had to settle with many small meals and a buffet would not be worth the money, so my stepmom is bringing me Subway. Seeing my stepmom and that sandwich will be just the motivation I need for the steep 8mi hike up to the lodge tomorrow. So close to going home in two days! Now that’s motivation!

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