8.24.18. 25.4 miles.
Brrr. It was very cold this morning. I woke up around 1 am and realized that the mesh on my tent door was damp and I could hear water splattering on my tent. I closed the one door that was open to fully close my tent, shoved my clothes into the foot box, and turned off my alarm. I knew I wasn’t going to want to get ready until the sun came up with this weather. I woke up naturally at 5:45 and started getting ready. It was still very cold, and there was so much fog. I realized after a while that I don’t think it actually rained, because the trail wasn’t very wet, but I was just in a very large cloud.
I started hiking just before 7. The trail rollercoastered around through some burn area, some beautiful trees, and up onto the ridge line where I finally got out of the clouds and saw them clearing. And those wet clouds brought the smoke away too! I haven’t seen such a clear blue sky in so long. Even though I was freezing, the morning was absolutely gorgeous. The clearing clouds, the blue sky, the smell of wet trees. Amazing. And I hadn’t even seen the views of Mt. Jefferson yet.
When I did, I could believe my eyes. The mountain was just so beautiful! I haven’t seen a volcano so clearly yet on this hike bc of all the smoke. Everything was just perfect. I took a lot of time staring at the mountain, taking pictures, and watching the clouds roll under and over it. I was relieved to find out that even as I kept hiking, I kept getting different angles of the mountain. So I kept stopping for more pictures and admiring time. I also ran into a ranger an she checked my permit. My first time having it checked! She was really nice and we chatted for a while before I moved along, too cold to stay still for long. I’d been wearing my rain jacket and pants all morning, and didn’t take them off until the bottom of a long descent down to a beautifully clear creek.
Next was the big ascent for the day, and possibly the most prolonged/ steep climb in all of Oregon? Half of it was through a burn area, where I took my lunch much later than usual next to a creek, and the rest was a beautiful climb through Jefferson Park, where Mt. Jefferson looked so different, looking at the north side of the mountain.
Once at the top of the climb, I had my first views of Mt. Hood in the distance, rising above the clouds. I had a long descent down the climb, and eventually made it to camp around 7:30. It was a cool evening too, and I needed to put my rain jacket back on a few miles out from the campsite bc I was pretty chilled. I’m happy I sent a warmer moving layer to cascade locks. I think I’ll need it for Washington.