Fish Lake Resort, OR

We are now at Fish Lake Resort in southern OR. After taking two rest days at Diamond Lake Resort a lot of our nagging aches and pains have disappeared and healed. We made good time the last few days and were even able to bust out some 20+ mile days in snowshoes and with short daylight. As we sit here just a little off the trail there is basically no snow on the ground. It seems like we have hit a dry area and should make some decent time on the next stretch too, and maybe get a few miles in without our snowshoes on!
Two days until our next town stop in Ashland. We are excited to get there as the CA border is just around the corner. Pictures to come once we get to Ashland.

Diamond Lake Resort, OR

We are over 800 miles down now and and just north of Crater Lake National Park. We head to the rim tomorrow for the Oregon/Washington high point.
The last few days have been a mixed bag of soaking rain with snow on the ground and sloppy, wet going and then changing over and dropping a foot and a half of fresh snow to trudge through. Looks like more storms on the way too……

Back in Bend, OR

We are back in Bend, OR from the originally intended spot on the PCT, Santiam Pass. Here’s the link to a blog post from Pepper about the last section of the trip: then go to blog from 11/19/14, ‘The Times, They Are A Changin’.

Bend, OR

We made it to Bend but not as planned. We had planned on coming into town from Santiam Pass, where the PCT crosses the road. With the snowstorm a few days ago dropping one to two feet of fresh snow and an ice/rain crust on top of it the travel has been really slow. In the same number of hours we are hiking 30-35 miles, we have only been able to cover 10-15 miles and about a mile an hour. About 2/3 of the way through the section we knew we didn’t have enough food and were unprepared. We had mailed our snowshoes from southern Washington to Bend since we weren’t using them. The snowstorm hit and we were slogging and needed taller gaiters to keep our feet warm. We made the call to posthole out on a side road to the highway. Our hiking friends here have been very hospitable. We are taking a day off regrouping and will head back or to reconnect that section tomorrow.

Barlow Pass, Highway 35, Oregon

We made it past Mt Hood last night in a howling wind. A friend picked us up and brought us into Portland for resupply, a warm night, and to get organized for the next sections. It was pretty nasty around Hood with 45 mph sustained winds and gusts over 65. Needless to say, the wind was nearly blowing us off our feet! Plus the temperature was 18 degrees with wind chill values of – 8. It’s starting to feel a lot like winter and the forecast is calling for two feet of snow tonight and tomorrow too!
558 miles down now. Headed to Bend for the next resupply.
Link to some photos from the first 550 miles here:
(copy text into Web browser)

Quote of the trip so far from the toll lady at the Bridge of the Gods crossing into Oregon over the Columbia River:
‘sir, that’s going to be 50 cents for a pedestrian to cross the bridge.’
‘Even if we are hiking the PCT? ‘
‘you can’t be hiking the PCT now. are you really? You GOTTA be kidding me!’

Cascade Locks, OR

We made it through Washington and crossed the Bridge of the Gods into Oregon today. A bit over 500 miles down now, and about 2100 to go. The weather through Washington ended just as it started, with a soaking rain. We did have two sunny, nice days before that though. Those were the only two dry days in nearly three weeks. It was great to finally get some views and see all of the peaks around the area. Onward tomorrow and up to Mt. Hood. It’s supposed to get cold with temps in the 20s and teens, and wind chills of below zero on Tuesday at Timberline Lodge. Here comes winter!

Snoqualmie Pass

We made it to Snoqualmie Pass, WA this afternoon, about 250 miles into the hike.  To say it’s been wet is an understatement. It has rained or snowed, or both every day. The last few days the trail has been a river of running water, since the snow that had previously fallen over 5000 get elevation has been melting with the rain.
We are staying the night at a hotel to dry everything out, resupply, and get some good food before heading out again tomorrow back into the rain.

Gear List for Winter PCT Hike

We are leaving tomorrow (Monday, October 20th) to get to the start of the trail and start hiking on Tuesday. Pepper and I are definitely in the last minute scramble now putting the finishing details on everything and trying to tie up all the last minute things.

Here’s a link to the gear list and you can follow along at the DeLorme link that I posted in an earlier blog entry.

PCT Winter Gear List