Day 3 of Cascade Locks to Trout Lake

Do You Quarrel, Sir?

Starting the day out in a spat with your hiking partner is never fun. You say or do something that pisses them off, then they say or do something that pisses you off, and then you’re both pissed off. Time on the trail can and will heal, catharsis through masochism. You start the day hiking fast to get some time alone and they hike slowly because you’re an asshole, and before you know it, you run into the Canadians from a couple of days back and everything is normal again.

9th Chevron Locked

However cold and uncomfortable hiking in the clouds was yesterday, the heavy fog cloaked everything in a beautiful shadow of mystery. It was like being trapped in a scary movie or having traveled to a new planet through the Washington stargate. Moss hanging from pine trees looked menacing with a silent intent to reach out and grab you. I saw that same moss from the same types of trees today and didn’t feel afraid for my life at all.

Most of us have seen more trees in our lives than we would ever want to count. That said, the trees here are amazing. Large hundreds of year-old pines line the trail, so thick that it would take four people holding hands to create a fully enclosed circle around it. Just as impressive, some of these giant pines have broken in half and died only to have new trees take up root on top of the half that still stands. This world has a beautiful chaotic order.

Being out here creates an intimate relationship with nature. She/He/They constantly remind me that tranquility and terror are two sides of the same coin. Love today is no promise of a happy tomorrow and a terrible night will never end with or because of an apology. I never intended to bring this full circle, but the relationship we have with nature is not too different than the relationships we have with each other.

Trail Detail

We hiked 15.2 miles today, from Forest Road 2070 to Panther Creek Campground. There was a lot of great trail maintenance around the Trout Creek area towards the end of our day, so much so that it would have been near impossible to pass had all the work not been done. Lots of water options along the route and a beautifully clear 70-degree day that didn’t require us to drink all that much. Still, no snow to speak of, probably step into that in the next day or two.

Our day ended with an extra .75-mile road walk up to the Panther Creek campground where Penny and Curt were waiting for us. They did so many things for us, it’s difficult to capture them all in the writing, but here goes!: Laundry, warm water to wash up, salads, beer, spaghetti dinner, bonfire, and hugs.

Solid end to a solid day. Any day that ends with beer is difficult to complain about.

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