Total Miles: 2111.6
Saying goodbye to a pair of shoes doesn't seem like it ought to be hard. But when those shoes have just carried you nearly 1200 miles, it only seemed fair that they should at least be able to meet their successors face to face.
Today marked the first of three days when my Mom will be joining me for a 50-mile stretch of the trail. It's downright rare for a parent to want to come out and hike a portion of the trail like this, but she's no ordinary Mom--she's Mountain Mom.
We said our goodbyes to Q-ball and then Emily, my heart sinking after only a painfully short time together and at having to part ways with her yet again. My only solace is in knowing that it's for the last time and that the next time I see her, at the Canadian border, it will be for good.
Following a leisurely morning, we set off from Timberline Lodge along the PCT as it wrapped around towards the west side of Mt. Hood. Not quite six miles in, we came across the 2100-mile mark, made of neatly arranged tiny pine cones.
The trail would dip into the trees or down into a valley to cross one of the many creeks draining the mountain's glaciers only to emerge with a view of the mountain from a slightly different angle. No matter which angle you looked at it from, it was spectacularly beautiful--a perfect marriage of rock and ice that was the focal point of the first day on the trail with Mountain Mom.