Sunday, June 7, 2009

backpacking twin lakes

this weekend I went backpacking on Mt. Hood with my friend. Our initial intention was to hike along the timberline trail and set up camp when we got tired, and then hike back out the next day. Once we were up there we realized that the zig zag river might be flowing too high to comfortably cross because of the snow melt, so we ended up taking a much easier hike up to upper twin lake. My pack was about 30 pounds, but it had little effect on me. This hike made me realize that my pack just isn't big enough though. For anything longer than a day, or anything that would require more gear, there's just not enough space. More on that later.

After finding a suitable space to set up camp that was free from snow, we started the difficult task of starting a fire in a forest soggy with fog and snow. Once the fire was going, we drank a few beers that I had carried with me, and relaxed. It was nice camping around so much snow. We were able to put our beer and food in it to keep everything fresh and cool.

While out looking for wood, I found fresh bear droppings a few yards from camp. It seemed like animals were pretty comfortable in the area right now because no one is camping up there this early.

I also lost my wedding ring. We looked for it for a few hours, but it turns out it had fallen off with one of my gloves, and luckily I found it in the morning light. Losing it would have been crushing.

When we initially set up the tent, we didn't stake it to the ground. It also had a sleeping bag in it, and the wind wasn't strong, so we thought it would be fine. Turns out we were wrong. A sudden gust came through camp, picked up the tent, and it went tumbling towards the fire. Luckily pat sprung into action and caught it a split second before it rolled in. We staked it after that. I was about to take a photo of camp before it happened, so I caught the moment as it was about to happen.

After drinking and eating, and finally retiring to the tent, Pat woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of something rumaging through our camp. He tried to wake me, but I was in a deep slumber, so I can only recount his story second hand. He said he was concerned about it being a bear since we had seen the droppings, and had food in the snow. When he unzipped the tent to look outside he saw two big glowing eyes reflecting the light from the fire. The beast had found our hot dogs and a whole brick of smoked cheddar cheese we left in the snow. It turns out it was a DEER. Pat clapped his hands and the deer walked off a few yards, but afterwards it immediately returned and walked off with our food. We found the empty packages in the morning. I would never had thought a deer would eat hot dogs and cheese, but this one did.

In the morning we put out the fire by piling snow on top of it, then packed up our gear and hiked out. On the way to the truck, I found a newt crossing the path.

After returning to Portland, I sold my truck!

Later I went and got myself a new pack.