This past year, our silly little podcast was invited to take our show on the road. We’d be the featured Friday night performance at the ALDHA West Gathering.
Part family reunion, part workshops and conferences and part celebration of the hiking lifestyle.
There will be other accounts of this gathering of hikers. People who can encapsulate the social aspect of the weekend far better than I.
For me, though I am a sociable person, two weekends of social gatherings does leave me a bit tired.
I took advantage of the time up in the lush Pacific North to take some strolls. To decompress. And to enjoy at least a little bit of the outdoors.
Living in Colorado, I forget just how lush and verdant the Pacific Northwest is even in a drier year.
Saturday morning was misty and wet and a touch cool. It was wonderful and beautiful. So different from where I live. So welcome for the variety.
I continued my morning stroll. Hardly anyone was up. It was quiet and peaceful. A perfect time to walk in the woods and just enjoy the solitude.
I spotted some Fox Glove with droplets on them. Perhaps the last flowers for this elevation. I could feel the cool fall air of the morning and smell the damp earth and vegetation.
I went to the main camp lodge, grabbed a cup of hot coffee and sat on the deck of the quieting stream. It was what I needed.
The day carried on. The fog lifted. A blue sky day presented itself.
Time to take a stroll further up.
A few of us drove up the historic Timberline Lodge at the base of Mt. Hood. The glaciers looked impressive. But I knew that it was a low snow year still. There should have been more snow.
Our route would take us along the Pacific Crest Trail.
Even in the lower snow year, the glacier melt and silt was still impressive.
The evening went on. Awards given. Heartfelt thanks said. We all said our temporary goodbyes amongst friends.
The alarm went off at 5:30 AM. The group of us traveling together grabbed our packs, and walked out of the campground. The modern travel ritual of returning the rental car, checking in, going through security and then finally boarding the plane was executed.
We had one last look at majestic Mt. Hood from the window of our flight.
It has been far too long since I’ve been to the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps I should return soon rather than later.
You should definitely come back sooner than later. Lots of great trails in the Cascades of course, but also some surprisingly solitary and beautiful areas in the high desert eastern parts of Oregon and Washington and a few real gems in the Southern OR/far northern CA Klamath Mountains.