Day 94, July 26th
About five miles back to elk lake, hitch within 5 miles of timberline lodge, camping just outside the lodge.
Guthrie and I wake up early, as the sun rises and hits us from our cliff view. We’re up and out, hiking a handful of miles to elk lake. We get there before the restaurant is open, so we head to the road to hitch. Soon Mac and not a chance are there as well, and we’re all trying to hitch into bend. We meet some cool hikers, including spreadsheet and many others. Lots of cars pass, but we have trouble getting a ride. We look like bums. Over two hours go by before a great lady picks us up.
“Don’t tell my husband I’m doing this!” She says, as if she’s doing something naughty by picking hikers up. When she bears what were doing, she gets extremely excited, and talks all about her life adventures – which all are very exotic travels. She has some dogs in the front seat with her, and they just stare at us. They probably wonder why we smell so bad.
She drops us off at deschutes brewery, awesome! A nice IPA and a pulled pork sandwich. And a lot of looks from the other customers. It’s great.
The four of us walk to the nearest on ramp and try getting a ride north, but again, it’s pretty tough. Most people pretend you’re not there, likely scared of you, or thinking you want their money. I don’t blame them.
After an hour or so of lots of traffic, a nice man piles us in his new truck.
“You’re right next to the homeless shelter.” He tells us, “no ones going to pick you up there! I’m not going far, but I’ll get you away from there.”
Haha, no wonder everyone looked at us funny. Even the hippies and adventurers, young guys with bikes who always pick people up passed by, pretending they don’t see us right next to them. That explains it!
Another tough hitch on a fast moving highway. We get to a stoplight, trying to work our magic when the cars are stopped for about an hour. Mac and not a chance get a ride in a truck from Texas. The 4 passengers in the truck have less teeth combined than any one of us. The lady has a giant black and blue eye from being punched. The driver wants Guthrie and I to get in the truck bed, which is completely full with a table saw, luggage, and other junk. We would be above the sides hanging on for dear life. I’m desperate for a ride, but not that desperate. So guth and I keep trying to hitch from the same spot. A half hour later a nice lady picks us up. She recognizes us from carrots blog! Her name starts with a B, but I can’t remember what it was exactly (and now I feel bad. I’m terrible with names, sorry! If you read this please respond 🙂 )She knows we’re not bums. Or at least not permanent bums.
She lives in readmond, a few minutes up the highway. We tell her what were doing and she says she’ll take us to the town north of readmond where the highway splits. Once there, she keeps driving. We’re having great conversation, and I love petting her border collie as it sticks it’s head into the cab of the truck. Reminds me of my parents border collies that I love so much. I miss dogs!!
We talk of 3d printers, funny kickstarters (the best I’ve heard of yet), energy reliance, and the general state of the world. It’s so nice meeting someone new in a situation so out of the ordinary. She takes us 5 miles from timberline, where Guthrie and I decide we’ll hike from. I ask if she wants to hike out a bit with us, and she gladly accepts, bringing her dog as well. She cruises up with us, not slowing us down at all, talking the whole way. She’s a natural! She hikes 4 miles, all uphill, before turning around due to fading sunlight. What a great experience, meeting someone like this while sticking a thumb out on the side of a highway. Some people are just so great!
Guth and I hike on, getting some amazing views of mount hood while hiking in green meadows. We pass some nice campsites right before timberline lodge, just a few hundred yards behind it. We decide we’ll camp there.
As we enter the lodge we see Mac and not a chance. They made it! But not without some wild stories about that sketch ride. Sounded so so scary. I’m glad their alright, and here safely, yikes! We all sit and talk in the lodge as people dressed extremely fancy pass. But here they’re used to hikers, and don’t look at us frightened. One guy passes with his kids, and points Mac, Guthrie and I, “look, it’s zztop!” I get a huge kick out of this, as zztop is one of my favorites. What a compliment, my dad would be oh so proud!
We grab some beers, but skip on food as it’s all 18+ dollars. Two beers are half the price. I don’t normally drink much, just a few beers with dinner here and there, but this time there’s no food, and I feel the alcohol pretty fast. Bed time comes soon after. I should have known from past experiences backpacking then having a few microbrews, as it hits you faster than you expect. We make our way back in the dark, to the campsites we saw on our way in earlier in the day. It’s been a fun day. Ups, downs. But in the end, we got where we wanted to be, and tomorrow, our crew will be here for dirt monger and bearclaws wedding. I’m stoked!