Mt. Hood Circumnavigation
|One big volcano!|
Our goals were more sedate, aiming for 12-13 hours with lots of picture stops. So, that is somewhat how we found ourselves in the parking lot at Timberline Lodge, about an hour east of Portland, adjusting our running packs as dawn stretched across the distant mountains.
Almost up to the last minute we debated what direction to run. It was forecast to be 90F, going counter clockwise would mean running through the exposed sections of mountain while it was still morning cool – and then finish the hottest part of the day with some shade on the western side. But it also would leave the largest river crossing for later in the day. Do it became: Heat vs Nasty River Crossing. And so we ran clockwise, opting for a safer crossing of the Sandy River and potentially getting fried later in the day.
|Crossing the Sandy River – it was cold but not as high as we feared|
We were about 15 miles in – curving around the north western flank of the mountain when things really slowed down. My legs were already feeling stiff, Nichole was in similar shape. And it made sense, since the pounding of the Grand Canyon still echoed in our bones. Recovery times are really hard to estimate and I think we both realized around the same time that we had possibly bit off a bit more than we could run.
|Big Valley Traverses|
Fortunately for us – the cold river crossings gave us the jump start we needed and we had an amazing day led largely by Matt who is incredibly strong and had been great company (and a great navigator) a month or so prior while running up and around Mt Adams.
|Home stretch – Mt. Jefferson in the Distance|
We hobbled inside and up two flights of stairs where well dressed diners were enjoying the sunset. Beer never went down so quick but we opted for showers, beer, and pizza back in Portland at Matt’s place. We stiff legged our way back down the stairs to the front doors. Somehow a race from the lodge to the car in the parking lot ensued. I came in last but it was still a great day.
|Beers at Timberline Lodge|
|Our route, GPS tracks in Google Earth.|
|Catching a little air with Andrew Hamilton at Everest Base Camp|
|Matt enjoying some PROBAR Chews –
thanks PROBAR for fueling this adventure.