Mt. Hood: Mirror Lake and Tom Dick & Harry Mountain

  • Easy and really beautiful dayhike with great views on Mt. Hood + Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Jefferson in the distance.
  • About 3.2 miles up, same way back down. 6.4ml total.
  • Gently uphill. 
  • Come early as it’s a popular hike and the TH parking lot fills quickly.
  • Big thank you to Wired for helping me find this hike!!!

    We drive up in the clouds and get one of the last spots at the trailhead to Mirror Lake. Despite of the 20 cars parked, we hardly meet anyone on the way up to Mirror Lake. I feel like walking through some exotic yet strangely familiar forest. Pinetrees are towering high but underneath rhododendrons bloom. Birds sing and it’s magical.

    The trail zigzags up gently and before we know it we’re at mirror lake. There’s not much to see in the mirror, but my own face. Maybe that’s enough. Maybe that’s what it’s about. Looking into the mirror of my own nature might be just the right thing to do while waiting for the clouds to set the mountain free.

    An then there he is. Mt. Hood. Such a beauty. The clouds kiss him goodbye and we hike on, up the ridge to Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain. 2 long switchbacks. Smooth. With beautiful views back on Hood. Wildflowers bloom. Mosquitoes too. A well. Soon we’re on top and the view is breathtaking. I just stand there and think of the journey of the past months. 4 months ago I was learning to walk again. Now I am standing here. I can’t lift my leg properly yet and use it like ‘normal’ but I made it up here. And that’s fucking awesome. 

    At Mirror Lake I receive Goaltechs message with a dinner invitation. So kind. We happily say yes. Goaltech gave us his Happy Hiker Award two years ago while we were hiking the PCT. We only met for 10 minutes along the trail in California, his trailmagic and kindness stayed longer. 

    In the evening we drive up to Timberline Lodge and meet Goaltech and his daughters at the Rams head bar. We have dinner with a view of the sunset on Mt. Jefferson and we talk trail trail trail. It’s wonderful. How great it is to connect with people around the world, sharing the same passion. I have experienced so much kindness in this community. But some, like Goaltech, really stand out. Tomorrow he and his daughters hike up Mt. Hood, almost to the summit. Pretty badass. And it’s so good to see parents take their kids into nature, up mountains, on trails and spend time outdoors together. It gives me hope for the future.

    Well fed (both body and soul) we drive back down to our campsite along muddy creek. The moon is out and ‘shining’ when we go to bed and I have a good nights sleep (one of the best since surgery actually). Ah I love sleep. And mountains. And birds. And pillows. And life!

    Grand Canyon to Zion – Day 8: Back up – North Kaibab Trail

    May 25th 2016: East Tonto – Colorado River – Cottonwood Ranch – North Kaibab Trailhead, ca. 17 ml

    IMG_3850I sleep well on the Tonto shelf. The winds sleeps too and so it’s quiet. Ah! The alarm rings at 4:30 am and by 5 am we get going. That’s the earliest we managed so far :cP We just have a Snickers for breakfast and head the last 400m /1200 ft down to the Colorado River. It’s so smooth and easy this trail.

    We cross the bridge and have our decent breakfast on a bench near Phantom Ranch. HQ goes inside to fill up water and some kind people give him pancake and 2 pieces of bacon. Yesss!

    In no time we hike the 7 miles till Cottonwood Ranch. It’s incredible how fast one can go when there’s a trail that isn’t steep up- or downhill- We have a 30 minute break and the next 7 miles are a lot slower and harder and it’s hot! BUT we have the magic umbrella and every fuckin dayhiker we meet has something to say about it. O folks common! Some go down in black jeans, no water, no cap, no sunscreen. How stupid can one be?  Continue reading

    JMT II day 10: Muir Pass & peeing my pants in front of rock monster :cP

    aka PCT day 60 : June 18th 2015: Mc Clure Meadow – Evolution Lake – Saphire & Wanda Lake – Muir Pass – Helen Lake – Little Pete Meadow. Ca. 17 ml

    We are fast today cause we want to see the sunrise over the mountain. But the sun takes ages to get up and so we get going at 6:50 am.On the way up to Evolution Lake we meet Rumba. He looks tired, exhausted. Poor kid going crazy from the mozzies. His eyes are swollen from not enough sleep. At 9 am we’re at Evolution lake already and have a twix break. What a treat! The raw beauty of Evolution Lake is breathtaking.

    We hike past Saphire and Wanda Lake. Damn we’re fast. By 11:45am we’re up on Muir Pass. 10 miles done. We have a quick lunch and then decide there are too many people up there so we start hiking down. Fuck, that downhill is a bitch, just like I remember. Our morale is getting low and then bammm we meet Robin and Carla and are sooo happy to see them. I’ve been wondering and hoping we’d see them back. We talk for like half an hour and then keep going. We go down, they go up. Life o life!

    Continue reading

    JMT II day 7: Miles & Smiles

    aka PCT day 57: June 15th 2015: Silver Pass Lake – VVR. Ca. 13ml

    It’s a gorgeous breakfast view we have at our campsite at Silver Pass Lake. We only leave camp at 7:30 am and after about 15 minutes we meet a first PCT hiker. It’s Kate!!! Holy moly! We last met her at Mount Laguna. Her trailname now is: M&S: Miles and Smiles. And o yes it suits her! This girl rocks. Making big miles and smiling all over. She gives us a boost of good energy!

    We head down Silver Pass. And as I remember it’s a bitch I still wouldn’t wanna hike NOBO, but boy the views are amazing! Right before the VVR junction we meet… Joeeeee! Awesome! He’s doing great, hiking on his own, we share tortillas and cheese and we chat.

    Continue reading

    A Little Inbetween

    Just a little inbetween post. Inbetween journals, inbetween JMT and PCT, inbetween sunrises and sunsets.

    Quite some people have been asking when I’m finally gonna upload the rest of my journal and my gear review. The answer is: soon… I hope… soon ;c)

    As the 21st of december is getting closer, the days are getting shorter, the sunlight is getting less and so is my electricity supply in our tiny cabin. We only have one portable solar charger and depending on how the weather is, we get a full battery or a rather empty one. Lately it’s been a rather empty one, cause the sun has been hiding behind the clouds a lot. Result: Little electricity, little computer-time, lots of candles and books instead. And dreaming of what trails I’m gonna hike (or rather limp and stumble) on when I’m in the High Sierra next June (yessssss you read that right, I’m coming baaaack! O I just can’t stay away haha). Continue reading

    It’s been a while…

    It’s been a while. Damn. I know. Life at home on our wild land, in our tiny cabin, has been wonderful. I built a raised veggie bed and I’m already harvesting the salad and radishes and yummie things I planted a month ago. We’ve been digging and creating a flat spot in our meadow to put our tipi on. We installed a new heating system in our cabin to get us through the winter. And I’m working on a new website for our Wilderness School. Yes, I’ve been busy like a bee.

    After being back for two months now I wish we had enough money though to fly back to the US and hike through Oregon or Washington. But we don’t have the money and my hip is protesting too. The daily pain takes away a good chunk of my energy, yet I am trying to give it not too much of attention and focus on the things I still can do and I enjoy. Like going for shorter walks, observing animals, practicing my archery skills, reading books, taking classes, …

    Continue reading

    Exploding beauty

    monument valleyIn Utah history is exposed in a breathtaking beautiful way. While I see the red rocks pass by my archeologist heart is beating faster and I understand why ancient cultures would wanna live here. Red sandstone, aspen trees, grassy green meadows. Is this desert? It is and it’s beautiful in all of its layers. In the layers of earth arranged in a way it doesn’t seem coincidence, in the the rock art created by the people who lived here long ago, in the sand that constantly reinvents the landscape. Yes, in Utah nature exposes herself in a strong almost devine way.
    After hiking through my beloved Sierra we decided to go on a little roadtrip.
    My hips need time to recover from the hardship of climbing two passes a day and we wanna widen our horizon. The PCT is beautiful, hell yeah it is, but it’s a narrow stripe of land and we wanna lift our heads for a moment and see what lays beyond. Continue reading