Wy’east/Mt. Hood: Mc Neil Point

  • Top Spur Trailhead – Timberline Trail – Camp on ridge above Mc Neil Point – back along the much steeper short-cut between Mc Neil Shelter and the Timberline Trail – Bald Mountain – Top Spur Trailhead
  • Total mileage: About 10 miles (totally doable in a dayhike if you have “healthy” body (not like mine I mean with that… even though my body is pretty awesome 😉
  • Trail condition: Smooth sailing through pine forest and easy trails, quite some snow left though (beginning of July 2017) after Bald Mountain. Steep trail if you don’t follow the trail along the ponds but going straight up/down between Mc Neil Shelter and the Timberline Trail. We chose that trail on the way back down because the other trail was still covered in snow, and snow is -right now for me- harder to walk on. That cutoff trail is steep, a bit slippery but totally doable and not super exposed.

We get out of the car at Top Spur TH. A lady asks us where we’re going and if we hiked this trail before. No we say. But she has and so she gives us all kinds of advice of what to do and where to go.

The trail winds its way up through hemlock and douglas fir till it reaches the PCT… Till it reaches the PCT… Yes, I wrote that twice. The PCfuckinT! The trailsign… I could’ve kissed it but I don’t cause there are people around. O this trail is so intertwined with my own life’s trail the past years. After we had to get off trail two years ago because of my hips I had a hard time dealing with anything trailrelated. It just hurt. It took me a year or more to be able to look at maps again, or pictures, without feeling a knot in my belly and a sting in my heart. I now look at the trail differently I guess. The land quietly waiting for me till I’m ready to come back. I don’t know when I’ll be ready and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to hike long distances again… But I know the land is patient. Continue reading

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. Continue reading