In the interest of time (and because I lost my notes for this last section) we fast forward and find our protagonist at the Timberline Lodge.
The interior design of the lodge is a strange cross between dungeon chic, mason cryptic, and the arts and craft movement. Add to that, the fact that the Shining was filmed in part here, and you have one flavorful aesthetic stew.
The Timberline Lodge is renowned in the thru-hiker community as having the best brunch buffet of all time, ever. Sadly, I did not enjoy this. My stomach was all over the place. I hiked about 4 miles and then set up an early camp. I got in my sleeping bag and sipped water. By morning, I was doing much better and took the alternate route to Ramona Falls. The falls themselves were nice, but I was much more interested in the view in front of the falls. A different kind of falls.
Even though there are a lot of elevation gains and losses, the hiking feels good. The tree cover keeps me cool, there’s enough water. My new playlist is bumping.
At Lolo Pass, two hikers, Clutch and Cam Shaft ask me if I’m a “thru”. They want to give me a trail magic PBR. We hang out and I learn they hiked in 2012. We compare weather, gear and magic stories and then I’m on my way to Eagle Creek.
I get there at 8pm. The light is fading, but there are lots of day hikers at the trailhead, so I decide to fill up on water and hike a little further. It’s a steep downhill and I begin to wonder if I’m going to have to sleep on the trail. Finally, I find a great little flat spot surround by trees and facing the last bits of sunlight. It’s a wonderful home for the night.