I got an early start today in order to make it to Timberline Lodge for an early lunch. When planning for town food, there’s a fine line between eating enough for the energy needed to get you there, and not eating too much so as to save your appetite for real food. I knew there was a buffet and I really wanted to save my appetite, so I ended up not eating quite enough this morning, thus having low energy and taking longer to get there.

There were two rivers this morning that could have been dangerous fords, according to my guides, but once again, the drought made them easily crossed on rocks and logs. The Sandy and Zigzag Rivers are both fed by glaciers on Mount Hood, and run lower in the morning before the afternoon sun starts the snow melting. I had to go upriver a ways on the first crossing, to find a good log, but otherwise there were no issues.

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I made it to the lodge, which you might recognize as being the exterior of the hotel in the film The Shining, picked up my resupply package, and went up to lunch. I don’t usually go for buffets, since I fill up quickly and never feel like I get my money’s worth unless I can sit there for hours. We only had one hour left on the buffet’s time. It felt like a race to get as much food heading down to my stomach as possible before my stomach sent back the message that it was full. I guess I did okay. I needed to sit for over an hour to digest enough that putting my pack on was comfortable again.

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I got moving again and managed 20.2 miles for the day, despite the stop. I hiked a mile or two into the dark again. I can’t get used to it being dark at 7:00 in the trees when I used to hike until 8:30 or later. Daylight’s window is getting narrower.