Mile 2062.0-2094.4 (32.4)
I slept in again. Feels so right! Hiking by 7am, up a tiny hill lined with berry bushes. I never hit my stride, was always stopping to pick berries. Nothing tastes better.
All morning, I hiked on a cushy bed of pine needles through flat forest. At Timothy Lake, I found a quiet cove and went swimming. The water was deep and cool and clear. I could have stayed there for hours and hours. I sat in the sun for a moment to dry off, then got back to hiking.
I decided to press on to Timberline Lodge. The last mile was sandy and uphill, a bit of a slog, but the reward was tremendous. In the distance behind me, Mt. Jefferson melted into a wash of orange, pink, dark blue. Mt. Hood towered over me, the summit basking in the last light of the day. The air grew cooler and happy sounds poured from the lodge. I felt very good. The bugs are few up here, so I can cowboy camp for the first time in a long time. I am excited to see the sky tonight.