The Trail Not Taken: Misadventures on the Smithbrook Trail to Lake Janus

We found ourselves with some unexpected free time this past weekend and so Daniel and I decided to take a last minute backpacking trip. The night beforehand , I spent hours pouring over maps agonizing over what route to take. I was hoping for a trail near an alpine lake or with alpine views (or both!) – but with a relatively easy level of difficulty. Daniel is slowly recovering from a torn meniscus in his right knee and I’m worried he may re-injure it if we push too hard.

Homecoming: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Windy Pass to Mirror Lake

Last year I called the Pacific Crest Trail home for six glorious months. I’ve wanted to return to the trail many times since then but, alas, circumstances have prevented it. This past weekend I finally got my chance. On Saturday I planned a trip to Mirror Lake along the PCT starting from the Windy Pass Trailhead, which is a relatively easy 6-mile jaunt roundtrip with only 1000 feet of elevation gain. I first hiked this trail 3 years ago when I was only dreaming of hiking the PCT. It seemed like a fitting way to make my homecoming.

Pacific Crest Trail Day 138 – In Which Unicorn Swoons over the Breakfast Buffet at Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge is an impressive building – it was built in the 1930s and is now preserved as a historical landmark. The breakfast buffet is renowned among through hikers – all you can eat breakfasty goodness for only $16. They had a make-your-own waffle station, pitchers of smoothies, pastries, fruit, yogurt, assorted breakfast meats, cheesy eggs… and lots of other goodies that I can’t remember. Everything was delicious and just a little bit fancy…

Pacific Crest Trail Day 137 – Sunset at Mt. Hood

I woke tired and sore from my long day yesterday. I let myself stay in my sleeping quilt a little longer than usual as a reward for yesterday’s exertions. Eventually I got up and packed up my tent. I went down to the edge of the lake to wash my hands and I glanced up to see a group of 3-4 otters swimming around the little inlet I was camped next to.