As we were driving north, we happened to see a big, snow covered mountain in the distance. Of course, we immediately look at each other and ask... "What is that? Can we get to the top of it?" The answers were Mt. Hood and no... we don't have the correct gear or mountaineering experience with us. Of course, on Western Extravaganzas #1 & #2 there was an ice axe along that never got used... this time we left it at home! DOH!
However, this terrain of Oregon was looking like the Oregon we envisioned: lush, green, mountainous, and "big"! We decided to take a closer look, and pulled into a trailhead parking area. It turned out that from this trailhead it was a 3 mile hike to the upper of a pair of lakes. PERFECT! We decided to hike this trail, set up our tent at the Upper Twin Lake, and then hike back to the car in the morning.
This was a fantastic decision! The trail (which was also included a section of the Pacific Crest Trail) was the trail we had both been dreaming of hiking on: wide, smooth, pine needle covered, and through old pine growth... and the temperature was cool!
After packing up camp in the morning, (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAVE!!!!) We drove to Portland, stopped at Voodoo Doughnuts, and walked around for a bit.
While stuffing our faces with tasty doughnut goodness, we decided to drive to Mt. Rainier National Park instead of Olympic National Park and see if we could get permits to hike all 93 miles of the Wonderland Trail... and that we did! Tomorrow morning, we hit the trail and won't be back until sometime next Saturday, July 20th. So don't look for updates until then! Thanks Mom Matunis for being our emergency contact, even though you are now anxious for our next phone call which is over a week away!