Day 2: Table Mountain to Rock Creek
My first night’s sleep was restful but anticipatory. I woke up early feeling inspired and ready to hit the trail. Thankfully our site companions were also up early, which meant that hubs and I could take the time (and make the noise) to make a trail breakfast of oatmeal and coffee.
We couldn’t put off the inevitable for too long though. Eventually it was time to say our goodbyes. Dan headed down the trail back towards Cascade Locks and I turned upward.
It was a cloudy, foggy morning which unfortunately meant no views of Mt. Hood. Thankfully the wildflowers in the ridge line meadows more than made up for the dreary sky.
After a couple miles the meadows unfortunately gave way to large swaths of clear cut forest. The clear cut land was made even more eerie by the foggy cloud that I was traveling through. Even still, I needed a break and so pulled up a damp stump beside a gravel road in the middle of the clear cut. I was definitely relieved when I got back into the forest proper.
For my halfway point of the day, I had been hoping for the clouds to clear enough for me to make the side trek to Three Corner Rock and enjoy some views. Instead I stopped briefly at the trail junction for a quick snack with only bugs to keep me company. Thankfully, not too much further down the road was a warm and rocky outcropping. I had to imagine the view though as the clouds were still lingering.
After that point it was a gradual decent through a forest preserve until I made it to Rock Creek. I had covered nearly 10 miles by noon! I consulted my map and my guidebook and realized that there weren’t any reasonable campsites beyond my chosen spot for the day. So I took a long relaxing break at Rock Creek for lunch before pushing on one more mile to a lovely little campsite beside a well-flowing creek.
I had the place to myself for a couple of hours and then was joined by a fellow from Portland and his dog, Earl. We had a nice chat over dinner and he even offered up one of his beers to me (trail magic!)
I tucked into my tent nice and early, hoping to catch up on some much needed sleep. Unfortunately a family of five rolled in mere minutes after I’d fallen asleep, making all the accompanying noises that a camping family makes. It was incredibly frustrating to have two nights in a row of late arrivals at my chosen campsites. Nothing to be done for it though other than to pull the fly over my tent and relax into the sounds of their end of day chatter, hoping that the next night’s campsite would bring a little bit more peace…