Mt. Jefferson, Olallie Lake porch with Stan and Lakewood (john), Timothy Lake Recreational Area (tons of people!), dusty trail, horses, northbounders are now coming, lunch with 'Big Daddy D', a little bit of snow around Mt. Jefferson, pretty rocks/ponds/flowers/landscape, burned area, warm temperatures, little water, beautiful "golden hours", laughter and stories with hubby, Psalm 19, trail magic @ Santiam Pass!  Cookies!

Big Lake Youth Camp is a great place!
It feels good to see a camp again and be reminded of our own time ! Covenant Harbor and of course YD.  So much energy and friendly, curious people - we ate dinner and breakfast, camped out on a beach and I finally got to admire the stars and two shooting stars!  We normally go to bed too early! But, we sat up with some of the staff, chatting away while I was also doing our laundry in the best laundry room ever! (Ask me why later  J) And, now this morning, a beautiful morning, we ate some yummy pancakes, talked with some more staff, Stan showed up, and I'm just enjoying sitting by the lake in the sun, looking back on an amazing week, and looking forward to the next , with Crater Lake coming up!
Thinking and praying for so many of you, and looking forward to our next internet access!  YCassandra
It wasn't until we were just about to leave Cascade Locks that we realized that we needed to get to Gov't Camp before 4 on Friday so that we could pick up our package from the post office.  That meant we couldn't dill dally!  We enjoyed walking along the Eagle Creek Trail as it meandered along the river, hopping from waterfall to waterfall. We camped along the river the first night after having seen the infamous Tunnel Falls, where the trail goes behind the waterfall - very neat! The next day we made it to Ramona Falls, which was probably one of the prettiest waterfalls I've ever seen! We ate some licorice and enjoyed the view before going to set up camp.

Friday we made it to Timberline Lodge, which was the exterior setting for the movie "The Shining". There were a lot of people there and we didn't really know what to do with ourselves! We walked around inside and I marveled @ the Brunch they were serving featuring local Farmer's Market items.   Loved it!    
It was a bit pricey so we didn't get to eat it ...

Mt. Hood was impressive to walk around - and people were still out skiing on it! It was a funny picture to see Jason with his hiking gear on, walking next to someone with full snow gear and snowboard in hand!

We decided to walk down! a ski run to Gov't Camp and made it in time to get our package, eat in town, and get back out and walk about 7 to 8 more miles to the trail. We enjoyed some doughnuts and chocolate milk @ the Chevron along with the rain and 'Motorcycle Mike' and 'Swimmer Man' (Funny memory)!. It was a quick section but felt good to get some miles done in Oregon.

Jason and Cassandra found the following note along the trail, It was taped with Duck Tape ...
"Hey Friends!        7/26
  My Dad & I were out hiking & thought you might have not passed here yet, so thought I would leave you a little note. Praying for you both on this epic adventure. Pray that He gives you the strength you need to walk HARD after HIM!

Huck it HUGE! 
Cora -- YD Oregon"

What a neat surprise!!

Rich here ...
Cassandra called from Big Lake youth camp Tuesday night.
The people there are fantastic!  Great food, warm showers, and wonderful fellowship.  Spent the night, then hit the trail about noon on Wednesday.  Next stop is Elk Lake Resort.
They have never seen so many flowers.  Millions of them.  The Oregon mountains are outstanding.  This last stretch has been nothing short of very fun!

They have maet lots of NOBOs.  Most are section hikers, but a few thru hikers.  One guy is planning to go both ways!  He said he had put on 42 miles on Saturday.  It's fun meeting NOBOs, but the conversations really bite into the mileage for the day.  Trying figure out a balance between being friendly, getting good info, and still maintianing a good average milea

Tomorrow, Cindy will send out a box to Crater Lake. The Elk Lake box should be waiting!

While the trail is so great, and much improved over all that snow from the beginning, they still covet your prayers!

Cassandra wrote on July 28th
I loved being in Trout Lake...It reminded me of being home in Plain, quaint, pretty, friendly people, tourists coming and going....We really had a good rest there.  One of the locals brought us back to the Trailhead - thanks Lisa!!  She was great - wish we could have gotten to know her more.
Buzzing from the rest and then the excitement of almost being through WA.  We walked nearly until dark trying to get to a decent place to camp, but due to the terrain, we pitched the tarp right on the trail.  Hopefully no one was doing any nighthiking!
This section was chock full of flowers!  It made for some pretty walking - although there would still be times where I was tired and I would try to force myself to enjoy them...."Look. See how pretty the flowers are?  It's so great to be out here!"  And then the voice on the other shoulder is saying....  "No.  You're so tired and your feet hurt and it's hot out and your pack is heavy and now you're walking uphill...."  :-)  Such a basket case!
We camped on top of a mountain the 2nd night with great views of Mt. Hood.  And the mosquitoes weren't bothering us so we laid on our sleeping pads and just admired the sunset and the moon shining brightly.  Mt. Hood looked as if it were going to sleep for the night.  That was a pretty special evening.  Usually we just set up camp, eat some dessert then fall asleep!  zzZZZZ!
The next day we went through the prettiest forest I'd ever seen. And it was an "Experimental Forest" which I have no idea what that means, but it was beautiful.  The day before, we were walking through during the Golden Hour, and the sun just drenched the leaves in golden light and made for great hiking!  Oh, the Golden Hour with my Megsy.....!

 We passed a lot of section hikers this time!  Talking with them truly takes up some time but many are fun to talk to.  We're going to start meeting the NoBo's (Northbounders) soon.  Wow!  We're in Oregon!  It's so hard to believe that we've WALKED here!  It just feels so normal...
Other Memories:

Ø      Ice Cream at the Stabler Store!  So yummy,  it was so warm outside!
Ø      Soaking my feet in the creeks.
Ø      Jason and I talking about what kind of car we would get.
Ø      Cinnamon Graham cookies.
Ø      Blackberry brambles...on the trail...errrrrrrr!
Ø      Seeing the Columbia River from afar.
Ø      A viewpoint with Hood, Rainier, Adams and St. Helens.
Ø      Hot and sweaty.
Ø      Bad mosquitoes, then flies.
Ø      Walking over the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon!
Ø      Realizing more and more that Jason and I are doing this!
Here's a not-so-perfect panorama of photos Cassandra sent.  But, I think you can get the idea of the beauty!
Below are a few shots that looked interesting.
I think the girl with Cassandra is Lisa, a new friend from Trout Lake that gave them a ride back to the trail?
Jason writes on July 28th ...
It's been almost 6 weeks since we left the Canadian border, and now we are starting a new state.  It's hard to not think about all the snow that we encountered, and we are so glad to be through it. We will still encounter bits of it in Oregon, but not nearly the same.
It's been so good to share this journey with Cassandra. We have laughed together so much and really enjoyed each other. Our days start out with one of us asking, "Do you want to go for a walk today?", and the other one thinks about it foa a little bit and says, "sure, why not!"
Basically we walked about 500 miles and still have  around 2150 to go. Our spirits are high, our bodies are trying to keep up, and we still have a long way to go.
We will soon be encountering Northbounders on a regular basis, which will be exciting and time consuming, all at the same time.
Right now - its off to mail stuff home and get a box of donuts!

God, thanks for walking this journey with us!

Best trail town: Tie between Stehekin and Trout Lake
Best view: Sourdough Gap
Best section of trail: Wind River Experimental Forest
Best ice cream: Cram-Inn's Grapenut/Chocolate
Best Pizza: Little Caesars, Wenatchee
Best camp spot: Wind River Experimental Forest/view of Mt. Hood
Best daily mileage: 26
Best labeled section for SOBO: South of Snoqualmie Pass
Best place to stay: Cram-Inn