So last week I mentioned that I was escaping into the wilderness for a bit. I haven’t been backpacking in two years, since last summer was eaten up by a day job plus keeping my self-employed efforts rolling, and I wanted to get at least one good excursion in before the summer was out. My original plan had involved Wahtum Lake to Eagle Creek trailhead over the full moon, but the projected temperatures for those few days reached into the hundreds, and I wasn’t really up for heat stroke while carrying a 45 pound pack. (See? My Wilderness First Responder training did something for me!) Then as soon as the heat broke, a storm system came in, and I had no interest in being up at any elevation with the possibility of lightning (self-preservation is a great sense to have.) By that point a couple of project deadlines were looming, so I needed to put those first–yet another delay.
Finally, though, the clouds (literal and metaphorical) cleared, and last Wednesday through Friday was forecast to be clear and not too hot, not too cold, just right. I decided to change venues and plans; rather than spending all three days slowly picking my way down the path from Wahtum Lake to Eagle Creek, I decided I’d hike in to Upper Twin Lake, set up camp, have one whole day to wander the trails in the area, and then hike back out on the third day. I’ve done day hikes at the lake several times, and it’s really a wonderful place–far enough away from Portland that it’s not overrun by tourists and weirdos, nicely graded trails through beautiful mixed-conifer forests recovering from logging a few decades back, and delightfully free of mosquitoes.