The forest fires have plagued the Pacific Northwest this summer thwarted our plans to get to Mt. Adams again before the summer's end. Instead, we found a hike on Mt. Hood that promised great views of ice caves just below the peak of the mountain. And although the views were smoke-filled, they were still spectacular. I'll admit, though, that this was not my finest backpacking trip. The hike up was hard for me. I felt old. I felt fat. I felt tired. I felt weak. These are all things that I feel to varying degrees at times, but usually I don't feel them all at once with the intensity that I felt them on our way to our campsite. Finally setting up our tent was such a relief. Sleep was so good. Laying in the tent and reading for hours the following morning while the sun rose was pretty damn good. And the hike out was just fine.