Friday, August 29, 2008
No hiking for us today, it was an errand day! After trying to hitch a ride to Goldbar and realizing that all the traffic was going in the other direction, we went to the deli and grabbed some breakfast. Then decided to buy our supplies for the next stretch out of the deli and the Chevron station (for a pricey amount of cash) Then Mike came into the deli and noticed that we were hikers and asked if we wanted a ride to Goldbar........well, sure! His wife Maurisa was going there to go shopping and was more than happy to have the company! We picked up a few more items to add to our already heavy foodbags and some goodies to munch on for the rest of the day. Maurisa ran a couple errands while we shopped, then came back with Boston Creme Eclairs for the both of us from a nearby bakery! Oh, how I love bakery food! (I have to get my share of bakery products in now while we are still hiking 25 miles per day!!) Thank you Mike and Maurisa! We are back at the Dinsmore's right now, updating this blog, relaxing and still letting things (like our shoes) dry out. We bought our flight home! September 15th is the date! Very excited to have those purchased! We have a couple "bumper days" in there, just in case the weather gets bad/worse and this way we'll be able to take a day off and not HAVE to push on through a snowstorm or something crazy like that! We have decided to come back some other time to hike the 233 miles of trail that we missed in California due to fires. Enough is enough and we are ready to go home! I miss wearing cotton clothes and cute shoes! :) Still trying to decide if we are heading out in the morning or taking another day off (snow in the forecast for tomorrow....) We'll see.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Well, I left some trail mix in my snack pocket last night and now there is one very fat mouse somewhere out there in the Washington woods! Packed up and hiking by 0545 by headlamp. Drizzling and cold again. Yuck. Our feet were wet within minutes, which isn't always that bad, we could stomp right through the mud puddles and didn't have to worry one bit about the water! Crossed a couple creeks, climbed a few hills, walked past quite a few large boulder fields, really foggy and I never took my camera out of my backpack all day long. 26 miles to Steven's Pass where we hitched into Skykomish. 6 of us (JB, Slider, Thrust, Neighbor, Travis and I) all fit into a nice man's pickup truck. Travis is a hiker we just met recently and he also hiked the AT in 2005! It was fun to talk to him and find out that we knew some of the same people from the trail! Small hiking world out there! So, we got dropped of in Skykomish (a very small town) and quickly found the Cafe for dinner where they were having a steak special! Sign us up!!! After dinner, we went to the Dinsmore's (a nice couple that lets hikers stay with them) and picked up our MANY packages!!! Yeah! Postcards from Stinky and Gram and Papa. Letter from Chels and Grammy Peg. Packages from Kate and Libby, Numtum, Mom and Dad, and Neighbor's Dad! Thank you guys! Neighbor's dad mailed us our passports and our Canada entry papers! We are sooo ready for the border!! Just showered and now we are heading to bed! Tomorrow we will find a store to buy food for the next stretch to Stehekin! The end is near!
Well, it started raining around 1030pm....and it never stopped. Packed up the tent in the morning and tried to keep it from getting too muddy. Started hiking by 0645 and my shoes were wet by 0647. Uphill climb in the cold, wet, drizzling, windy weather. Saw a rainbow! While back in Snoqualmie, we sprayed our rainpack covers with silicone spray because they were not one bit waterproof, today tested the new spray job.......and it worked like a charm! We tried to stop and dry gear out once, but it started raining again, so that idea went out the window. Foggy, not much for views, made it to Deep Lake and climbed up a big hill (lots of climbs in this section) Around 5:30, we came to 2 guys camping with a fire....and we decided to stay there with them for the night! Nice warm fire....couldn't pass that up! It was around 25 miles for the day and that was enough in this weather. Cold wet feet, gotta love it!
Up early and enjoyed one last breakfast at the restaraunt before heading back to the trail. Had a 2,000 foot climb, but it wasn't bad at all. Chilly out, had my gloves on, blue sky and more and more views the higher we climbed into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Quite a few people out and about on the trails. Neighbor came around the corner and startled a mountain goat! We got a few good pictures of the little guy before we moved on, nice walking, great views, feels good to be out of the fog and enjoying our surroundings. At one point a jet airplane came right up out of the valley heading right towards us before veering upwards and flying right over our heads! What a cool sight. Big granite jagged peaks above and blue lakes below, what a beautiful area. Hiked 22.5 miles down to Lemah Creek and camped nearby with JB, Slider, Flippy and Thrust for the night.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Up and about at 0530, eating breakfast by 0630........noticing the cold, fog and drizzle by 0730.....decided to take the day off around 0830! The next stretch is supposed to be just beautiful and we already missed part of Goat Rocks Wilderness due to fog, we don't want to miss much more (because we don't have much trail left!!) So, we mailed some maps that we've used home and a few other papers once the PO opened at 10am. Had a lazy day of hanging around, went on to Southwest.com and started to price the airfare home (doesn't look to be that expensive!!) Basically, rested (which is what we are supposed to do on a REST day!!) Here is the one picture I took from today......a rainbow from our room window!!! Hope the sky clears for tomorrow morning, we are hiking northward!!!!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
We were up at some ridiculous hour and hiking by 0530 by headlamp. Another amazing sunrise and only 17 miles to Snoqualmie Pass. Easy terrain, lots of friendly folks out on the trail by Mirror Lake. Got to the Pass around 12 and it started raining by 1pm.....phew! We are here now, getting stuff together for the next stretch to Skykomish (75 miles which will take us about 3 days!!) We are starting to count the days down now.......it's only a matter of miles and walking them. 255 miles to CANADA!
Packed up early and started hiking by headlamp at 0545, as we climbed the sun came up and we got to experience another Washington sunrise! The sky is just beautiful in the morning, and we climbed higher and saw Mt. Rainier back to the south and the pink sunlight reflection was just spectacular!
More easy walking, but then quite a few ups and downs, but it was an enjoyable day. We made it to Tacoma Pass for lunch and then we found out that we were in the middle of the "Cascade Crest 100" (a 100 mile trail race!) (Stinky....you should have crewed this race!!) What fun! The people at the road were great, so friendly and interested in what we were up to! We chatted with them for 45 minutes and then hiked on passing an aid station along the trail and they gave us hummus and cucumber sandwiches! Then to Stampede Pass where when we got to the road, everyone cheered for us! Ha ha! And then, remember the trail runner from yesterday (Jeff and his wife Julie) well, they were there and they brought beer! Too funny and normally I wouldn't drink beer while hiking, but we were only going another 2 miles and I was thirsty......so beer it was! Oh, and brownies that Julie had made.....yummmm! We hung out there for the longest time, cheering on the runners. It was a great day. The runners and the energy of the crew was great, it made me want to ditch my pack and run with them! I actually found myself almost jogging at one point! It made today's 30.2 miles just fly by! Everytime a runner would come, we'd jump off the side of the trail and let them go by and cheer for them.
Brrr, what a chilly night it was. In the morning, we put on our wet shoes and our clammy rain pants and saw the most beautiful sunrise! (things were looking up already) The sky was blanketed with clouds and the sun's reflection was purple, then pink, then reddish orange in the sky! Amazing! Hiked downhill to Dewey lake, then climbed up and saw Mt. Rainier, huge and covered in snow (as it always is.......but it just stood out so much!) Down to Chinook Pass where we took a short break (because there were toilets and trash cans!!) Then we climbed up on the other side of the pass, ever so gently and saw 3 mountain goats! The hiking was easy as we contoured the side of the ridge, miles and miles of easy walking! I love the PCT again! Amazing how the weather really effects your attitude and mindset! Climbed up to the top of a peak and WOW, Mt. Rainier, right there in our faces! We took a lunch break and met 2 trail runners who took our pictures and said that they would be on the PCT the next day and would meet us at the road with beer! (yeah, right we thought) What a great day though! We hiked 28 miles to Camp Urich (an actual cabin on the PCT!!) where there were a bunch of Friday night horse trail ridders (so Neighbor and I tented outside) Great day!
Woke up to rain........but you can't take every rainy day off, so we started hiking around 7am. Yuck, what a terrible day, it was one of the only days that I really could have just gone HOME! It was cold and wet and just
plain awful. The only picture I took all day long was of Neighbor as we were leaving White's Pass walking back to the trail. Then the camera went into a ziploc bag and didn't come out all day long. We hiked 25.3 miles with minimal breaks and minimal views. Neighbor didn't seem to think this day was all that bad.........but I still think it stunk! Walked past a few ponds and crossed a few creeks and swatted a few mosquitos and that was about it.
Well, we woke up to just as much fog as went we had gone to sleep.......oh well. We started walking around 6am and tried to keep the 6 of us together as much as possible, so we wouldn't get lost in the fog! We climbed over snowfields and loose gravel and over what is called a Knife's Edge (though it isn't anything like Katahdin's Knife Edge) Thrust took a slide off the trail and down a snow patch, Boomer helped him back onto the trail, yikes! It would have been a wild ride in slippery rain pants! A ton of rocks came loose and went tumbling down the hill in front of Neighbor. This was a cold, wet, foggy day and I was happy to have my mittens on. We had about 19 miles to go to get into White Pass (where we'd stay for the night in a warm room!!) Lots of switchbacks down to the highway, but we were there by 2pm, got a room and called it a day.
It rained on us last night! Thunder and lightening, but it had stopped by morning, so we got to pack up when it wasn't raining! (which is always nice) We are officially in Goat Rocks Wilderness (supposed to be a beautiful section of trail). Walked along and realized that all the rain on the bushes was actually soaking us as we walked by, our shoes were wet in no time, yuck! Still cloudy out and it started to drizzle, not bad, but just enough to get the mosquitos going, so on went the bug spray and headnet, then it started to rain, yep, rain! So, we put on the rain jacket and pants and kept walking, atleast the rain kept the bugs away! We haven't had all that much rain on this trip, so it was actually fun (for a little while) and I said, "I'd rather have rain all day long over mosquitos" :) We started coming out of the trees and into the wide open beautiful terrain of Goat Rocks and the rain stopped! Beautiful views, the valley below filled with giant pine trees, craggy, rocky peaks above us, green grass and wildflowers everywhere! I took tons of pictures! The fog and clouds rolled back in around 5pm and it was pretty chilly with the wind, so we decided to just camp instead of climbing any higher and push our luck. Slider and Flippy went on, ended up on a different trail and just as they were checking the map, heard some guy calling for help!!! The found a guy who was in the begining stages of hypothermia and brought him back to his family! Then they ended up coming back about 2 miles to where we were camped and stayed the night near us, it would be safer for us to go over that terrain together in the morning when the fog hopefully clears and you can see something!
Up around 5:30 and we did a quick breakfast in town before we hit the trail. Tripod dropped us off at the trail at 8am and away we walked. Couple of sprinkles here and there, mosquitos here and there too, a great view of Mt. Rainier in the distance. Lots of purple lupine and some Gray jays!! (they are almost as friendly as back home) Walked past Mt. Adam's and saw Mt. Adam's glacier and we heard rocks falling from the peak (and saw the dust cloud) Crossed a couple of glacial creeks, the water is really milky and you can't see through it, but all the crossings were on downed trees, so we didn't have to actually get in the yucky water! Camped at Lava Spring, an amazing COLD spring, this water was so cold, we couldn't even keep our feet in it for 30 seconds! Stopped hiking a 4:20 for the day after 20 miles, it felt good to have an easy day! Some clouds in the sky. Mt. Adam's glacier photo attatched.
We got to sleep in! 7am felt great! Hoped a ride to town (Tripod and Dawn let us use their truck and Thrust is a great driver) and grabbed some Huckleberry pancakes for breakfast. Then had to check out the Saturday Farmer's market and had a nice homeade cinnamon roll! Hung around and relaxed most of the day, really hot, like 100 degrees of HOT. A good day to take off from sweating uphill with the backpacks on! Later on in the day, Slider, Thrust, (Thrust's b-day), Neighbor and I all went downtown for Huckleberry shakes! Yummmm! Huckleberries are in season and in everything! Tripod's 40th b-day party was fun, and the barbeque was up and running! It was a great stay at their camp, lots of ice cream for desert, what a day!! We managed to get our calories back up to par and are ready to hike in the morning! Picture of their "camp" attatched!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Up at 5am, hiking by 0530, mosquitos were up before us! Ahhhhh! Started hiking in long pants and long sleeves, but it was sooo hot out, eventually we had to switch to the short sleeves and DEET! Found a nice breezy spot to take a break at, then the bugs seemed to fade away and the breeze stayed with us for the rest of the day. Made it to Road 23 by 3:15 and tried to hitch into town, but in the end just waited for Tripod at 4:30 to squeeze 10 of us (plus him =11) into a pickup truck! I'm sure in a different state, we were breaking tons of rules, but it was a short 15 mile downhill drive to his camp and that was it! Tented in the yard, ate spaghetti for dinner and taking tomorrow of to rest after hiking 83 miles in 2 and a half days!
Up around 5am, hiking by 0550 walked through a field before starting the climb for the day. Lots of uphill, hot and the mosquitos are back! Took a break by a dirt road and found a cooler with sodas in it on the other side! Yes!! Walked past a few swampy ponds and had to pull out the headnets! Eeeeek, more mosquitos! Camped by Blue Lake for the night, buggy as all heck, managed to hike 29 miles this day and all we'll have to do is 24 tomorrow and we'll meet Tripod by the road and go into Trout Lake and camp at his place!!
Up for the continental breakfast and heading for the bridge at 8am. Felt pretty cool to be walking across the bride and into the final state of Washington! (there were only 3 states.....but, it's the last one!!) Took a few pictures on the bridge and of the "Welcome to Washington" sign on the other side!! Lots of poison oak on the trail (because we are at about 500 feet elevation). We could see Mt. Hood back to the south and Mt. Adams ahead to the north. Extremely hot out, we were sweating like mad, lots of climbing to get up to 4,000 feet elevation and with lots of food in the pack, it felt like slow going. We took a break and everyone had one of Chelsea's "Magic Bars" delicious! Everyone loved them (they were heavy.....it lightened my pack to share them with everyone) Climbed even higher and we could see Mt. St. Helen's in the distance, wow! The top was just blown right off! Walked through some logging areas and were going to camp about 25 miles in, but.....(get this) We came across this man on the side of the trail with 3 suitcases, 1 duffle bag and 1 backpack eating random berries on the side of the trail talking all strange and looking like a lunatic. WOW! The luggage was all torn to pieces, one had a huge hole in the corner, and another the handles were broken off! Someone talked to him and he said it took him 14 days to get there from Cascade Locks (the town we just left that morning) Sooo, after that encounter, we decided not to camp 1/2 a mile away in case he got a burst of energy and caught up to us while we were sleeping.........so we hiked on another 5 miles and camped by a road and creek, it was a long day and we ended it by headlamp, but we felt safe for the night!!! Welcome to Washington state!!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This is the bridge we'll walk over tomorrow morning and see those trees??! That is the state of Washington! (not a very nice picture of the bridge, but I'm too lazy to walk over there right now and snap another picture!) It's a pretty cool bridge.
Look at all of our goodies!
Trader Joe's stuff from Neighbor's dad and MJ!
Homeade cookies and bars from Chels and Priscilla! Phone calling cards from Bootz and Bluelight and Chels! Bars from the Fam (that were MIA for 3 months!!!) and Priscilla. Picked up our rain pants for the state of Washington (cause once in awhile....it rains here) MJ has hiked this part of the PCT and we have a gift certificate waiting for us in Stehekin! Yeah! Grammy Peg and Bootz and Bluelight mailed us some cash that we'll spend on.....FOOD of course! The trail is all about food when you get to town, taking in calories that you can burn when walking the next 100 mile stretch. Our diets are terrible and it's great! Ice cream? Bring it on! The more calories the better! Thank you everyone for the packages, we just repacked it all and mailed some ahead to different stops that we'll be making in Washington where you can't really buy food or there isn't a big variety. It's 1pm here and we have the rest of the day to do something that we rarely do and that is RELAX! Ahhh! I'll put up some more pictures while no one is waiting for the computer and that's it!
Monday, August 11, 2008
Good night's sleep, little chilly. Up early and walking towards town. Basically it was 22 miles of DOWNhill! Cascade Locks is the lowest point on the whole PCT at about 200 feet. We took a side trail off the PCT to town along the Eagle Creek Trail.....what an amazing trail! I'll attatch pictures! We walked behind a waterfall! It was sooo cool! Got into Cascade Locks around 4pm, booked a room at the hotel and then went to the Post Office and picked up 7 (yes 7 care packages!!) Came back to the room and tore into them like it was Christmas! What fun! Bootz and Bluelight, MJ, Neighbor's Dad, Grammy Peg, Chels, Priscilla, The Fam (finally....one of the packages from Echo Lake finally showed up!!) It was just wonderful! Tomorrow we will spend all day sorting the packages and mailing food ahead to the final 4 or 5 stops we have along the trail! Off to bed for me for now!
Slept pretty good on the floor, the window had to stay open because someone (or a couple someones) had some really bad gas! We went up to the All You Can Eat breakfast and boy oh boy was it great! I had 4 pancakes with strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup and real whipped cream! There was bacon, eggs, homefries, brie, smoked gouda cheese......just wonderful! I left there and felt ill, but we still managed to hike around 21 miles. Started hiking around 9:30 and snapped a group photo (minus Flippy) that I'll be sure to attatch. Hiked under the chairlifts with skiiers and snowboarders heading up the mountain....seems funny to see people skiing in August! But they ski year round on Mt. Hood due to the Glacial snow, pretty cool. Lots of ups and downs, as we hiked away from the mountain, the fog finally cleared and I got a pretty decent shot of the mountain. Camped at Salvation Spring.....11 of us! Black flies were out in force, but we threw on the headnets and had no problems! Only 22 miles to Cascade Locks tomorrow and boy am I excited to be heading there!!!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
For some reason, the computer that I am on isn't showing a few of last week's posts (pictures of us at the 2,000 mile mark and pictures from Elk Lake Resort, along with the text.....) Maybe you guys can see it at home and it is just this computer, who knows!
Neighbor found $10 last week and you'll never guess where........in the trash at Crater Lake! Yep! He went to throw something away and there was $10 dollar bill sitting right there! yeah for us!
Neighbor found $10 last week and you'll never guess where........in the trash at Crater Lake! Yep! He went to throw something away and there was $10 dollar bill sitting right there! yeah for us!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Up and hiking by 0545, more easy trail miles. The terrain is just amazing, flat, no trees down and we just cruise! By noon we had hiked 20 miles and were on the homestretch for the day! Timberline Lodge was our destination and it was only 5 miles! This is what we thought Oregon would be like! Flat terrain, smooth sailing and big pine trees! We had one spot where we could have seen Mt. Hood from the trail, but it was all fogged in. Reached the lodge around 2:30 or so, chilly, foggy and just plain yucky outside. The group reunited in the Blue Ox (a small pizza pub) where we ate pizza and were just happy to be inside and warm. Boomer is here (he lost the trail the same spot that we lost it a few days back, but being alone, he gave up and had to hike BACK to Sisters and hitched up here to the lodge!!) Yikes! I guess the rain from that storm washed away all of our footprints and he was on his own (really)! So, then Thrust heard that there were rooms available and he jumped on one! Neighbor, Slider, JB, Thrust and I are all splitting a room. I'll be happy to be sleeping on the floor, it will be dry, warm and just wonderful! There is an All You Can Eat breakfast in the morning that we'll all be there for and then we'll start the 1.5 day hike to Cascade Locks (last town stop in Oregon!!!!) So, we'll be in Cascade Locks on Monday!
Didn't sleep all that great, between some people who had a bonfire going and the lightening in the distance it was a short night. Hiking by 6am and found the trail to be amazing! We were lower in elevation now and the "Oregon Muleskinners" maintain this section of trail and it is spotless! I mean, they raked the trail and removed ALL the rocks from it! Wow and someone told us that there are NO downed trees for the next 50 miles! Smooooth sailing for us! Stopped for lunch by a nice cold spring around 1130 and we had already hiked 18 miles! Amazing! Walked through one batch of mosquitos and I used up the last of my 1.1oz can of deet! Then we climbed higher and there was a breeze and no more bugs! Yeah! Things are looking up! Stopped early (4pm) because we were near a campground and they had picnic tables! Whipped up some Chicken Polynesian, then mashed potatoes for dinner. Only 25 miles tomorrow to Timberline Lodge which is the lodge at the base of Mt. Hood. It is funny though, we saw Mt. Hood yesterday, but haven't seen it since, the trail is completely in the woods and all you see are big trees! We were sleeping by 7:45 and then the party started up with the campers, we realized it was a Friday night.....but didn't realize we wouldn't get much sleep for the 2nd night in a row! Oh well!
Slept until 0520! Wow, we were tired! Hiking by 6am, more snow, more trail finding. Had to cross Russell Creek and the book says to cross it early in the morning because the water is milky (so you can't see through it) and it has a swift current.......well, I was nervous, but when we got there......it was still covered in snow! yeah! We took a break there and dried out our gear (tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag, tent fly, etc. it was all wet/damp from last night) Walked though Jefferson Park, what a beautiful area (I'll attach pictures soon) More snow, hiked up a ridge and into Mt. Hood Wilderness and we could see Mt. Hood in the distance, only 50 miles away now! Wow! Hiked downhill (actually slid down the hill on the snow) and past a few ponds, some mosquitos were out, but nothing like a week or so back. Camped at Ollalie Lake Resort (which is closed due to snow damage) and enjoyed the luxury of a picnic table to cook and eat at!!
Enjoyed the continental breakfast again and then caught a ride back to the trail with 2 Outward bound workers. Sky was cloudy and it just felt like it was going to rain. Luckily I had my rainpack cover with me now (just picked it up) and I threw it over my backpack. It sprinkled a bit, but we just kept walking and caught up to Slider, Thrust, JB and Flippy, took a lunch break with them then another break a few hours later when JZ, Antfarm and Swiffer caught up! All together again (except for Boomer who was leaving town a few hours later) Mt. Jefferson is getting closer and it is huge! We saw either an immature eagle or Golden Eagle fly over our heads today, it was a pretty cool sight! More snow on the trail, we came to a large snowfield and basically just lost the trail all together. We all went in different directions looking for any sign of the trail or footprints of others before us.....nothing. Eventually Neighbor found the trail down in the valley below and we were back on track. The amount of snow for August is just amazing! We made it almost to Shale Pond for the night, but the sky had been dark and we had been hearing thunder for awhile now, it started to rain and we threw the tent up quick and jumped inside! Safe! Or so we thought......
It started to HAIL! And it poured like mad and then we realized that our nice flat camp spot was turning into a large puddle........in 10 minutes, it was a 4 inch puddle outside and UNDER the tent! Eeeeek, when the hail stopped, Neighbor jumped out and dug a drainage for the small lake, but in the end, we just had to pick the tent up and move to a different spot! Cooked up some mac n' cheese after the storm was over, it was chilly out, then we jumped in the sleeping bag and slept like a rock for the night!
What a great night sleep in the motel! Ahhhh, the pillows were awesome! Enjoyed the continental breakfast and then ran to the PO to mail some stuff forward (and picked up a postcard from Stinky and a letter from Gram and Papa)! Thanks guys! MJ, we forwarded your care package ahead to Cascade Locks because we already had too much food and didn't want to have any more to carry for the next stretch, but it'll be waiting for us in 100 miles!! Thank you! Then we decided to just relax for the day. The rest of the crew was spending the extra day in town and we enjoy everyone's company, so we booked the room for a 2nd night and actually relaxed! Neighbor went in the pool and hot tub. We walked downtown and I ate 1/4 pound of Peanut butter and chocolate fudge! And they have llamas on the property, so I got my picture with one! (thinking of you Grammy Peg!) Chels called the room and we talked for over an hour and a half! Wow, we needed that though! Good quality sister time in Sisters, OR! :) Around 7pm, JZ, Antfarm and Swiffer showed up and they stayed with us for the night. Nice relaxing day.