Stongest guy on the trail.......hands down.
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!