Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Slept like a rock. We were hiking by 6am, more uphill, but by the end of the day today, we'd be in Stehekin, so were were energized and ready to go! I was feeling great and motored right up Suiattle Pass. It was a cold morning, plants were covered in frost and we were in hats and gloves, brrrr, it feels like September in Washington state, that is for sure! Once we were at the top of the pass, it was basically all downhill the whole afternoon! Beautiful blue sky today, this is the type of weather we were looking for! Nice! Lunch break by Hemlock Camp and only 12 more miles to the road to town! By 5pm, we were at the ranger's station waiting for the busride to town! We loaded up at 6:15 and enjoyed the ride! Camped out for free on the outskirts of town after a great dinner at the Landing, what a day, and boy are we happy to be here!!!
In the middle of the night, I felt something "land" on my feet.....ahhhhh, MOUSE! Headlamps were on and stuff was flying, luckily it had escaped...through the same HOLE that it chewed right through the side of the tent. Great! We taped up the mouse hole and went back to sleep, but it was tough to sleep thinking the little guy would break in again. It rained on and off during the night. Morning came early and we were hiking by 0550, lots of ups and downs today, like 2,000 foot climb up and then 2,000 foot climb down! We hiked down to Kennedy Creek where there was a bridge over the creek (a broken in half one, but a bridge!) Then we climbed up to this beautiful glacial bowl with Mica Lake, then down some switchbacks that were half washed away and down to Milk Creek (which I forded and Neighbor found a couple logs to cross on) Before that creek we walked through lots of overgrown trail sections with steep drop-offs on the side (like scary drop-offs!!) Then we climbed back up to a ridge and had lunch and the sun came out, so we pulled some gear out to let it dry out a bit. Then we followed a ridge through a huge bowl for miles through grassy meadows and boulder strewn river beds, amazing how the scenery changes so quickly! Then we went back downhill towards the Suiattle river, but first walked through a few miles of HUGE, (I mean massive) downed trees, some were so big it was easier to just bushwack around the whole darn thing! All the guys ripped their rainpants climbing over and under trees today. (today was a looooong fun filled day) Then we finally came to the Suiattle (the river that EVERYONE talks about for miles and weeks before you even get to it!!) The floods of 2003 completely washed out the river, but there is one big tree for you to cross the river on. The guys (Thrust, Slider and Neighbor) walked over this log, I scooted across, there was no way I could have walked this log and not fallen off. I'll attatch a picture! By the time we got to the other side, it was 6:30pm and we were all exhausted and just camped right there on the banks. Good-night!!!!
It didn't rain last night! How great it was to wake up and not have a wet tent! Hiking by 6am, we saw a patch of blue sky and there was hope! Then it started to snow (yes, snow!) Hiked up to Red Pass in fog, windy, chilly, spitting snow type of weather. We entered Glacier Peak Wilderness area and you could tell it was a beautiful area, even if you couldn't see all that far. This area was hit hard by storms back in 2003 and the trail is still under construction, new bridges are being put in and blowdowns are being removed slowly, but it's hard work for the crew. We saw one of the old bridges that was swept away in the rainstorm of 2003 stuck right in the middle of the river (see picture above) Some of these crossings would be insane without the bridges, Thanks trailcrew!! Around 3pm, we realized that we were about to climb up 2,000 feet and it was already hailing down low where we were, so we decided to camp right there instead of hiking uphill into the snow and freezing for the night. It was a good decision, we even started a small campfire and dried off some gear!
Woke up around 7am and decided to make a go for it! Eric D was driving up to the pass, so he gave us a ride back to the trail and we were hiking by 9am! We said good-bye to JZ, JB and Boomer earlier and off we went. Easy hiking to start, overcast, but not a bad day, took a lunch break at noon by Lake Janus and it started to sprinkle a bit. More uphill hiking after lunch with rain showers on and off all afternoon, we even had freezing rain once too! Brrrr! Ended up hiking close to 25 miles this day and camped with Dave, Andy and Ryan (3 guys out hiking north to the border) Hi guys!! Peeled off our wet shoes and socks after dinner of Mac n' cheese/tuna and called it a day.