Monday, August 15, 2016

August 12 to August 14 - Snoqualmie Pass, WA to Stevens Pass, WA

Day 90 - August 12 - end at mile 2401.1. Left camp early today so that I could get to Snoqualmie Pass sooner. After a few hours, I came to a large pond and swam to wash up my body and clothes. Another warm, sunny day. As I got closer to town I saw a bunch of berries on trail to eat. There are blueberries and raspberry varieties out here. I picked up my box and had lunch in town before heading back out. I crossed I-90 and thought how I could take that 3000 miles east to home. There were lots day hikers on the trail climbing out of town and the sound of traffic below combined for a somewhat annoying first couple of hours. Once I got to the top it was just me though carrying forward. I saw several grey marmots. Not sure if they are a different species or not from the reddish-brown ones I saw further south. At my camp here there are lots of mosquitos buzzing around but they don't seem so interested in my blood. I'm not sure why but I appreciate it.I have a great view of the surrounding mountains and Rainer far in the distance. I have 249 miles left of the PCT and expect to be done in 10 days or less. I'm still enjoying hiking but at the same time looking forward to being back home.

Day 91 - August 13 - end at mile 2430.8. The day started off with pretty purples and oranges lighting up Rainer. It wasn't at all cool this morning. Shortly after starting I saw a reddish-brown fox-like animal with a bushy tail tipped black scurry away. Was it a Pine Martin? I saw more of those grey Marmots and one half grey and half red. I suspect its a different "plumage" related to non-breeding season but don't really know. The day got hot with big rock, switchbacked PUDs so I never got into a good rhythm and was bored and frustrated for a lot of the midday. Once the sun got low again, and the trail got less curvy I started to feel better. 0.4 miles before the campsite I was headed to I saw a sign pointing off trail that read, "Camping". I followed it up an abandoned trail with overgrowth and downed trees. After realizing it wasn't leading me anywhere, I made a short off trail climb to the original campsite I aimed for. This was actually a lot of fun and I had to pull myself up a little cliff face to get here. Now I'm camped alone on a nice overlook of the valley below and ridge walls on either side. It's still quite warm at 9pm so I'm gonna sleep with my rain fly open for the first time in a while. I sorta hope the weather turns colder and cloudier like the three days I had earlier in Washington. While not the most comfortable, this heat isn't either. 99% of the PCT has been hot and sunny like this and those three misty cool days were some of the prettiest and most memorable.

Day 92 - August 14 - end at mile 2461.6. Today's hike had lots of ups and downs. Washington seems a lot harder than most of the trail. Definitely harder than flat Oregon. Lots of ponds today and I swam in one perfectly timed at noon to cool off for the next climb. I took an alternate at Surprise Mountain that went up steeper and through a gap. On the saddle, I could see the last big glacial volcano. I think it's Glacier Peak. In the evening I met a fellow long distance hiker and bike tourist named Dr. John. We hiked together for a couple hours in the evening. I was good to talk and hike with someone like minded. Not many of us around right now... I think I'm ahead of most. After splitting up I climbed up to the ski lifts at Stevens Pass resort and hung out for the evening. Off trail, I found an odd stack of dry books: the Holy Bible, a book on Buddhism, a Colorado state map, a notebook that said "Appalachian Trail" handwritten on front but appeared to be full of school notes, a tourist guide to Seattle. At dusk, I descended down two miles to the road for a hitch first thing in the morning. This turned out to be not the best idea because I ended up camping right next to the busy highway. All night, trucks roared up the pass, tested their brakes, and then dropped down the other side. This made for one of my worst night's sleep on the PCT. Oh well.

No comments:

Post a Comment