In true Zero Day fashion I tried to minimize activities for the day (I’m not very good at this). I had gotten laundry and some other chores done yesterday which helped, but somehow by the end of the day my fitness tracker said I’d walked 10 miles ! Still, it was a relaxing day and I feel well rested 🙂
It didn’t really rain this morning, mostly just mist. Although, we did get wet from all the brush.
This is our final descent under the ski lifts to Snoqualmie Pass.
Darth Vada’s Mom and Dad who live in the Seattle area met her at the Pass and treated us all (Hot Fudge) to breakfast at the Summit Pancake house!
We had a great time hiking together for the last week but now we go our separate ways… Hot Fudge (on right) was doing some more miles that afternoon. Darth Vada was taking a day off at home and I was going to take my first Zero of the trip. DV’s mom was nice enough to give me a lift into Issaquah on their way home.
Today was the first time I’d seen rain on the trail in over two months! It only lasted 20-30 minutes but the air was cool with low clouds until mid-day.
The afternoon turned into a beautiful day with temps in the upper 60’s. Hot Fudge and Darth Vada are enjoying the wildflowers and the view.
A solid, but uneventful, day of hiking. Although, Hot Fudge and Darth Vada did manage to get ahead of me without anyone realizing it for some time. I had been just off trail filling up water at a spring and then took a 45min siesta by the junction and was surprised they hadn’t caught up to me. A little later I stopped at a cabin and took a lunch break and another siesta…they still hadn’t caught up. Finally, in the afternoon at the last water for a 12mi stretch I saw Hot Fudge. She was as confused as I was as to how they got ahead of me. Apparently, they walked by me while I was getting water at the first spring.
Unfortunately, there were no lakes to swim in today 😦 but It looks like I should be able to set it up to camp near a nice looking lake tomorrow.
Another fantastic day!
We made it to the highway and the Kracker Barrel convenience store by 9am. There was a small collection of hikers there. We spent half the day eating, charging batteries, organizing resupplies for the next 100 mile stretch.
Around 3:00 we headed back out and made a short stop at Sandy Lake for a swim. The water was wonderfully warm.
Today was a spectacular day of hiking! The scenery was stunning from wildflowers to waterfalls, views of Mt Rainier and hiking the Knifes Edge next to Old Snowy Mtn.
A view back towards Mt. Adams on horizon.
Horses have to drink too.
Panorama of the Knifes Edge and Old Snowy Mtn.
Not sure why the last three days have all ended at 26mi…a marathon a day keeps the Dr. away ?
Washington finally started living up to its reputation today…Incredible views of Mt Adams and miles of meadows and wildflowers.
I got into camp at 5:30pm which is one of the earlier days I’ve had. It wasn’t quite as relaxing as I might have liked because the bugs were doing their thing. Luckily, DEET did its job so I wasn’t forced to spend the whole evening in my tent. I made a couple minor repairs, cleaned my legs and feet in the creek, wrote in my journal and finished the blog. I even had time to read some of the NYT on my phone 🙂
This was about as easy as 26 miles of hiking gets. The trail was mostly through the pines and very soft under foot with a few minor climbs. The mosquitos weren’t terrible but just bad enough to force a decent pace. I got to the lonely road crossing about 20 miles up trail at 1:15 and had a ride 5 minutes later for the 14 mile down the mountain to town. Holly and Todd from Hood River had spent the weekend in the mountains and were headed home (sorry, no pic).
I’m bummed I didn’t take more pics from town and my hitches. The truth is you just can’t capture in a picture how sublime a huckleberry milkshake is on a 96 degree day!
I had originally planned to stay overnight in this tiny little town of Trout Lake (FYI, no lake that i saw ?) but it was just too hot at these lower elevations. After spending several hours relaxing and drinking cold sodas I caught a ride back up the mountain to the trail where it was 2000′ higher and much more comfortable.
I definitely made the right decision not staying in town. It was way more comfortable temp-wise on the trail. It could actually get a little chilly tonight !
Lastly, a big milestone today…finally, I’m at less than 1000 miles to finish (meaning I’ve hiked over 1660 miles)!
The warm evening last night turned into a pleasantly cool morning. The first miles of the day were smooth sailing then the climbing kicked in with a 3000′ ascent. The good news was that the trail took a relaxing 9 miles to reach the top. All in today, there was 7000′ of climbing and yesterday’s total was 7700′. Between the moderate grades and the shade of the trees the climbs aren’t too bad even in this hot weather but the humidity is a sudden change to get used to.
Considering all the climbing, I’m surprised I’ve made as many miles as I’ve done the last couple days . As a little extra incentive, I decided to hitch into the trail town of Trout Lake tomorrow. Even though I don’t need to resupply I’ve heard it’s a town that’s super friendly to hikers.