Miles Hiked: 30.5
PCT Mileage: 1978.3
Today I barely made it on the shuttle back to trail in time. I opened my eyes at 7am. Thirty minutes before it left. I packed up my things quickly, back flushed my filter, and got a breakfast burrito and juice from the store. I was throwing everything in my pack as fast as I could and then I ran over to the vehicle. The town of Trout Lake has volunteers who drove hikers to and from the trail on a schedule. It is pretty nice to be able to count on it! I gave my driver Doug some gas money when I got out of the car. Before I got back on trail I got to talk to “Blue” who was getting picked up to go into town.
The trail entered Mount Adams Wilderness. I could see the massive glaciated peak from the car on the way up and I got a few sneak peaks of it the last few days. It looks incredible. I stopped to delayer my clothes and all my friends passed me. Turns out I wouldn’t see them again until the end of the day. I got my permit checked for the first time today by a forest service ranger. He told me you need a permit to be in the Mount Adams and Goat Rocks Wilderness. Good to know. I took my first break seven miles in at the top of the climb. I ate blue cheese and crackers and enjoyed the views of all the volcanoes around me including Ranier, Adams, Hood, and St. Helens. It was incredible. Giggles and Nugget stopped at the view and took a break with me. It was nice to chat with people. I really like them!
I continued on through a burn zone of years past. There were tons of meadows with rainbows of flowers. It was so pretty and one of my favorite days on the trail. The creeks were a bit silty and grey colored. I read on my map that it is because they are glacial run off. Today looked just like a post card and I took so many pictures. I listened to backpacker radio and music to keep my mind occupied. I kept hoping to see my friends at some of the water sources but turns out they didn’t wait for me. The mosquitos were bad after the first ten miles but especially the last ten miles of the day. On one of my breaks I put on my pants and bug net. They swarmed all around me but I needed to sit down.
At mile 20 I made it to Lava Spring. It was one of the coolest water sources I’ve ever seen. It was a gushing spring coming out of volcanic rock. Someone built a rock retaining wall around it. I took the opportunity to soak my feet in the cold water. I couldn’t keep them in for long but it definitely helped! I was really bummed to not see my friends here because it was still early in the day and I know that Trail Diva loves springs like this. I really hoped they didn’t go too much farther because I didn’t want to hike a long day out of town. After Lava Spring I got attacked by bugs for the rest of the night. Every tent site I passed was empty. Eventually I was going to give up on catching up to Midnight and Trail Diva. It was 7:30 and I wanted to set up camp. At the campsite 27 miles in the only two spots were taken. I was upset just because I felt so tired and didn’t want to keep going. I stopped to get water but walked as I filtered it because the bugs were so bad and I just wanted to get to camp. I finally found them at the next campsite 29 miles into the day. There were no tent sites for me. They know I don’t want to hike more than 30 miles in Washington so I was surprised they went this far out of town. Trail Diva said she tried to wait on me but the bugs were too bad. Unfortunately I had to keep hiking. I was so done with today. I hiked one more mile to a spot that seemed promising with a good view and service. Both were mediocre. I camped with Trash Panda. I think I must have set my tent up on a mosquito nest because they were the worst they had been all day. I threw my pack into my tent and got in with my shoes on. I zipped the doors shut as fast as possible because they were swarming all over. I made a protein shake and wrote my blog before going to sleep.