Miles Hiked: 32.2
PCT Mileage: 2053
This morning I left camp at 4:30am. I didn’t sleep well at all last night and when I was awake at 4am I figured I might as well start hiking. We planned to do a long day today since there is a small fire near Chinook Pass we wanted to get around before it gets worse. We also only hiked 17 miles yesterday so we need to make up some more miles to keep our average around 25 miles a day. We are trying to make it to Stehekin by the 18th so Trail Diva’s boyfriend Kurt can pick us up to go to Trail Days in Cascade Locks. The forest was almost silent in the dark. It was kind of creepy. I’m so glad I got a new head lamp after hiking out from the fire in the dark last week. It has so many different lights and a really bright setting. It makes me happy just to use it. I scared off a large animal next to me at one point. I think it was an elk because I could hear hooves hitting the ground and it sounded heavy. In the first hour I hiked 3.8 miles. I was so motivated.
I passed by a lot of people sleeping in tents and crossed quite a few rushing streams and a small river. I didn’t stop until I was 11 miles in for the day at the Mount Rainier National Park border. I sat down for about 25 minutes in a cloud of mosquitoes while I ate a bagel with cream cheese and had a tiny bit of cell service. I just wanted to stop and wait on Trail Diva and Midnight who left after me. I also wanted to stretch and roll out my feet so they didn’t hurt me today. They have been feeling so much better lately with doing lower mileage. After I saw Midnight I started to get up and start hiking again. I was tired of sitting in a cloud of mosquitoes and knew she wouldn’t want to sit there either. I saw a black bear. It was running up the hill away from me. So much wild life today!
After my break, I got some awesome views of Ranier for the rest of the day. It looked like I could see the glaciers on it melting. I would really like to climb it in the next ten years or so as long as it’s not crazy scary. I know it’s super technical and I don’t have the skills needed to do it. I have no idea if that goal will ever happen or not but the mountain sure looks epic! I stopped again for a quick snack break and to rest my feet. Once again there were mosquitoes but not as bad as earlier. I hiked the list five miles down to Chinook Pass with Trail Diva. We passed a very large gorgeous lake with some llamas grazing near it. They were leashed to the ground. We also started passing tons of day hikers. A mile before the road I saw the most perfect blue lake to get in. There were tons of kids swimming in it. The bottom was purely sand and it made me feel so comfortable in it. Water freaks me out a lot sometimes. I was so glad I took the opportunity for a quick dip. It was getting hot outside. I checked the time and my map, we hiked 20 miles before noon. We blasted down the the parking lot to take our break. I needed to use the restroom and didn’t want to dig a hole. I love when there are out toilets at trailheads. We sat around in the busy parking lot for over two hours hoping someone would come over and give us a cold drink. With no luck I decided to hike on two more miles to the next lake. I took a swim in that one too. I can’t believe I got in two lakes in one day!
The rest of the day was mostly up hill and walking along a ridge. I had great cell service so I called my dad for a while. It was absolutely gorgeous out. My feet were really hurting the last five miles to camp. I think it’s because we hiked a long day today. I’m glad we did it but I hope we don’t do that again for a long time. Before camp I got water from a piped spring. It was ice cold and delicious. We had a perfect campsite tucked away into the trees. I was glad to be all set up and ready to go to sleep at 7:30. As soon as I woke up today I felt excited to go to bed. That’s how tired I’ve been feeling.