18.7 miles (Miles 2227.2 – 2245.9)
Rd. 8851 – PCT Mile 2245.9
It was so nice to wake up warm and dry. After a cup of coffee, Gerry brought Tears and I to the same restaurant we had dinner last night, and we bought him breakfast. After I filled my belly way too full with biscuits and gravy, he drove us back to the trail where we hitched out yesterday. On our way there we got a great view of Mt. Adams – we haven’t been able to see it at all these past couple of days because of the weather, so it was cool to have it right there all of a sudden. Gerry even said it got some snow from that storm. I’m glad we weren’t up there last night!
It was about 10:30am when we got going. The temperature was cool, the sky was blue with a few puffy clouds, and there were still dew droplets on everything that shimmered in the sunlight like colorful, prismed diamonds. Condensation steam rolled off of stumps, bridges and wet patches on the ground so thick that it almost looked like they were on fire. It was a great morning.
A huge highlight from today was all of the mushrooms and lichen! There were bazillions of varieties in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. I wanted to take a photo of every single one, and I nearly did! It’s a good thing the huckleberries weren’t all over, too… I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere today!
I couldn’t decide if those white ones with the red liquid oozing out looked like blood and grossed me out, or looked like jelly and made me hungry. I’m still not sure. They’re just so strange! Do any of my readers know what these are or anything about them? I don’t plan on eating them or anything, but they do kind of look like a powdered raspberry jelly pastry of some sort… don’t they?
As I hiked by all the mushrooms, there was a spot in the trail that appeared to be moving. There were what seemed like a hundred tiny, hopping frogs no bigger than a fingernail in size. They were so adorable! I had to pick one up.
We started climbing, and eventually ended up back in a burn area. The trees were pitch black in some patches, and in others the pines seemed to be trying to thrive. Some really gave off a multitude of color.
It wasn’t soon after we climbed that we started getting teasing peeks at the snow-covered Mt. Adams even closer as we wound around giant boulder piles, seeding flowers glowing in the fading sunlight, and small pine trees dispersed among more small patches of burned trees.
After setting up camp in a damp meadow (we just can’t get enough “wet,” I guess!), we ate dinner and watched the sky turn all kinds of different colors above us. There were some coulds fading into the last minutes of blue sky that were taking in the setting sun’s orange and pink glow. Soon the horizon looked as though it were on fire, and a small climb up the ridge revealed an expansive view of mountains in layers of those spectacular blues, a sun setting, trees in solid shadow, and a magnificent Mt. Saint Helens off in the distance. This stuff never gets old.
I just crawled back in my tent from outside (nature called), and there were a few twinkling stars overhead, too. I just keep getting doused with these tiny blessings, one after another… let tomorrow be clear for a bit so I can get some views of those mountains! I’m looking so forward to these couple of days coming up!
Tonight I love blue sky. That was actually another one of my favorite things to see today.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!