25.1 miles (Miles 2245.9 – 2271.0)
PCT Mile 2245.9 – PCT Mile 2271
It was nice to get up a wee bit later this morning than usual – I think it was about 6am. I rolled over in my sleeping bag and made oatmeal and coffee just outside my tent door. It was pretty chilly in our little meadow camp, so I stayed tucked in my cozy, warm bag as long as I could. I finally got up and started to pack my things, and I had to strap my rain fly to the outside of my backpack because it was drenched with condensation. Thankfully I was able to dry it out on a morning break once the sun came up over the hills.
We strolled instead of hiked this morning. We were up along a ridge that had wide-open views of the mountains and the soft clouds still lying in the valleys. It was hard to keep a steady pace with a new angle of such a pretty view around every corner. At one point I just stood there and stared for a moment at Mt. Adams directly in front of me, full of snow, large and proud and crystal clear. I was basically standing at the base of it, so it really looked big.
Then I stood in the same spot and rotated to the left. Mt. Rainier was off in the distance, also covered in snow, which helped it show off against the morning blue sky. I was feeling so thankful for the weather clearing up – this morning had no clouds or haze – everything was so bright, sharp and clear!
After soaking in Mt. Rainier, still standing in the same spot, I rotated just a little to the left again, and there stood Mt. Saint Helens. She blended into the sky a bit more having no snow, but it was still easy to see with such great morning light.
After our stroll across the ridge of mountainous views, we wound down through cool meadows with sleeping purple gentian flowers and each individual leaf of every plant still holding drops of sparkling dew.
We had a bunch of river crossings today, and the afternoon rivers had bridges. The morning crossings were different. A few smaller streams were easy to hop one or two rocks across, and one larger one in which I was able to easily cross a log with dry shoes. There was one, though, that was trickier. I rock-hopped part of it, then forded the rest of the way by just stepping in and walking across. It’s so much easier than dealing with slippery rocks and rolling logs sometimes! It was a river silty white and freezing cold, coming down from a Mt. Adams glacier. I was glad we reached it earlier in the morning, since these glacial runoffs tend to swell more as the day goes on and the sun beats down on the snow and ice high above. So it was chilly getting my feet wet, but I kept walking and they warmed quickly.
We took an enjoyable, long lunch at Lava spring. This was some of my favorite water along the PCT so far. It was just pouring straight out from this giant pile of lava rock, it was crystal-clear, crisp, icy cold and totally frosted up my bottles when I filled them. Oh, it tasted great, too! We took advantage of the sunshine and dried out more damp gear from our wet-meadow camp last night, I ate two lunches and made some coffee. One of my lunches was a tortilla with Justin’s peanut butter, honey and wild, delicious, sweet huckleberries. Yum!
I had fun chasing butterflies around trying to get photos of them, as well as one really weird red bug. Then Clydington came to visit, too. Clydington is the Washington chipmunk. He’s proper and drinks tea. The Wisconsin chipmunk is just Clyde, who is your typical chipmunk – he likes to dart across hiking trails in front of you and sometimes shows you where to go… like a woodsy trail guide. Then there’s California Clyde. He’s just fast. The Oregon chippy is Clyde-O, and he seems to always have his cheeks jammed full of something yummy. They’re all cousins.
Oy… have I been on the trail too long!? Haha! The Clydes really are pretty awesome. Especially since they haven’t chewed through anything of mine yet!
We entered into the Goat Rocks Wilderness today. I’ve heard past hikers say this is the best part of the whole trail, so I’m very excited to really get into it deeper tomorrow. We’re only a few miles in, camped in kind of a spooky, dark and damp forest. I should have lots more photos to share again tomorrow!
Tonight I love Immodium. And trading a Snickers for extra TP. That’s all I’ll say about that. ;)
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!