22.0 miles (Miles 2522.5 – 2544.5)
Sitkum Creek – Vista Creek
Views. That’s what today was all about. We got so many spectacular views from so many angles and around every corner. We’d climb to a pass, nearly pass out from overwhelming beauty and total perfection, then descend into forests full of obstacles, to a river, then back up to another pass with a totally different, yet just as amazing view.
The weather smiled on us all day long! YAY!!! Mood-booster for everyone! Let’s hike to Canada!
Whew! Seriously, what an awesome day. It was a tough one, but so worth it. We had lots of big obstacles – downed trees (some really huge) that we had to crawl under, over, around, or even slide down beside. Some had footholds hatcheted into them so we could step up and over. There were river crossings, and even a few washouts. One was even detoured down a short, steep, slippery slope back to the trail. There were muddy spots to navigate and a foot-killing section of trail that was deep and narrow, like a trench. Thinking back on all of it, what fun! But it did make the miles go by slower. We trekked over a few last obstacles and into camp after dark by headlamp-light. I’m pooped… and pretty happy about it.
Oh! There was also a serious climb. Almost 2,000 feet up in 2-1/2 miles! This picture below is only part of the switchbacks (I believe there were around 40 total):
I am calling that hill Sunshine Hill. As I started up the first couple of switchbacks, I could hear Sunshine talking to Hunny Bunny. It was obvious he was telling a story in detail because he just kept talking. I couldn’t see them because they were always just one level up on the switchbacks, and I was getting tiny bits and pieces of his story… something about New Zealand and hitchhiking. I picked up my pace and caught up to Hunny Bunny to hear more. Then Alphabet Soup was behind me, and Kudu after her. Nobody wanted to pass because Sunshine was telling this amazing story about a girl he met while working in New Zealand. It was one of the most romantic, sweet stories, and the way he told it held our interest for those two miles all uphill. Us three girls were all “awwwwing” behind him as he shared the story. It was like listening to a live podcast, only better because we know Sunshine. What a great way to climb a hill!
I think our greatest view… ah… one of our greatest views (they were all so good!) was at Fire Pass. It was pretty darn snowy and a bit chilly up there, but it was incredible. The horizon was lined with short zigzagged mountain peaks, all tipped in fresh, white snow against our oh-so-thankful-for blue sky. I jumped for happy joyfulness a few times up there, and Bramble took a photo of it for me.
I really loved Goat Rocks, but I think today may have won out as my favorite in Washington so far. It might have something to do with coming out of a couple of really tough days of nasty weather… and the fact that my shoes are finally almost dry, and I could feel my toes for the first time in three days… but whatever it is, today was just really great. I really had it all, even a teal mountain lake way up high.
At camp, we squeezed our large group of tents into a pretty tight little spot. It’s cozy. Two cool tidbits from today:
First, Sunshine yogi’d a Larabar from a southbounder and gave it to me because I was ravenous today and running low on food (I planned poorly for this section). Thanks, Sunshine… and I believe the sobo was Gift-Giver, appropriately named! Second, we ran into Atlas, whom we haven’t seen in a while! That’s really awesome! It was fun catching up with him.
…and shoot. It’s starting to rain… Whaaaaa! I’m goin’ to sleep and dreaming of warmth, dryness and sunshine. Happy thoughts… happy thoughts…
Tonight I love feeling happily exhausted… it’s one of my most favorite feelings ever.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!