Monday July 10th, 2017
Ross Lake to Dry Creek Pass
Day #1 — 5 miles
The journey begins!!!! It is hard to believe how fast everything happens. For three months I worked and trained and planned. Then, boom! We’re skipping across a lake in a motor boat zooming towards the trailhead. We’re hefting heavy packs onto our backs and, suddenly, we’re climbing 5,000ft in five miles. We are nowhere with nothing but the supplies on our back.
For me, it feels like home. Aside from a few scenic difffernces (epic snow-capped mountains) I thought I was back on the Appalachian Trail. I’m SOO excited to be living outside again. This is where we belong. My only worries now are life’s essentials. What concerns me is food, water, and shelter. Nothing else matters much except walking enough miles in a day to make it through the Sierras before snowfall. And even this isn’t worth the stress. Worst case, I flip-flop like all this years NOBO’s.
Tyler met us at the subway station in Seattle around ten. We drove north and picked up Thomas. Then, we drove another three hours north to Ross Lake. We walked one mile downhill to the lake and called the ferry operator from a phone on a pole. He was there in ten minutes and we boarded the boat.
The ride lasted maybe twenty minutes. He dropped us at Devils Creek and our hike began. We snacked and filled up on water then tackled the mountain. The climb out of Ross lake on the Devils Ridge trail is a killer. It was almost Katahdin hard. Luckily, all my training paid off. My goal was to workout with such intensity that the hiking would feel easy. The climb certainly wasn’t easy with a 45 pound pack but, for day one, I felt good and strong. The trail was in good condition with freshly cut blowdowns.
Slow and steady put me at the campsite a couple hours before dark. We setup uphill from a rickety, old shelter that left Orion and me feeling nostalgic. Good ol’ AT shelters! I ate Mac n’ cheese with tuna and olive oil for dinner and a buck wandered into camp like he owned the place! He was not timid in the least and was within 10ft of us. The sunset was spectacular with golden rays piercing thick dark clouds. There are snow capped mountains right outside my shelter. Craziness.