August 2-8, 2017
It is 8am at a picnic table in Packwood, Washington and I’ve just crawled from beneath the tripod supporting my mosquito netting. We arrived at White Pass yesterday evening after another long stretch in the wilderness. I picked up a ressuply box, courtesy of my dad (thanks!!!), and I drank the most refreshing beer of my life. We then stuck out our thumbs stopping a BMW 3 series that shuttled the three of us into town. We paid $10 each for a campsite at the RV park with free showers and coin laundry. I am clean and feeling pretty wonderful, especially considering last nights double burger and beer-battered fries. This is an interesting little town with plenty of wild elk.
We left Snowqualmie Pass late in the day on August 2nd. We spent that morning soaking in a hottub at the Inn then we hung out at the Ardvark Food Truck with the owner, Dan. He provided cold beer while I worked on the blog. It sure made leaving town hard!
A high pressure system settled over the area the day we were leaving bringing with it smoke from forest fires in BC, Canada. The smoke still lingers nearly a week later blocking many views but it makes for some incredible sunsets. We hear it should clear by Friday this week.
We walk into Mt. Rainier National Park catching only glimpes of the peak through all the smoke. It is still beautiful, and the smoke adds character, but I’m ready for it to pass. It does shift our focus to the more immediate rather than distant peaks; time for introspection.
On our third night out, Tyler found service and learned about trail magic happening at the Urich Cabin. A NOBO hiker’s parents drove up with ten pizzas, watermelon, salad, and cold drinks. We stuffed our faces working hard to finish the food before bed. I was painfully satisfied when I laid down for the night.
We have seen lots of wildlife and I can now add mountain goats to the list. We saw them at distance hanging out on a ledge. Always after the photo, we traversed a few cliffs getting as close as reasonable possible. We counted 22 with two babies among the herd. Other wildlife: deer, thieving birds, owls, frogs, chipmunks, dogs, and plenty of wildflowers.
On one of our last nights before town, Clay and I hike on into the night under the light of a full moon. This moon marks one month on the trail! We hike up to a pass then descend to Sheep Lake.
There are SOO many lakes tempting us to jump in on hot days to cool and clean off. I can’t jump in them all, but I’ll do my best! They make for some awesome sunset reflections as well. Luckily, all this smoke is keeping the mosquitoes at bay. I hear they are REALLY bad in Oregon but they will die down by the end of the month.
Clay smiles for the camera as we hang out on a ledge like the mountain goats we chase, goat blazing!
Me, Kodak, as I lazily lounge in the morning after a long day. I sip on coffee while I sort photos in the comfort of my recliner. Most nights I cowboy camp as it rarely rains here in summer.
Tyler filling his bottle from a stream in the rocks. We are spoiled out here drinking the best water you’ll find. Town water after all these springs…. blah!
Tapeworm and Wildchild are hiking NOBO to Canada. They hit the Sierra too early this year and skipped ahead. Still, they walked on snow for weeks. They’ll tag the border then head back to the Sierra to finish the trail.
That’s all for today. It’s time for me to head back into the wilderness. Our next stop is Trout Lake in ~65 miles where we’ll grab a few days of food and move on to Cascade Locks. Only 150 miles of Washington remain!
Take care and happy trails everyone! See y’all in Cascade Locks in eight or so days.