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Begins: Apr 1, 2008
Date: Thu, Aug 14th, 2008
Start: Meadow Past Nason Creek
End: Pass Creek Trail Junction
Daily Distance: 20.4
Trip Distance: 2,599.4
Entry Visits: 476
Journal Visits: 69,253
Guestbook Views: 3,645
Guestbook Entrys: 9
Meadow Past Nason Creek to Pass Creek Trail Junction
In the morning we got up at 5 a.m. and Stafford was already up and serving Peets coffee—what a treat! Cody had got up early and ambled over to their tent to make sure all was well, very sweet. We had our usual raw oats, fruit and nuts while Staff and Nancy cooked their steel cut oats. Staff offered Kerry hot water to put on his oats which he accepted thinking it would be nice for a change but decided afterwards, once again that he does prefer the cold water.
By the time we had beaten off the herd of mosquitoes, packed our sodden tent, taken photos and said our good-byes, it was 7:46 a.m. Happy to be back on the trail, it’s hard to describe how much we enjoyed the company and camaraderie of Nancy and Stafford. It was special, I think, because as long distance hikers, we rarely have the opportunity to share our experience with others we care about and for a brief period of time we did.
The morning took us ever up past the beautiful lakes of Valhalla and Janus, through scenic forests and our first views of snow-laden Glacier Peak. In the forest, we saw our largest frog so far, it was the size of my hand and Kerry took a photo of it.
High atop a mountain crest we put the tent up to dry—I think Kerry must have been carrying a good liter of water with it and I smiled as I remembered the way Stafford had looked doubtful when Kerry rolled it up this morning. With a few gusts of wind, the tent dried out while we ate lunch, still beating of the mosquitoes when the wind died down. On this our fifth day, we finally had some southward and distant views of Mt. Rainier. We walked across high crests and the wildflowers were spectacular: pink asters, white asters, every kind of daisy, Sitka Valerian and electric blue lupine everywhere. It was stunning! These are the views that I always feel so lucky to see—shared with the relatively few people who come to these wild places, a bit off the beaten track. The sporadic weather is a constant challenge but when the sky is blue, it’s like heaven on earth and for a brief time, it is ours alone.
At lunch, despite all the wetness around us, we found that we were very low on water and still had several miles to go. We eventually arrived at Pear Lake—another piece of heaven—where we refilled our water bottles and eventually went for a swim. Even Cody got into the water all the way up to his chest and Kerry and I dove under the frigid water—it was glorious. There was another couple, Kathy and Randy (aka Fruitcake and Nuts) who had hiked the Pacific Crest Trail last year. They were back on the West Coast for the wedding of another hiker, Joe and his girlfriend in Portland, Oregon. They loved this area so much that they were taking their vacation here and would be in Stehekin on Sunday, when we also planned to be there. They were from Virginia, were also in their 50s, and had two girls, one an architect and the other a mother. It was fun meeting them and I thought again how much serendipity we encounter on the trail.
Now we hiked on to Pass Creek. Kathy and Randy had recommended Sally Ann Lake but it was 10 miles away, not 6 like they thought. On the way, we had more beautiful vistas and wild flower-covered hillsides until we slipped back down into the valley where Pass Creek flowed. The mosquitoes though present were not bad and they quickly dissipated with nightfall. We were able to eat our dinner in peace and enjoy another glorious night under the trees and stars, lulled by the gentle babbling of a feeder brook some 25 feet away.
Confessions Of A Serial Hiker
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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