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City: Fort Collins
Begins: Apr 27, 2012
Date: Sat, Sep 8th, 2012
Entry Visits: 281
Journal Visits: 31,577
Guestbook Views: 1,231
Guestbook Entrys: 32
Last PLB Location
Pacific Crest Trail Map
Walking out of Cascade Locks with TP, I had a smile on my face for the first few miles. We had just walked into Washington and across the Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River. The bridge had no sidewalk, so we walked on the road itself holding up traffic the entire way, it was a bit nerve racking, but nothing could bring me down at this point, I was really pumped to be in the final state on the PCT. My smile soon disappeared after we started climbing, the first taste of Washington brought steep climbs and a HEAVY pack, I was less than enthralled. Washington kicked our butts and we managed a paltry 11 miles the first day.... crap.
After 3 days of hiking TP and I made it to Trout Lake at the base of Mt. Adams, we hadn't planned on stopping, but we were mentally broken down after some seriously up and down terrain. I'm damn glad we stopped in town, we ate at the diner and feasted on ice cream at the general store. A steady stream of hikers and fire fighters were in and out of the store, so we charged electronics and drank beer with Navi, Backtrack, Natty and i believe inspector gadget, memory is a bit clouded!
Some firefighters dropped off a bunch of MRE's for us, so that was much appreciated, all the firefighters were envious of us getting to hike all summer. We caught a ride up the mountain in early evening and made it about 500 ft before we continued drinking at the campsite next to the road, what a great day!
Next morning we woke to smoke and ash, the forest fire was less than 3 miles from the trail, so the sunlight streaming through the smoke took on a dull red hue and we felt the infrared heat baking us all day. Shortly after lunch i walked off on a side trail unwittingly and walked down the entire mountain before i realized i was off trail, it took me an hour to get back to the trail and I was hustling! Once i got back on trail i still had 13 more miles to go as of 3pm, I wasn't too thrilled to be walking after dark... once again. I finally found TP off the side of the trail around 10pm, I barely ate before i crashed hard.
One of the highlights of this section was the Goat Rocks Wilderness which we hit the next day, we camped at Cispus pass underneath a gigantic mountain meadown with 40+ goats grazing above us. The next day we crossed the knife's edge and boot skied down part of a glacier until it became too steep, it was a bit sketchy, but since we didn't have much chance to snow travel, we took the opportunity. Around lunch time, we ate at the edge of a glacier looking north huddled in the only shade we could find. After finishing up, a bald eagle took off from the trees right behind us, it glided across the glacier 50 feet in front of us. There's no shortage of bald eagles on my parent's lake, but this was honestly the closest I'd ever been to one, it was just magical!!
That night we walked into White Pass as we were freezing our butts off, we found Navi and Backtrack sitting at the trailhead drinking beers and they had a big pile of pizza waiting for us, that was rockin, thanks again!
TP and I hung out at the kracker barrel convenience store at White Pass most of the next day as we charged stuff and did laundry, we saw Ipod, Jawbone and others i can't recall. We walked out in a light mist and cloud cover as Xana and Panorama were walking in, we only made a few miles before we camped lakeside near Chinook Pass. All night we could hear the elks calling, pretty cool sounds. The whole section from White to Snoqualmie was somewhat of utility miles, it was a bit easier than the beginning of washington, but not as picturesque as the Goat Rocks. By the time we got to Snoqualmie, TP and I were ready for a hotel room, we hadn't slept indoors since Bend. i did eat a kimchi covered bacon wrapped hot dog from an rv in the gas station parking lot, i applauded myself for my adventurous choice, but it wasn't all that good :-(