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Fredrik "Space Age" Rehnmark
Begins: Apr 23, 2014
Date: Fri, Oct 10th, 2014
Start: mile 2594, Fireweed Campground
End: mile 2615
Entry Visits: 427
Journal Visits: 46,621
Guestbook Views: 5,707
Guestbook Entrys: 40
Last PLB Location
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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In the morning, I discovered that Fireweed Campground has a well-built pit toilet. It was a relief not to have to dig a cat hole since the air felt especially chilly.
Zero awoke to find that the resident mice had shredded his toilet paper in the night while he slept. He called it an act of "pure rage" since all they left behind was a pile of tiny little scraps of paper, totally useless for the intended purpose! Since we started hiking together at Echo Lake, mice have chewed several large holes in the bug screen on Zero's tent, which extends down near the ground. By now, some of the holes are large enough that they can come and go as they please, even stealing items from inside the tent! On several occasions, Zero has woken up in the morning to find his camping spoon outside!
Last night, Zero hung his food bag to protect it from the mice. However, he was not as careful with his cooking pot, which still contained the remains of the mashed potatoes that made him sick. Judging from the poop they left behind in the pot, the mice did not hesitate to help themselves to the leftovers!
As we pack up and start hiking, Zero speculates aloud about possible trail magic at the Highway 20 crossing at Rainy Pass. I shake my head in mock disbelief. It has only been one day since we left Stehekin and he is already fantasizing about the next trail magic! I go along with the game, expressing how much I miss eating gravlax (marinated salmon) with mustard sauce on crispbread. Surely the trail angels will answer my prayers within the next few miles! Zero is not so hopeful, however. He thinks our chances of finding trail magic this late in the season are slim to none.
We reach the Highway 20 road crossing shortly before noon and decide to stop for a lunch break beside a large park sign. There is a steady flow of traffic and many hikers turn off the highway here to reach trailheads in the North Cascades mountain parks. They wave at us from inside their cars. As thru-hikers, we enjoy a kind of celebrity status among day hikers. They often encourage us and tell us that we are amazing. They love our trail names. They want to know where we are from, when we started, how far we have come, how far we hike every day, etc. and they are always very impressed with our answers.
One car stops and the two women inside wonder if they can ask us a few questions. I invite them over to share the remaining half of my giant cinnamon bun from the bakery in Stehekin. They are caught off guard and reply in disbelief that they can't take food from us! We are starving thru-hikers, after all! But I insist and the pastry is irresistible so they relent. I cut the bun into four pieces and do my best to satisfy their curiosity about our hike. It turns out they know the Dinsmores (trail angels in Baring, WA) and are enjoying a few days of car camping and day hiking in the area. They offer us some food and ask what else we might need. Zero gratefully accepts some toilet paper!
Then it is time to resume our hike so we bid our new friends farewell. As we set off down the trail, I remind Zero that he shouldnt underestimate the trail angels. They could appear at any time, often when we least expect them! We spend the rest of the day making good progress and admiring the seasonal color variations in the forests blanketing the surrounding mountain slopes. Especially brilliant are the larch trees, which have turned bright yellow and are beginning to shed their needles for winter. I am relieved to learn that this is a natural cycle and that the trees are not, in fact, sick or dying!
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