Saturday, September 4, 2010

Snoqualmie Pass, Mile 2,401

Being at mile 2401 is good news, it means there is only about 260 miles to go. Although Washington is full of big climbs and relentless descents, it had been more of a mental challenge than a physical one. My body can comfortably handle the terrain, and the miles, but i have been on the trail for well over four months, and I can see the end now. The summer season is slowly losing its grasp on the mountains, and I feel like we are racing to beat autumn to Canada.

The First 80 miles of the state were full of elevation gain, 2nd growth forests, and clear cuts. On a cold rainy day in this forested section, we made an unplanned side trip to Trout Lake, for a warm bed, and a huckleberry milkshake. This was an important stop, due to my slowly slipping motivation. With an attitude adjustment, we were back on the trail, and climbing into the Mt. Adams Wilderness. Although still cold and cloudy, we were leaving the clear cuts and entering the mountains that make the Washington Cascades a remarkable place. We walked thru huckleberry fields, and beautiful northwest forests of Douglas Fir, Hemlock, and Alaska Cedar.

Before arriving at White Pass for resupply, we passed thru the Goat Rocks Wilderness. I was really hoping to find some mountain goats here, because I'm almost an expert on goats after working on the farm, but they were no where to be found. On a cold fall like morning, we passed through the clouds at over 6500 ft. During very limited visibility, we walked across a 5 foot wide ridge on the crest called the Knifes Edge. It felt like climbing in a true alpine style. the Goat Rocks were possibly my favorite section of trail of the whole trip. check out the most recent pictures for sure.

After some deep fried food and a resupply at the gas station in White Pass, We continued north as the weather deteriorated. We walked thru some rain the first day, but managed to wish it away in time to pitch camp. The next day, started overcast, then drizzle. Then when we wanted lunch it started to rain, so we huddled under some nice cedar trees for  some relief. After lunch, the weather took a real crap, and according to my little FM radio, reached a record three inches of rainfall. It was uncomfortable. The rain did not let up, so we pushed for a 30 mile day and arrived a nice shelter, with a wood burning stove, and plenty of mice to keep company for the night.

The next two days faired-up and were not too special. More clear cuts, which I happen to not like at all. We ended up at Snoqualmie  Pass on Thursday, where our wonderful friend Julia took us to her home in Seattle. Today is our second zero day and I hope the last one of the trail. It finally feels like the end is in sight. I am having mixed feeling about finishing, I'm having fun, and I like this simple way of life, but my feet are tired and most of all I'm missing a certain little Pit Bull that's waiting for me at home.

It seems that we will reach Manning Park on September 16 or 17, where my parents will pick Jessica and I up for a long drive home. I may not be able to post until I get to Canada, so for now, check out all the new pics by clicking the link above this post, or the link in the post below. Thanks to everyone for all the support. It means a lot and keeps me going when I'm wet and cold. More from Canada coming soon!

1 comment:

Matt said...

Sam! Every now and then, as I went through numerous life changes over the past few months, I would stop and think Sam has been walking this whole time, doing just one thing. It's an interesting perspective and nice thought to have your life so singularly focused (I mean this in a positive light).
Well, in keeping with the studying I'm doing for economics right now, my opportunity cost of a wedding, move and start of grad school is equal to one PCT hike. I think by now you have finished the hike and are back in Eugene. I'm looking forward to chatting with you and hearing all about your adventure.
P.S. I miss The Old Pad