Monday, September 21, 2009

Snoqualmie Pass to Skykomish

Walking into Snoqualmie Pass on Friday, we hadn't seen another thru-hiker since getting back on the trail a week earlier. We were feeling like we were the last ones on the PCT, a lonely feeling. But as we entered the Pancake House, we saw familiar faces, as well as hikers we had not met before. We caught up with:

Fix-It -He's a carpenter in Portland, Oregon in the real world

Creamsicle- Named this by another hiker because he bought a giant box of these and passed them out somewhere in southern California

Scuba - He got this name for his diving to the Deep Creek bottom looking for lost sun glasses

Jessica - Never got a trail name

Dutch - He had a group of '08 hikers at the kick-off party believing that Euchre was a Dutch word meaning "to cheat" during a card game of the same name

Ancient Brit - Just an old British guy

Pickle Monster - He apparently really loves pickles

Wonka - Someone thought her laminated picture of Thoreau hanging off the back of her pack was Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in the movie

Good Spot - He constantly is looking for that "good spot" for lunch or camp

After having breakfast and lunch without leaving our booth, we decided it was time to get walking. However, the next 40 miles of the PCT was closed due to fire. The USFS rerouted us along roads and out of the way 20 miles, but thankfully, another hiker knew a better way. Via Snow Lake, Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, and Dutch Miller Gap, we made our way around the closed section to the PCT at mile 2438.0, where we continued north.

Not without getting rained on for most of Saturday though. It was our first real day of rain in Washington, and hopefully our last. Our alarm went off just after 5 am right about the time raindrops started hitting our rain fly. We had a decision to make. Do we enjoy being warm and dry and sleep longer or get packed up before it really starts coming down? We chose the latter and began our day in full rain gear. It rained steadily all morning, let up for a few hours around lunch time, then began drizzling again around 3 pm. As we were arriving at Deep Lake, it became stormy with gusty wind and heavier rain. We wasted no time with getting inside the tent and even cooked in the vestibule.

Sunday dawned cloudy, foggy, and overcast. Nothing to do but get hiking though, and after going up and over Cathedral Pass, and Deception Pass, the skies began to clear. The rest of the day was beautiful and I was even able to take advantage of being near Seattle, flipping between the Mariners (MLB) and Seahawks (NFL) games on my walkman.

With only 10 miles to go to Steven's Pass, we treated ourselves to breakfast in bed on Monday morning. To our oatmeal, we added the freshest blueberries one could get, picked from a bush outside our tent. Scrumptious! We got on the trail by 6:30 and enjoyed the gorgeous morning walking to Steven's Pass/Hwy 2. Hitching to Skykomish was a piece of cake and that's where we are right now. 179 miles to Canada!

Way back in Southern California, in the first few days or so, I equated the PCT to a marathon , breaking up the trail into 26.2 100-mile increments. If we stick to that, and pretend it's the Boston Marathon, at this point, we're running down Beacon Street, seeing for the first time the Citgo Sign and nearing Kenmore Square. We are so close we can taste it.


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