Thursday, October 4, 2012
It turned out to be Dancing Feet and Not So Bad on the ridge. Crazy people! We hiked a little way after dark and passed up Pitfall and Diesel in camp. Haven't seen them for a while. Woke up super late, which seems to be the trend lately. Sluggishly made our way to White Pass, 11 miles. The White Pass store was really cool and the woman working there wore a Tool t-shirt and gave us all of the leftover food for the day. We hung out with Chameleon, Pitfall, Dancing Feet, and Not So Bad. An intended hour in town turned into several hours and several trips to buy more drinks and snacks. Surprise. Surprise. Chameleon mentioned that we were only an hour from Yakima and that Snoqualmie Pass was two hours so we decided to call family friends John and Paula last minute. A surreal, surprising change of events and we ended up hitching to Yakima with an awesome couple from Alberta, Canada. John and Paula took us to get burgers and now we're living in luxury in their spare bedroom. We meet tons of people every day, but it's really nice to be with people from "real" life and it was inspiring to see the home and creative retreat they've set up for themselves. A good recharge to the batteries. Thank you, John and Paula!
Today was an awesome day. One of the best on the whole trail. From the first morning steps, the views were amazing. Rolling around through colorful meadows. Climbing higher until we reached glaciers and glacial melt rivers flowing down the hillsides, a 20' waterfall, and springs everywhere. We took a long lunch and an accidental nap in the sun. We climbed higher and higher, excited to see what this Knife's Edge" is all about. We caught our first glimpse of Mt. Rainier that grew and grew until we were overlooking a huge valley of glaciers leading eventually to the mountain. We took the hiker's route that is too steep for horses. The Knife's Edge was an insane, terrifying, beautiful trail. Who would build a trail like this!?!? But I'm so glad they did. We met a sobo section hiker who looked absolutely terrified coming off of the ridge, but we headed out along it. Snapping pictures. Taking in the view. Being scared out of our minds. Crying out in terror. Worrying that we wouldn't get across before the beautiful sunset turned to dusk. Eventually we made it across the two mile ridge and the trail turned a corner overlooking a huge green meadow with a view of Ranier behind. We stopped to look around just in time to see one of the most...majestic...sights we've ever seen. Huge, shaggy, white mountain goats were grazing in the meadow, meanwhile, a herd of about 20 Elk went running in a line along the meadow and stopped behind a stand of trees for shelter. One of those National Geographic moments for sure. It just needed some epic horn music. By the time we were headed down, the sun had set and we were slipping and sliding down the scree trail. We looked back at the ridge and two headlamps were looking at us in the distance. We started flashing our lights back and forth. Coo-Hees, but still not sure which of our fellow hikers it was.
We're in Washington now and zooming through. From the moment we stepped across the Bridge of the Gods, it's been breathtaking views and exhilarating climbs. Today we got to the Mt. Adams Wilderness where there is a 14,000 acre fire burning. The trail was closed along the entire wilderness, 22 trail miles. We had to decide whether to road walk an unspecified number of of miles to where the trail was open at Potato Hill or hitch around it. With the other fires, we've either pushed on through the trail or hitched around, knowing that we want to see all of the trail and not a road. We will come back to complete these sections. This one was a tougher decision because the snow will hit this area earlier than Northern California and our window of opportunity to finish it this year could close. We decided that, either way, we really want to come back to climb around on beautiful Mt. Adams, so we stuck out our thumbs. A nice couple from Tacoma picked us up and were so nice that they took us around sightseeing to see the fire near a full view of the peak, an incredible lake (Taklak?) that had a full mirror postcard mirror-image of the mountain on it, and also suggested that we come back to Muddy Meadows when it opens up. They dropped us off at Potato Hill and were on our merry way, enjoying blue skies and sunlight. We've been really lucky with weather, so far. When we crossed the "Now entering Goat Rocks Wilderness" sign, the sound that echoed through the forest was something like "Woo-hoo-hoo-HOO-hoo-hoo." Dancing like kids on Xmas morning. We climbed up to a most beautiful ridge in time to see a fog roll in. Yuh-oh. Hoping the weather holds out for our goat rocks experience. Super excited for the Knife's Edge tomorrow. Now, we're nestled in bed listening to the Elk make their calls. It's a strange and beautiful sound. Loving every moment out here. Reflecting on what it will be like when we finish. Making our way to White Pass.
Dana "Doe Eyes"
Dana "Doe Eyes"
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Relaxin' in Bend for a few hours before heading back out to trail. Watching people float down the river and huge Canada Geese fly overhead. We spent yesterday rushing around looking for new shoes for both of us and food food food galore. We won't be cutting it so close this time. We also had a good time at 10 barrel brewery where it seems every employee has aspirations to hike the PCT and one even sat down with us to chat about it. The push to get to Canada is upon us, but for now, we take a breath and enjoy the summer sun. Just found out we're getting a ride out to the trail with Mr. Lloyd Gust, a trail angel we've been hearing a lot about. Excited to meet him! Love to everyone.
Slept in till 7 today. Soooo nice. Stayed in camp till after 9 and started on a short day of 20 miles. We had decided that instead of two 35 miles days, we would take a 3rd day to get in to elk lake resort and then go out to Bend in the am. Adding this extra day made us really short on food and were mixing spare scraps of dehydrated anything together to have for breakfast. Lunch was a few pieces of salami and half a piece of bread each. Scraping the last peanut butter from the creases of the jar. Brett made powdered gravy and drank it like a shake. The miracle of the day was when I found pudding mix in the heaps of used up wrappers. That filled us up and kept us going for the rest of the day. As we were headed out from lunch, Scallywag caught up with us. We also met three section hikers taking a couple of months to hike oregon. Mapolis Margaret, Woody, and Chef Beard. I've realized that I haven't been sharing trail names, but it's one of the best parts of the trail! We were all chatting and they gave us some bagels and bars that they had been trying to pawn off on people. Me me me! So grateful and we gifted them in return. As were hanging out, another hiker walked up beaming with joy at having caught up with people. His name was Pitfall and he was part of the,now broken up, Lobster Crew. The Lobster Crew, we had heard rumored, was a group of people competing against Team EZ to be last to Canada. We've been joking that a meeting with any members of these teams meant that we were doomed to make it to Canada. Throw in the towel. But really, the team had just been going slow to enjoy the Sierras and Pitfall had been doing 30 mile days since Tahoe and we're still on time to make it to Canada. All this meeting left us a bit behind in our plan to make it to elk lake for food and showers and laundry before closing so we high tailed it our fastest yet. 3-1/2 mph for 13 miles straight with no breaks. By some miracle we made our goal and got there with 15 minutes to spare, but the lights were off and it appeared to be closed is this the right place? How can this be? We knocked on the door. Afterall we just ran 13 miles with empty bellies. Surely someone can respect that, right? Wrong. The guy said that their hours changed and they'd been closed since 7. It's not a store but a bar and we couldn't do laundry till the morning. Here's the hiker box now get out. Uhhh. This isn't what we expected. But we scrounged some tasty morsels from the hiker box and were happy that we wouldn't go hungry after all when a cheerful fellow came up and wanted to show us around camp and give us some "snackiez" he said. He worked there but not today. Today's his day off. He showed us some campsites we could use free of charge. Gave us the info that the other guy didn't-if you don't need a towel or soap, the showers open and free all night. And then he left and came back with "snackiez" a little box with granola bars oatmeal and BBQ chips. BBQ chips! I don't think I can express here how absolutely giddy we were to have chips in our grasp. We thank thank thanked him a million times, but I don't think he really know how thankful we were. A few pieces of wood left in the fire pit and Brett made a nice fire . A rare occasion on our hike. We cooked up a feast and are now going to sleep with full bellies. That's rare. We just can't carry enough food to be full usually. Tomorrow we scamper into Bend as fast as we can. New shoes a REI, bread cheese fruit and salami at the grocery store, ump qua huckleberry ice cream, and brewery tour through downtown bend, then zoomin through the res of Oregon to cascade locks. Over halfway through Oregon already! And loving this journey more and more every day.
P.S. Probably won't have access to a computer for a while so won't be able to update photos.
P.S. Probably won't have access to a computer for a while so won't be able to update photos.
Monday, August 27, 2012
We are now camped overlooking a beautiful view of California from O-R-E-G-O-N! The last few days have brought so many thoughts about how we've come all this way. Everything we've been through and seen and felt. The times we thought we'd rather be at home doing other things. The times we thought about quitting. How crazy this ride has been and how very, very glad we are that it's not over yet. Two more states to go and plenty more adventure to come. We woke up slowly this morning. Hitting the snooze over and over again. Eatin breakfast and rolling back over to sleep. By the time we did get going, people from a couple of miles back were catching up and saying good mornings. The miles came really easily even though the terrain wasn't all that easy. Our bodies must be excited for Oregon too. Despite all of my thoughts the last few days, today my mind was blank. Surreal. It has felt like this day would never come and I didn't want to get my hopes up yet. Robo Knee said it best when he explained his similar feeling as a demonstration of the patience he's learned out here. We never celebrate the top of a climb before we get to it, right? We dragged the day out. Taking breaks to chat with fellow hikers, snack, nap. When we got to the border, it was a blur of high fives, hugs, photos, Coo-Hees, and hollering. We hiked up the hill to find the spot we're camped in now, feeling out this new Oregon thing. Does it feel different? I don't know yet. We'll see when we get to Ashland!