Date: August 16, 2017
Miles: 2312.1 – 2339.1
I woke up to cold and damp everything, which was an uncomfortable reminder of what Washington is all about. It’s August and it is cold. And wet. And I’m not inside a house with a mug of hot coffee.
I made my usual cold oatmeal and cold coffee mixed with a chocolate Breakfast Essentials and got ready to hit the trail. It warmed up a little later and we spent some time in Mt. Rainier National Park hanging out by lakes and taking a crazy number of pictures of the mountain. It was sporting a lenticular cloud that looked an awful lot like Donald Trump’s hair (credit to JD for noticing that).
At the entrance to the park, we met Teresa, a local trail angel who had set up a lunch spread in the parking lot at Chinook Pass. She and a few of her friends had hiked sections of the PCT in the past and they wanted to do something to help out this year’s hikers. Thank you, Teresa!
After we had our fill of sandwiches, chips, cookies and donuts we ascended into the mountains north of Chinook Pass and I ran into family friends that I’ve known since I was a young girl but haven’t seen in years. They are doctors who worked with my dad for many years and it was wonderful to see them, both because they are great people and because they reminded me of fun memories of my dad who passed away ten years ago this month. I wonder at times what he would think of my decision to spend six months in the woods, walking a marathon nearly every day and essentially ignoring the demands of every day society. He was an Eagle Scout as a boy, who later moved to the Northwest with my mom to better pursue his love of the outdoors, and I think he would have followed this adventure with a thumbs-up and a ‘nicely done, girl.’
After we parted ways, I kept climbing up to a view of nearby forest fires. We stopped at Sheep Lake so A-Game could take a dip and we could dry out our gear, then we continued on in to the woods for a ways until we found a camp site tucked into the trees next to a small spring. We had dinner with some other hikers and then hit the hay.