Date: August 18 & 19, 2017
Miles: 2368.3 – 2397.8
Today was town day! We were up early and on our way into Snoqualmie Pass, where we had heard we could get some amazing curry from a food cart. Food is never not an exciting prospect.
We stopped at Mirror Lake for lunch and met a couple section hikers who generously gave us a bunch of Mountain House and fancy ramen meals. We love hikers who overestimate how much food they will need, and we’re always happy to help lighten their loads.
From there we hiked up above Interstate 90, the freeway that leads into town, and into the ski resort. Our first stop was the Chevron to pick up resupply boxes and a thank-you gift from Donkey for carrying his sleep shirt that he left behind in White Pass. The next stop was the Aardvark food cart for curry. JD accidentally dumped a painful amount of Ghost Pepper hot sauce in his, but even though he was sweating, drooling, crying and had snot pouring out of his nose, he finished the whole damn thing.
I spent some time there talking to a gentleman who had hiked the PCT in the seventies, and was doing a section of it again this year. His gear has changed significantly since that time. He shared a picture with me from his first trek. I love seeing these photos. I think I have it rough sometimes, having to haul 30 pounds up a hill over a usually well-maintained path, and the stories and pictures from decades ago remind me that I really don’t have anything to complain about.
Rodeo mentioned that The Mountaineers had a lodge nearby where we could stay for a few bucks, so we headed that way to get clean and claim bunks. It was a comfy place in a beautiful location and the members that were there made us feel very welcome.
The next morning, we got a late start out of Snoqualmie. JD, Fluffy and I were waiting for our laundry, and for Donkey and Polliwog to meet us, and we were really comfortable laying on the couches in the lodge catching up on episodes of Game of Thrones.
I could easily have stayed one more night on an actual bed. But Canada doesn’t get any closer when you’re lying down, so we finally packed up and hiked out. The elevation profile in my gps program made the climb out of Snoqualmie look horrendously steep, but it ended up being pretty tolerable and we quickly covered eight miles to Ridge Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. We had stunning views of towering granite peaks along the way. We crossed the infamous Kendall Catwalk, which ended up being less intimidating than we anticipated but beautiful nonetheless.
Pikas provided a chorus of squeaky-toy noises at us as we hiked, which was endlessly entertaining to me. There were a lot of weekenders camped at Ridge lake, but we managed to squeeze our tents in to a few spots. We all gathered for dinner, a ritual that has become my favorite part of each day on trail, having food together and talking about the day or whatever else comes to mind. It was dark and I ended up pouring all of my hot water into my bag of cashews instead of my ramen. Boiled cashews, anyone?