Day 129 29.5 miles
This morning started with a gentle descent. The trail seemed to just keep going downhill. I passed many tents. Hikers not stirring. Many water crossings. Some with bridges or logs to cross on. The forest was dark for hours. I looked up through the trees and saw the sky was clear of clouds. The surrounding mountains and the big trees had blocked the sunlight.
It brightened up as the trail started heading upward. It was 9am and I’d been hiking for 3 hours. Same plan as yesterday. Hike nonstop to get to a lake for a lunch break. Today it’s Mica Lake and it did not disappoint. A beautiful clear blue alpine lake. Of course I went for a dip.
Then it was down, down, down, 2,500 feet. Then up 3,000 feet in the hottest part of the day. Then, of course down again, 3,000 feet. This is Washington.
I went over the last pass at 6pm. I could see a large plume of smoke to the south east. Forest fire. As I headed down the last descent a hiker named Running Back joined me. She was heading for the same tent site 3.5 miles down below the pass. She hikes and talks fast! The 3.5 miles flew by. We set up our tents and chatted like old friends. Nemo arrived, we had dinner, then off to sleep. 9pm. Hiker midnight.
Camped at Vista Creek. The 3 of us have an early start tomorrow, 5:30 am. We have another big climb to get to before it gets too hot. Yay.