Daily mileage: 27
Waking up, looking out at Mt Adams one direction and a giant panoramic view of Washington the other direction, now that's a good morning view.
Just Caveman and I this morning, such good views and a nice slow start until a breakfast stop. Then it was just me skirting Mt Adams, peeking out at Mt Rainier and what I think are the Goat Rocks.
I was moving slow but it was a glorious morning. Wildflowers, meadows and creeks everywhere. Some nice and full of glacier silt others crystal clear and delicious. A few trickier river crossings. Mt Adams creek involved a fun sketchy snow bridge and the rocky creek afterwards was pretty large but my feet stayed dry, so success!
As far as snow lots of patches but all easily navigable. Still not so sure about tomorrow though. Over 7000 ft should have a few surprises in store.
After making my way around Mt Adams the trail started its way down. Back into the forest the trail wound, getting hotter all the way. As I hit the bottom of the descent the trail passes the amazing Lava Springs. Icy cold water coming straight out of a lava field. And wow that water was nice because the next few miles of flat sandy trail were cooking. The trail was a fire road for a bit and pretty much the only thing that made it bearable was the abundance of delicious huckleberries. Walk a few steps, complain about the baking sun to myself, take a refreshing break to eat a few huckleberries then repeat. Thankfully it was off the fire road and back to a real trail soon. I rounded a corner and to my surprise found the cousins and caveman. They had stopped much earlier than I expected at a seasonal creek. I had planned to go further but decided to be social and stayed. Turns out that was a great choice. Had a nice long break where I tried not to eat all of my food (I have been crazy hungry this section and had to really ration my food). Within a mile of leaving it was the land if trees, ponds, and mosquitoes. So very glad I stopped early. A short climb with just a few amazing views at the top and then back down into the forest and ponds I went. Didn't feel like pushing miles so sat and ate a nice leisurely dinner and then just a bit farther to camp on the trail. We passed Scott Williamson of PCT fame, he has some cool records and has hiked like 13 times including yoyoing (north to south and then turning around and walking back to Mexico in one go). Seemed like a super nice guy and crazy fast.
Tomorrow is Goat Rocks, and I am so excited. I've been hearing about this section since before the PCT and can't believe it won't be great.
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