Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 119, Goat Rocks

Daily mileage: 26
Mile 2272-2298

Today is the Goat Rocks Wilderness. I've been hearing about this area for ages and pretty much all I remember is lots of oh my god it's gorgeous and the knifes edge is crazy. And I hope you aren't in a cloud the whole time. Well looking up into the sky it's clear and I have high hopes for today.
The first goal, get off this valley floor. Nice wet bushes and overgrown trail, and then I was climbing.
Nice trail right?

The views started almost immediately as the sun hit the mountains across from me. As the trail headed higher and higher it just got better. More alpine feeling and fields of lupine everywhere with glimpses of Mt Adams in the background.

Then I rounded a corner to find TW and Caveman stopped because it was just too amazing. Today is going to be so good.

Then it was back to the trail and the short distance to Cispus Pass where you had to stop and stare again.

Kicking some steps up and over and around the corner into just plain gorgeousness. Past the headwaters of the Cispus River, full of waterfalls and wildflowers.

Then it was time to start climbing, long with some pretty steep sections would eventually take us to the top. Lots of breaks and chatting with day hikers as I slowly climbed my way to the top.

Hanging out on top taking millions more photos.

That's the knife edge going down the top of the mountains to the right.

Time to start heading down. Tiny black dot, that's caveman.

Insane shale trail, so steep. Pretty sure my legs were tense for miles.

Those miles down were beyond beautiful but were pretty hard. Climbing is one thing, a few miles steeply down on some shale in the blazing sun, I was pretty beat by the time the trail leveled a bit.
Took a bit longer but finally got a second wind and powered up the last miles, turned a corner with TW right at the ridge line to perfectly catch the sunrise.

What an epic day. Headed down past the Shoe Lakes area and overlooking the valley found caveman camped in a perfect spot in the wind. Breezy and beautiful with only a few miles to town. So great.
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