Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 126, Stevens Pass

Daily mileage: 25
Mile 2451-2476

Today is another town day, and a good one because it has the Dinsmore's. Trail angels who let hikers stay at their home and I have a package and new shoes waiting. So I just have to make it the 25 miles to Stevens Pass and hitch the 16 something miles down to Baring and I'll have it made.
I woke up and stalled until it was fully light out due to my confusion over the trail last night. Turns out the trail crossed the creek and since it's usually a dry creek bed I had been confused. High snow years don't always correspond with maps so well. Silly water. Across the creek and past some very nice campsites and on towards my supposed dangerous creek ford. Rocky trail and wet bushes make for a cold slow start. Soon enough I came to the rocky creek and crossed without mishap. Only one wet shoe after a lot of pacing the banks searching for a spot to cross. Some deep rushing spots but really not bad. Within minutes though I was soaked from the overgrown trail. Well at least I wasn't wet because I fell in a creek.

It was quite the chilly morning. Fog everywhere made it feel like the mountains were playing hide and seek.

Big climbs and long descents as the trail continued on its way. Seasonal streams everywhere and I continued to be drenched by bushes. Even met some folks out backpacking for a few days, lots of raingear and grim expressions today. And then the sun started to peek out and I got a few more real looks at the mountains around me. Sailing downhill talking with overwhelmed youth groups out for the week and loving the sights.

Rolling trail, a few more lakes and one crazy steep climb. That was one non PCT graded spot. But I was getting so close it didn't matter a bit. Less than 10 miles...

After heading down and crossing under power lines and ski lifts it was time for the last climb. Only problem was there were some of the best tasting blueberries on the trip on the hillside. Hard to get anywhere when you are stuffing your face. From the top of the lifts I could see the resort and hear the road, so close. 2 miles later I hit the road and felt pretty overwhelmed. Not a small road, a big 4 lane highway with cars speeding past. Oh man this was not a fun hitch. I wandered around the empty parking lot for a bit and finally crossed the road hoping someone would feel sorry for me. Actually got a ride pretty quickly. I got to the town of Baring and walked on over to the Dinsmore's. So much fun. Lots of hikers, a big campfire and a gorgeous valley. The only downside was that the one store in town was closed for the evening so it was hiker box food for dinner. Oh well, they open at 7am and tomorrow I'm taking the day off, woohoo zero day.

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