Aug 14: Mirror Lake to Snoqualmie Pass (PCT miles 2384.8 to 2393.6)

I woke up early eager to get to Snoqualmie Pass in time for lunch. As I was hiking down to the Pass I checked for cellular signal and found that my friend Mike had noticed I was a day ahead of schedule and let me know he was on his way to collect me.

As I hiked I could see the next set of mountains even better

They will have to wait for a week, as I am leaving the trail at Snoqualmie Pass to visit with Mike and his friend Cathy, plus catch a train up to La Connor/Anacortes to attend my step-niece’s wedding.

On this side of the ridge are lots of Foxglove

And tons more Huckleberries. I decided to pick a bunch and bake a special treat for Mike and Cathy. In about an hour, and on about a mile or two of Trail, I filled my 600ml cup with berries

Later that night I made Galettes

I hiked down through the Snoqualmie ski area and met Mike

We had lunch and a beer and then he drove me down to his place where he and Cathy let me shower, do laundry, fed me and took good care of me!

The next two days will be visiting REI to get new socks (I’ve worn holes in two pair) and a wool cap (I shrunk mine in a drier a few weeks ago and now it fits more like a yamaka). We’ll also do more touristy things.

Thanks for reading!

Aug 13: Tacoma Pass to Mirror Lake (PCT miles 2364.6 to 2384.8)

Todays hike will take me over a number of low(ish) ridges and then up a steep, tall one to Mirror Lake.

Todays hike was filled with ripe, tasty Huckleberries .

There was also a lot of bear poop on the trail, so I kept a wary eye hoping to catch sight of one. No luck with that.

I can now see that I am passing Mt Rainier which is off to the west

One of my water refill locations is home to a handsome frog

Just when I was deciding that it was time for lunch, the trail opened onto a dirt road and I me Teresa, a Trail Angel supplying Trail Magic!

She was serving cold lemonade, Hiker Caviar (a black bean salsa), chips, cookies and brownies! How awesome and unexpected!

Teresa has been Angeling since 2014 and I was a recipient of her warm weather menu. If it is cold and rainy she brings Tortilla Soup and warm drinks.

I ate way too much but enjoyed talking with her, her friend and the other hikers that happened along.

I had ten more miles to go to get to Mirror Lake, so I finally pried myself out of the comfy chair and hit the trail.

I arrived at Mirror Lake in time for a quick swim that felt great after a very steep and long climb

I ate a small dinner and climbed into my tent for a great nights sleep.

Thanks for reading!

Aug 12: Louisiana Pass to Tacoma Pass (PCT miles 2343.6 to 2364.6)

The rain stopped sometime in the night, but the tree dripping continued through the morning. I packed everything while in the tent then ventured out and found that there was no dripping just six feet away. I dragged the tent to that location to disassemble and pack it.

I hiked down to a meadow where a local snowmobile club built a log cabin for anyone to use. A hiker I passed told me that ten people slept there last night and had wet/drying gear hanging everywhere.

I hung my wet tent on the front porch to dry and are breakfast. Looks like the rain has run its course and sunny weather is back!

I enjoyed snacking on both Huckleberries and tiny, but flavorful Strawberries this morning.

I noticed a new flower too

And a huge Shelf Fungus and picturesque mushroom

I rounded a bend and stared down a Grouse, that took off before I could photograph him. I also saw two Elk, possibly a doe and older calf that also bolted into the woods as soon as I tried to my camera out.

The coolest find of the day, besides the sun, was this Arrowhead I found on the trail near a fresh gopher mound

How cool is that!

On top of a ridge I saw the mountain ridges past Snoqualmie Pass – they look very dramatic

I camped near a dirt road at Tacoma Pass. It was a much nicer day than the ones before– I hope this sunny weather sticks around through the rest of my hike!

Thanks for reading!

Aug 11: Dewey Lake to Louisiana Saddle (PCT miles 2320.9 to 2343.6)

When I await was still raining. Ugh, today is not going to be fun.

I am sad to say I took no photos today. I wanted to protect my camera from the rain, and, well, I just wasn’t in the mood…

Raining in the morning and continued most of the day.

The morning high point: finding a pit toilet at Chinook Pass.

The afternoon high point: seeing a partial shadow!

The evening high point: getting warm in my sleeping bag while the rain continued.

The dripping on the tent is louder than the rain!

Not my happiest day, but I’m not going to quit! It will stop raining sometime soon I hope!

Thanks for reading!

Aug 10: Pipe Lake to Dewey Lake (PCT miles 2302.3 to 2320.9)

It stopped raining in the early morning, but the trees were still dripping on the tent. I loaded the pack from inside the tent and then ventured out. It was still overcast with low clouds so I quickly ate breakfast and started hiking,

The plants along the trail side were very wet from the rain. I used my walking sticks to knock the water off them, but soon my shoes, socks and feet were soaked.

There are lots of mushrooms here, some quite large

I had a nice stream crossing where a large tree conveniently fell

I arrived at Dewey Lake in the evening.

It started raining right after dinner and rained all night, take a listen

At least I was still warm and dry!

Thanks for reading!

Aug 9: The ridge above Shoe Lake to Pipe Lake (PCT miles 2289.1 to 2302.3)

My hike today will take me out of the Goat Rocks area and down to White Pass where I will resupply at a small market, and enjoy hot food, fresh juice, email/text family and friends, and even score a cold beer left in the hiker box!

Just as I was leaving the Goat Rocks, I spotted Mountain Goats!

The Weather forecast showed rain tonight and tomorrow. Oh well, this great weather can’t last forever…

I Left White Pass after lunch. Clouds started forming, thunder started, but as I arrived at my campsite, the thunder abated – maybe no rain after all?

Found a small flat camp spot nestled in trees near Pipe Lake.

After dinner, the thunder and lightening picked up again, so I prepared for a rainy night: empty pack under my legs/feet, everything but water bottles and shoes inside the tent.

it started raining after dark and did not let up until morning, but I was was warm and dry.

Thanks for reading!

Aug 8: Cispus River to the ridge above Shoe Lake (PCT miles 2272.9 to 2289.1)

The clouds dispersed in the early evening and I saw the stars last night. I got up early and caught a photo of the Goat Rocks before sunrise

Today I’ll be staying at higher elevations all day, with many great views. I rounded a corner and saw mountain peaks poking out of a sea of clouds.

And another great view of Mt Rainier

There were some nice cascades along the trail

And met up with another Grouse

There is a small mammal that lives in almost every rock pile along the trail named a Pika. It resembles a large Hamster, but is very skittish, so I don’t have a picture of one. They do hear you coming up the trail and sound a cute alarm chirp that sounds like a child’s squeaky toy – listen here

I climbed up above the Timberline and through a few snow fields

The trail leads to a section known as The Knife Edge, a high, narrow ridge of loose rocks. There was a steep and long drop off on either side of the trail… don’t slip!

Here’s a view looking back at the trail – it follows that ridge up and to the right in the photo.

The flowers up here are mostly Pussy Paws that come in two colors: pinkish and cream.

This bleached tree looked photogenic

I briefly dropped down into lush meadows

And came across a group of people hiking with Llamas

The group Dora’s an annual hike on the PCT raising awareness that exercise helps to combat the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

By late afternoon I found an awesome campsite on a ridge above Shoe Lake. It had a nice breeze and the sky looked cloud free.

Thanks for reading!