1st September A good nights sleep but i seem to be like Austin Powers im missing my mojo I woke with my alarm and just lay there. .the next alarm went and I cancelled it .There wasn’t the sound of rain but camping close to a creek it was sodden with condensation.its no good, to finish the Pct I need to finish I put on my stove and packed my damp kit into my damp pack put on my wet socks and put my feet into my wet shoes. Okay its not late I can do this I drank my tea . waterproofs on all round .Lets walk……. I made my way out of the camp site and through the forest dodging under dome huge fallen trees.i was feeling good but I just didn’t have any oomph .maybe its all these climbs every one says this. Section is a tough well im finding it so..I meandered through the woods staring at all the different mushrooms, toadstools and fungi all amazing colours and shapes. It was not long till I heard the sound or rather roar of water.i couldn’t see it but I knew I was following it.oh my god it was the tree jumping game and to make it more fun lets do it in water
.I must of crossed 2 dozen ice melts whilst manoeuvring over and around logs.The roar was now getting louder meaning I was getting closer.i came over a large bank and there it was a main feed from a glacier all milky white Luckily there was a bridge well almost it had collapsed in the middle but I was still able to cross with care..I made my way across the swirling waters and over the other bank guess it was time to climb and climb I did. After an hour I stopped took of my rain jacket and woolly hat had a long drink and continued up and up oh and up oh sun there is sun and I can see mountains and snow wow up and up Then Wow more mountains came into view they were all around. I continued to climb into another forest but it was steep omg it was steep Both my feet hurt i’m guessing because of wet socks etc I dropped some pain killers and climbed higher. OMG the views were even better sadly I dont know what they are called but they are stunning. I climbed over the saddle and wow even better views of more mountains and fantastic valleys. I began to climb down through more trees phew .ping went my watch. Yes that will do.i ate cereal and chilled for 10 minutes before back to the trail. I had to Ford another creek do not get wet snail.!.Phew safely across Oh and up we go and up and up zig zag switchback after about an hour I reached another saddle and it was Omg OMG OMG Moment the mountains stretched out in front of me I was stunned by what I was seeing I sat down and just started Just fantastic. Then I began a very very long trek down .slowly to begin with as it was snowy and slippy and a long drop lol At 2.30 I stopped for lunch checked my feet and rested I still hsd a long long way to go down so that I could climb up the other side lol After lunch I began my decent again I passed a gorgeous lake but as it had snow on it it was brr but a beautiful blue colour. Just by the lake set several hikers I said my hellos then continued on as I crossed another Creek I disturbed a huge trout well it looked like trout but more pink.i Could of caught him but i needed to walk as my mileage the last few days has been crap down and down I went in places it was clay and due to the recent rain it was scary. I must of been going down for hours but every now and then another mountain or waterfall would catch my eye. Again I heard the roar of more water and I came to another large bridge over another glacial melt I checked my gps I had done 14 miles and it was 4.30 really I said to myself I had expected more. No what I should of done was to fill up with water . (Like I usually do when i’m tired so I can camp) But I didn’t. Water was in 9 miles but I thought well there is bound to be a spring and it was 4 miles up there is bound to be a flat spot NO NO NO I set off up and it was a steep up and up and up puff puff switchback after switchback higher and higher but no water and no flat spot after two hours i was knackered please just a flat spot but nothing I walked on and on then thought I’ve had enough On one switchback it was fairly wide so that’s where I stuck my tent. I had 1 litre of water so 1 cup of tea and dinner and now for bed Still not a good day but better
31st August I slept well apart from a 2 am bathroom break. The wind was howling and buffeting the tent but I soon dropped back off. I was actually cold in the night or rather I wasn’t very warm as normally im toasty. I was hoping to wake with the sun’s rays streaming into my tent but sadly it was rain Bugger I shouted to know one. I sat and listened to the drumming on the tent and watching the rain drops race down the side’s then silence it had stopped. I gathered up all my damp kit and shoved it in my pack before lighting my stove. As the water boiled I pulled off the soaking fly and wrung it out a little then quickly packed up my tent I fasted both tent and fly to my pack Today I was wearing my wet weather trousers hurrah I hear you say!! Yes I’ve carried them from Oregon and today I have them on. I drank my tea packed my stove I was good to go. Not as early as I wanted but rain had stopped play that seems to be the weeks excuse plus my right ankle is giving me some concern So a few I’s and I hit the trail and headed into the fog I hadn’t gone far when the rain returned with vengeance .I was so pleased that I had on my waterproof trousers. 🙂
Of course today’s trail was up, some big. Its funny there seems to be more ups than downs on this section At last i’m going down but due to the rain it was like a slide so I had to walk even slower than usual as it was like glass and the mud was deep in places to add to the fun!!! Phew mastered that .To my right I could faintly make out a large lake not so beautiful in the fog so I marched on and of course up. I slept really well but I didn’t seem to have the energy today and struggled up the trail. Up and up I’m sure there were some fantastic things to look at but I could see nothing. Up and up and round and up ping went my watch I’ve done two hours then Omg huge huckleberries I stopped and picked a bagful ill have them for breakfast. I pushed on I wanted more miles as the last two days have been very poor. I’ve gone from mid 30’s to low teens. Up ahead I saw three hikers who I soon caught up with. It was three ladies who were hiking from Stevens pass to Steheken 100 miles I wished them luck and said your see me again as I’m stopping for breakfast shortly .I slowly dragged myself up the next few hills, as the fog lifted there was a huge mountain called Indian fist I think. But blink and it vanished again into the fog .I climbed higher and higher then wow the fog cleared and you could see all the mountains and the valley .The Mountains are the Glacier Mountains. The rain had stopped so I sat on a large stone and had breakfast staring in awe at the site before me One by one the ladies past me. .I slowly packed up and returned to the trail. Brrrr it had got suddenly very cold a combination of me stopping and the glacial mountains. I tried to up my pace to warm back up But I’m slow when going uphill but the higher I went the more spectacular the views but again you need to be quick with the camera as the fog rushes in and hides them As I climbed and came around a corner there were half a dozen horses well not all horses some were mules with pack on. I said my hellos then continued up .I was heading for the rim .and as I put out my foot the rain fell even stronger and the wind blew the trail climbed steeper and I was engulfed in FOG such Fun!! As I climbed mountains on the other side of the valley appeared and disappeared I was too engrossed in my climb to get a photo as it would be gone before I COULD say SMILE Omg this is tough well perhaps just for me puff pant puff it seemed to go almost up to heaven. Then I met a Son & Dad coming down. I hope you have enough sunscreen I joked they laughed and joked back about don’t get burnt. At last I was at the top staring down into a valley. The sun was doing its best to shine yes come on sun I need my tent drying. I stopped for a five minute break then continued around the rim. OMG the trail now dropped down into an old glacial valley it looked amazing I stood starring for a few minutes then began my decent. Again the distance was soon erased by fog as I zig zagged my way down and down crossing numerous melt streams. I wanted to go faster but again the trail was slippy or covered in stone so it was my normal plod ……But I was going down and by my GPS a long way down I just wish the rain would stop so I could dry out Several hours later my tummy decided it was lunch I couldn’t make up my mind if I should stop or press on but then a perfect spot appeared. I ate a bagel and cheese finished off some chips nuts and a kit Kat I checked my GPS id only done 12 miles really I normally do that by 10.30 it was now almost 3 pm I’m just not going to do it .I was a little miffed with myself .The trail was still down if I pushed it I could maybe do 3 Mph that’s 9 more miles by 6 pm making 21 still poor .I liked this plan but the trail was just too slippy I didn’t want to risk injury and fail this close to the finish .But I did go as fast as I dare. I was now joined by a creek that gathered pace as it raced down the mountain. Then a hiker past me and he was running he was actually running I couldn’t believe.. Bugger I thought I’m just going to plod so I did.
The trail down was littered with fallen trees I imagined him just somersaulting over them. .I was now in my favourite type of forest old and covered in moss like expensive astro turf on rocks trees I then emerged on a bridge the water raced beneath all milky white on the other side stood s huge escarpment like the walls of a huge castle I crossed the scree then back into another enchanted forest I walked on and on enjoying the solitude until the silence was shattered by the roar of more water.
I came to another Creek and crossed by another bridge, upstream was filled with many fallen trees as if’s huge torrent had knocked them over like pins I walked on but I was tiring and just wanted some tea I decided the next water I’d top up then camp About an hour later water, it was a little milky but I’m sure it could make good tea so I topped up then crossed the bridge a few hundred yards there was a new bridge and on the other side the perfect campsite okay I haven’t done the miles but this will do Please can I have some sun tomorrow I made tea and relaxed I will sleep soon ready for tomorrow’s big climb
30th August I woke and looked at the ceiling of my tent it was covered in raindrops but it wasn’t raining…YET. . I put on my stove and as the water heated I stripped down my tent and packed up. Drank my tea and was on the trail by 8 .Not bad but I would of liked earlier. There was thick thick fog so if there was something to see today then I couldn’t lol I set off down the trail but after less than a mile my feet were soaked due to the plants all along the trail. It was like putting a foot into a creek every step. Oh well there was nothing I could do
I pushed on it was going to be another climbing day such fun. Up and up I went then I heard footsteps so pulled over to one side of the trail. It was brad .I followed him for a bit but then let him go as he’s too fast .then it began to rain so I stopped to put on my rain jacket and my packs jacket before getting back to the trail. CLIMB climb climb I went but the rain wasn’t helping, it was making the trail very very slippy and so you had to concentrate or you would be face down in it. I pushed on into the soupy distance then came across Brad he was having breakfast .See you up the trail. But I knew it wouldn’t be long till him past me again. Come on out sun as I was getting drenched if not by the rain then by the plants grrrrr. The fog and the rain were in charge today but it would be nice to see the sun and maybe a nice view. As I was struggling up a particular slippy hill Brad past me and accelerated away how they do that!!!!
Up and up I chugged switchback by switchback then I began to hear music It was Mr President we chatted a while. He had some sort of skirt on .great for these wet plant stretches. I watched Mr president disappear into the distance well I tried to stay with him but just couldn’t I chugged on as fast as my little legs would take me as I came around a corner it was Brad again he had stopped to pick Huckleberries .Mm I thought good plan and it was breakfast so I picked half a cup full in the pouring rain then ate my cereal again in the pouring rain. As I sat there Bowie came past then Brunch
I finished up then back to the trail the trail now meandered through several meadows but the trail was fairly narrow so more soaking from . plants grrrrr up and up I still climbed Again I heard voices it was Feast god we hadn’t seen each other in ages we walked together for a while then he too zoomed off .At last the trail decided to go down .it weaved through forest .There were a lot of trees down but they had been cut so not to obstruct the trail .I zig zigged down the switchbacks until I met a huge tree that had blown over .you had to cut the switchback to get around it but as it was a steep drop on slippy mud it took some doing I sort of half slid fell but made it phew then carried on down the switchbacks Oh no fully loaded Huckleberries I stopped and began stuffing my face before Irish Cannon appeared Hiya snail. How far you going today? I’d like to do 22 I said or 6 pm depends on what comes first. Irish Cannon said I want water then I may stop. Seemed a good plan to me but it was only 1 pm…Ah water Irish stopped but I pushed on I then caught Feast who was chatting to two Chinese girls. I past them saying I’m stopping for lunch at the next suitable spot. …Which soon appeared the Chinese girls carried on Feast joined me shortly followed by Irish. I had bagels with cheese and a few snacks. The two of them wanted to stay at Lake Isa Bella another 5 miles, if I could I wanted two more miles I watched the two of them leave then packed up and re-joined the trail. The rain continued to fall and the sun kept trying to come out and I continued to keep climbing .I was now crossing several screes but these were made of huge stones wow .I chugged on and up passing several nice campsites hmm I thought to myself if I had water id stop. Okay I need water. But Snail it’s too early.
So I pushed on about an hour later I met a hiker coming the other way did your pass any water I asked. Yes he said about 2/10th up and id fill-up as the lake looks a bit crap. Thanks I said. I soon came to the stream fed by snow it looked good so I filled up 3 litres. And pushed on. The lake slowly came into view and dotted around were a dozen tents. .Shall I stay I pondered the thought no ill move on .but as I began to chug up the next steep steep hill in the pouring rain with a now heavier pack I wondered if I’d made a mistake. By the forth switchback I’m cursing myself but then a lovely camp spot oh thank you Trail. I put up.my tent and threw my wet pack and gear in. Blew up.my sleeping pad .when I pulled out my sleeping bag it was a bit wet oh dear that’s not good I took off my shoes and socks and got into my bag warm myself up and dry out my bag. It was too wet to light my stove so I attacked the snacks till the rain eased off. Then tea, supper and hot chocolate. I’d just finished my hot chocolate when the rain began to pour. Can we get some sun tomorrow please oh its getting windy Must be bed time!!!
29th August Well I guess if you live there then you get used to the trains The 6.30 woke me up hoot hoot hoooooot I hadn’t slept well my right ankle decided that it was its turn to hurt and hurt it did…this was the one I turned coming down a hill and fell over. It’s been twinging but now it bloody hurt and when I got out of bed it was difficult to walk on although all yesterday it was fine grrrrr Oh some background on Hiker Haven Jerry and Andrea (MUM) as she likes to be called. They started hosting Hikers 15 years ago when Jerry brought home three hikers from Skykomish and put on a BBQ for them They has since moved house and now live in a small town called Baring 12 miles from Skykomish.
It’s such a relaxed place with plenty of room to pitch your tent on their large lawn IN a Garage there are six bunks on a first come basis and large communal area with comfy recliners TV video DVD, microwaves and large fridge. Outside is the bathroom, shower and laundry room with loan clothes. Andrea and Jerry are great hosts and really look after you so my fellow Hikers call in and enjoy a zero or maybe two. There is a small cafe across the road which does a great breakfast also snacks and dinners oh and great milkshakes. There is also a Post office on site. They do sell some hiker food but its poor and dear oh and NO BEER!!!!! There is a good grocery store about 5 miles down the road an easy hitch and sometimes lifts can be arranged and back to the trail head Hiker haven also accepts mail drops So enjoy it and do a few chores to help whilst you are there is good Karma.
So I’m up I repack my pack several times I’ve got too much food .I empty out my food bag then promptly pack it all back in .I can carry that. Jerry then finds me an old licence plate for me to take home I unwrap my new tent and remove all the packaging then attach it to my pack yep looking good I then get a ride to the grocery store for a few things. Milk powder, bagels, Ibruproin, cheese and ham. Basically lunch our ride back to the trailhead is 11.30 so plenty of time. The fridge is still full of beer as we didn’t really party last night. .well we were going to but then we all fell sleep so I asked if 10 am was too early for beer the resounding answer was NO so beers all round We then begin tidying up making it clean for the next wave of hikers. It was forecast rain for the next two days so we were all a bit anxious to get a few miles in before we got soaked Silly fact this is the longest I have worn shorts since my primary school days
The longest I have ever been camping
Jerry decided that we ought to be started on the trail so rather than wait for our ride he would take us all. So with that we grabbed the remainder of our gear grabbed our packs and poles and filled the back off the car then it was hugs all round before Jerry drive us back to the trailhead. The sun was still shining but black clouds were approaching. We got out at Stevens Pass thanked and hugged Jerry. Hoisted on our bloody bloody heavy packs and set off down the trail I walked out with Dc and Da vinchi but I knew they would soon be gone especially when we began to climb. After about an hour the sun accepted defeat and the rain came luckily fairly light but I needed to stop to put on my packs rain jacket and mine. I chugged on up the hill up and up then I met a Mule train coming down. Two riders towing four mules each I always want to ask so many questions but the lead cowboy was more interested in my adventure. I walked on for several more hours before I needed a break then back to the hill .I was aiming for just 10 miles but it was still early so I pushed on although the light was beginning to fade as I came around a corner Artic Fox was resting or rather waiting for her gang i.e. Mr President, Bowie etc. but I said I hadn’t seen them!! I said I was going for another hour then that will does up and up till yes a perfect spot. I dropped my pack and hastily put up my tent dodging the raindrops I threw my pack inside then began to make tea but!! A new gas I had is faulty and won’t work bugger luckily I carry a spare. As it begins to boil Arctic fox came by she had waited an hour and now was going on. I said I’d pass on the message I cooked my dinner in the rain trying to keep my feet warm as its now cold I’m just about to close up my tent when Foxxy comes by I expected him to be ahead but he had chores in town . Then 3 sobos come past we wished each other luck. AS I close up my tent then it begins to pour fingers crossed for a sunny morning
28th August I Woke at 6.30 early Thanks to the loud horn of an early morning train and then lay awake till I needed a wee I eventually got up but due to camping on the grass the outer tent was wet. But hopefully the sun will soon dry it. I went through my gear I seem to be carrying more even though I keep dropping stuff.
I sorted through my maps worried about money but then decided to worry about it later and went for breakfast .eggs bacon and hash browns with coffee .A great breakfast bloody tasty. .
I still wanted a lift to the next town to REI and a man called Jim had offered to take me . But I couldn’t find him. I walked back to Hiker Haven then with fellow hikers we put all the trash onto the back of the pickup to take to the tip which was at the far end of town Maverick and I went with Jerry to dump it…on the way we stopped at Skykomish garage ,i brought a pair of badly needed sunglasses $6 bargain and some snacks then onto the tip Nearby the tip was an emergency runway for light planes and helicopters to land to search for lost Hikers and local emergencies Once back I managed to contact my bank to get my credit card limit increased just in case !!!.Phew relief Then I managed to get through to Virgin to get my flight details sorted another big relief phew.
Then Jim arrived he could take me to the store at 6 pm great that will do. I packed up my stuff and my now dry tent. Cooked myself some lunch and enjoyed the sunshine. During the day a steady stream of hikers kept arriving. Some stayed others just pass through. We organised a team photo which was good then Jim arrived another hiker called mermaid also wanted to go to Rei .Off we went it was almost a two hour drive. At last REI I swapped out my faulty shoes but they didn’t have my tent bugger .I went down to customer services and explained could they send me one overnight when the sales assistant produced one thank god But as I was now in Washington I had to pay tax, I didn’t really understand but paid and soon we were heading back. As I walked into the dorm I was greeted by Da vinchi and Dc .I hugged my mate Da Vinchi and Dc thrust a cold beer into my hand. Maverick then handed me my box of by now cold pizza well it was almost 9.30 but I still managed to plough through it . helped with the odd beer .The rest ill have for breakfast. I ended up watching Austin Powers with the guys and gals then off to bed zzzz A good day :0)
27th August Good night’s sleep woke up all refreshed lit my stove and slowly packed while drinking tea. I was just getting on the trail. When I hiker passed me. Mm he’s keen lol.. It made a nice change to start by going down.The trail wound its way down passing several lakes they looked so beautiful with the sun lighting them and the mist rising. I pushed on heading for my first climb and it was steep very steep .don’t know what it is about Washington but I’m struggling with the hills up and up switchback after switchback higher and higher .shall I stop for breakfast or push on? I pushed on the trail was now up and down but gentle hills phew Again I passed several lakes I was miles away when several other hikers came past one called Salsa was chatty but where did they come from. In the distance I could see another large hill but it must be ski area as I could make out a ski lift
I began to climb it was fairly shallow thank god it then crossed a dirt road this will do for breakfast. I put down my pack and ate cereal. In the distance I could hear chainsaws I presumed trail work. Yes when I got closer there were several men trimming trees ready for the ski season. .I continued up but as I climbed the trail seemed to get very busy with day hikers .But they were so pleased for me giving me great words of encouragement .I was very humbled .several said that they had left sodas by the trail head. Eventually I got to the top, the ski area was quite slick so that you can ski in the dark.
Only a mile and a half to go but as I came down the other side I could see the full extent of the ski centre it was massive with runs all over .The lodge looked stunning too. I was tempted to get closer but it was the wrong way I emerged into the parking lot grabbed a soda which I almost shotgunned down . I made my way to the road ,there was a toilet there and a trash can so I dropped all my trash. Several men chatted to me and wished me all the best. The other insisted I take a litre of water. I thanked them both then crossed the road and got ready to hitch. Two men were walking to their car so I just asked if I was hitching the right way to Skykomish Yes they said do you need a ride. ? Yes please. I threw my pack into the back of their pickup and we were on our way they were both firemen. They were very envious of my journey and we chatted all the way to the post office. I thanked them and waved goodbye. Sat outside the post office was French Paul we chatted until the post office was open then we both got our packages .I wandered off looking for an ATM as I was out of cash and I was a little worried but I’m sure it will work out (Fingers crossed) The machine gave me money thank god. I went to the cafe and sat with French Paul and got a burger and a beer I was just leaving when I was asked if I needed a ride to the Dinsmores. YES please
Andrea Kay Burr-Dinsmore RIP
July 1, 1949 – December 7, 2017
The stars were bright over the Baring, Washington, Hiker Haven home during the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 2017, when heaven welcomed trail angel, wife, mom, grandma and PCT Mom Andrea Kay Burr-Dinsmore. She lived life on her own terms and fought pancreatic cancer with the same spunk, finishing the trail at her home with family and her beloved dachshund, Bug.
I have to say it was lovely to meet both these people on my hike in 2014 and so sad such a lovely lady was taken God bless xx (Hiker Haven) is a place that hosts us hikers I found a spot put up my tent .did laundry. Had a shower I’m clean again whoop. Next chore phone REI get my tent swapped as the seem has split and my shoes need replacing .but my card is maxed out so I need to hitch to the shop tomorrow its only 50 miles I so love a challenge plus need to do the library and bits so another day here but my feet need resting Oh tragic news my flip flops died today all say aw so something less to carry
I chilled with other Hikers then hit the sack, I heard several loud horns as the trains past by then I was gone ZZZZZZ
26 th August Well what a great nights sleep in a fantastic setting..eventually I had to get up later than expected lol .funny all the other hikers seem the same lying in not pushing miles must be a Washington thing. My first chore was to crack another hill , all refreshed I ploughed on and up and up and up Washington seems very much like this. Oregon was flat in comparison .Up and up several young hiker’s past me..but as usual once over the rim the views were stunning just wow.I made my way down the other side passing many fantastic lakes
Time to climb, i think I spent what seems the whole day climbing .up and up I lost count of how many switchbacks I’ve been up and down eventually I was coming down and crossed over a river bed. I decided well my tummy did that it was breakfast. So I sat and had cereal topped up my water and washed my socks They don’t smell clean but its the best I can do till town Now typical I’ve only had new shoes for several weeks and the lace on my left is not staying tight. .so its driving me nuts .don’t think I can get them swapped out but ill try grrrrr. Back to the trail and its back up till I cross over the saddle and wow i’m dropping down into a vast valley surrounded by huge granite walls and lakes at the bottom just so beautiful then it was the log game again but they seem to be getting bigger and harder to get over .
I was posing doing a selfie by one particular log jam when Freedom arrived .shortly followed by Shredder I followed them to the next obstacle a very fast melt water Creek. Luckily there were to logs across as a bridge
But they were quite springy .freedom went first then myself followed by shredder. .See you up the trail guys as they are so fast. I plodded on enjoying the scenery which was fantastic especially after the next climb. There were mountains as far as you could see. .I walked for several more hours before ping it was lunchtime. I sat high on the ridge just starring at the amazing views..Come on snail we need to walk I wasn’t doing the mileage Well its all up hill and I wanted another 10 to put me closer to the next town. So I pushed on passing Shredder and Freedom sat by a lake both wet as they had been swimming Have to say it did look inviting but I want miles.so pushed on .They eventually caught me up and passed me.see you in town Snail.
I plodded on up yet another steep climb again amazing views but I was tiring my pack was light as all of my food is almost gone I got rid of my crap But i was still struggling with the hills. At last I crossed that saddle and again the views were knock out with mount Stewart centre stage I took a five minute break when three hikers came by Hiya Snail!
The man said He was with us when we were firing guns many weeks ago. He helps his wife who is disabled walk the trail And it was him who saw that I had left my phone and charger so a big thank you And spooky that I ran into him again see Trail Karma I pushed on knowing I had at least one more large climb. And I was dreading it ss I was tired .it was s hot day and I was just exhausted with all these hills. So it was nice to go down for a bit although it was s huge scree into another valley at the bottom I topped up with water hoping that I wouldn’t go much further but was early. As I was leaving xxx arrived how much further you going snail you going up the pass I want to if my legs can get me there! !! Lol So the last climb and it was steep up and up and up omg switchback after switchback back and forth no good I needed to rest so I stopped dropped my pack and chilled for 5 minutes. As I sat two ladies and 2 dogs came down there were hiking to Snoqualmie which seemed a popular hike as all the hikers that I met were doing this single hikers couples groups. They told me I was almost st the top thank god.i moved on puff puff come on snail st last I crossed over the saddle and it was like starring at s different land . just wow.i checked my watch I would walk another hour and set off down the other side i tried to speed up to make the miles go faster come on snail ping oh that was quick okay a flat spot .I pushed on for another half hour come on flat spot mm should have stopped earlier but great perfect I found a flat spot beneath some trees put up my tent made tea and relaxed Should be an easy day tomorrow Fingers crossed Night
27th August I was determined to be on the trail early after two poor days I lept out of my bag at 5.30 put on my stove. I packed up and hit the trail at 6.30 hurrah. Just as I was leaving French Paul came by we chatted for a while see up the trail Paul.i couldn’t make up my mind whether to wear my waterproof trousers. I decided against .Wrong decision as the trail at this point was overgrown and so all the plants were still wet so my shorts were soon wet oh well!! I came to my first small creek but I cant of been awake as I put my foot straight into the water so 1 wet food great start snail! !! I pushed on knowing that it was going to.b ea big big climb up and up I chugged the minutes going by but not as fast as the miles. . I crossed so many streams and creaks mainly the same one due to the switchbacks eventually I caught up with Paul who let me pass. Although I wasn’t a lot faster than him he followed me up to the top two hours it took phew.but again you get rewarded with some fantastic views . We followed the ridge for s while and through some burn which means log jumping or on this stretch rolling under.makes a change lol. then I passed through some stunning meadows beautiful aromas filled the air with bees and butterflies. The trail then began to drop down to a lake but you could see that it climbed the other side. I was making my way down to the lake next I was lying g on the ground no injuries .this some one had swapped my shoes for clowns shoes as I did nothing but trip for most of the morning. So kept shouting duck or rather the other word There was a melt that fed the lake so I topped up my water then followed Paul up the trail.i followed Paul until my tummy told me that it was breakfast See you up the trail Paul.i found a nice spot and sat down then I realised that I was surrounded by blueberries. So I picked half a cupful and added cereal and to make it really exciting I added half a sachet of hot chocolate yummy. I woofed that down then went off in search of Paul. But I didn’t think id catch him
.But the trail was now down with great views of the mountains s fellow hiker told me theirs names but I could only remember the one was called Bears breast .as I made my way down switchback after switchback. I passed about a dozen hikers all mainly out for 4/5 days down and down and down it seemed endless but I was more worried about the eventual up.. All l of a sudden a deer ran in front of me with two youngsters in tow then bounded up the mountain Wish I could move that fast lol .I was getting lower then I came to a small waterfall I topped up as it was icy cold .
I continued on my journey down towards the bottom the nice trail guy’s had attacked the trail making the trail a pleasure to walk down. Thanks trail volunteers fantastic job Much nicer than forcing you way down a trail and being attacked by bushes etc Eventually I came to a clearing and there sat Paul, Freedom and Shredder I was going to push on but decided to join them for lunch except I didn’t really have any lunch left sob But they had plenty so I left rather satisfied Paul was going on 7 more miles that would do for me too but I wanted more if I could but I knew it was going to be a big steep climb and I was weary .Shredder and Freedom were stopping about there too. I let them go as they are far too fast .Paul let me go but I didn’t want to go that fast so after an hour or so I stooped for a 5 min break. But then I struggled to get going .it was steep and made up of switchbacks up and up left and right and right then left. I met several more hikers we both wished each other safe journeys then back to the climb. Oh water I filled up so if I found a nice camp.i would stop even though id be low on miles again
But I was feeling good now and ploughed on. I then came to a huge lake there were many people in and around it .I also saw Paul getting ready to camp but I pushed on past shredder and Freedom .I then met two rangers I chatted for a while they were waiting on a dozen volunteers to do some restoration work.I headed off and up looking for the holy flat spot. As I was going up the volunteers were coming down but no there’s no flat spot .but my faith was in Gut hooks who said oh yes there is And yes I found it may be not the one but this is better
24th August Well I was in no hurry to get up but had planned to be on the trail by 8 am I really fancied a cuppa but I was almost out of water and the next was in 8 miles .slowly I got up and broke camp. I was just about to leave when xxx emerged from his tent see you up the trail I said..Just then xxx came by oh we were almost neighbours! ! Was that your tent back there I asked. Yes Snail he replied. We set off together he said I’m a bit slow in the mornings to which I replied i’m always Slow lol..So it wasn’t long before he was gone !.I was in no hurry I wanted to do 20 today maybe more depending on the terrain. But I knew it was going to be a lot of climbing. As the trail meandered its way up the mountain the views got ever more spectacular wow omg wow.Again my camera wasn’t holstered for long. Up and up I went passing many small lakes. I tried to guess where the trail was heading but its s game I cant win,in the distance on the side of a huge mountain was a faint line surely I am not going up there. ..am I ? The trail meandered on and wow the views just kept getting better. Mountains valleys lakes just amazing
Then the trail went a sharp right and up omg we are going up there .it was a scramble at first then rock of a scree my Favorited My feet seem to be quite fragile at the moment going forward on a nice surface they are great but on this Rock they seem very tender and I feel every knock which makes me shout FU@K and I shout that quite s lot I also tend to be constantly looking at my feet so i am even slower.As i’m stumbling up and across the first scree I meet 4 hikers coming down I said I hate this surface they all said yes its a bit goofy. so I can now blame goofy.i carried on mostly up with a few downs via switchbacks then a straight diagonal up and over the saddle. Oh dear that’s taken me 3 hrs to do that climb Snail that is crap .I was hoping that I could make up some time over the other side but of course it’s scree too and down So I do my best to go as fast as I dare without falling off of the mountain.
Water at last i stop and fill up then have breakfast before its time to walk.the surface at last changes to soil and I increase my speed (in my head) I am still going down but not for long. There is another climb fairly steep BUT OMG once across this saddle the views are amazing Washington has some fantastic sights. I sit for 5 minutes to admire the view take it all in.Top my right is mount Stewart but only briefly as the next minute its engulfed by cloud. I am just about to leave when a family come up the trail We chat for several minutes then I notice that the lady has a Kruger Park badge on her hat. It was a favourite place of mine when I lived in South Africa , so we chat longer and about the Carlton Hotel in Jo-burg where i once worked that has now been renovated. Before we drag each other away.
The next section was down hurrah and i set off with more vigour god knows how many switchbacks I lost count but 30 plus and for more fun a dozen or so log jumps.i then came to another dramatic waterfall but this one had a bridge in front so you could walk across it wow amazing. Once across I was in a burn area and more switchbacks As I made my way down I could hear s distant rumbling no no no rain please well not until at least 6.30 please. I tried to speed up without breaking my neck or falling off of a tree down and down as the skies got darker and darker no please no rain yet .Boom Went the thunder rattling the teeth in my head god that was loud I stopped and got water just in case I had to call it a day but it was only 2.30 Far too early to quit. I pushed on a few spots began to fall .I could hear water lots of water fast moving water I then arrived at the bridge but the bridge was missing bugger!!.I made my way down to the rivers edge.No hesitation Snail my first foot reached for a rock then my second then the next whoops the next rock was slippy I plunged my pole into the swirling waters to stop myself from falling.i was now stretched between two rocks I wiggled my slippy foot up higher onto the rock i hoped it would hold as I shifted my other foot phew but I was now out of rock so the next foot had to get wet but If I was quick !!! splash and I was across and dry well almost. I quickly moved on i had a 7 mile climb that was my target for today well if the rain held off. I could hear more water and as I came around a corner yet another raging river but phew a bridge I crossed the bridge rolled under a fallen tree then the rain came Not gentle drops but a torrent I quickly dropped my pack but on the packs raincoat and mine and headed out. It was heavy but worse the trail ahead was overgrown so I was getting soaked twice I battled on for an hour before I saw a dry flat campsite .yes its too early but I don’t want to get soaked so tent up tea on Need to do better tomorrow as I’m beginning to slide backwards Typically as I drank my tea the sun came out oh well here now mileage disappointing Hole in my tent !!
23rd August Mmmm luxury comfort flushing toilet My trail alarm woke me at 6’am I nipped to the loo and plugged in my mp 3 player to charge. Put on another Pot of coffee and dozed. I have payed for this room i’m going to make the most of it Well it was one of the best sleeps I have had. .I poured myself a cup of coffee and finished up my chores .blog etc I stared at all the clutter over the floor that normally is held within my pack.
Snail be brutal you do not need to carry it all .so I slimmed it down a bit as I packed up. I had three gas canisters all about a 1/4 .full .well they didn’t have any to sell at the store and I didn’t want to run out. At last I was packed every thing in.Yes its going to hurt but I had less than normal right! ! I checked out then had a quick peek through the hiker box Yes a nearly full gas so i dumped my 3 1/4 full ones. As I waked towards the chevron I decided on breakfast and brought a scrumptious burrito. Cream cheese, spinach fried egg and bacon and a soda it was bloody good from Aardvark .
I checked the hiker box here too, two full cans of cold beer, Great ill carry those a treat for teatime. I hoisted up my pack it groaned under the weight or was that me!!
I set off down the street looking for the trailhead .I spied it just past the flyover and began the climb it was going to be a long one well it normally is after resupply .The trail was very busy with day hikers walkers , some going up some coming down and all smelling clean lol Then I spotted a snake black and yellow I grabbed my camera CARD FULL omg really. I put down my pack and found another card but then about a dozen people plus dogs had pushed by. But I got the snakes tail.
I continued on it was steep and i was fairly pleased with it being overcast As I was sweating like crazy. God this pack is heavy and its not that full. Up and up I went hour by hour ticked by and the top wasn’t in sight .People streamed past me in both directions .some stopped and chatted some just said high. After three hours I came to a clearing wow bloody wow the views were not disappointing I stood and stared for several minuet took a heap of photos before moving on up. Then there were huckleberries dam you huckleberries but I really was in no rush. I eventually came to the Cat Walk and again wow amazing !. Every way you looked was simply stunning .Again I stopped and starred it was just amazing well worth the 3 hour climb I got chatting to two American couples who took my picture.
By now my tummy was rumbling it was past lunch.so a nice spot will do..I sat down in the sun and munched on some cheese and nuts and glugged some lemonade. God look at the time it was almost 3 pm and I had done so little mileage due to taking too many photos .chatting and huckleberries!!! I set off hoping for the trail to be flat or down of course it was up….. I pushed myself on knowing that every saddle I crossed gave me another amazing sight. And it did. This was another day when I didn’t really put my camera away Every few yards it was click click click
I was now passing many lakes and most had several tents dotted around them. I would of joined them but it was still too early and my mileage too low but I realised that I should camp soon or I’d have to go on a lot further and I didn’t want to make that mistake again so at half past 5 when I came across a flat spot I put down my pack. Put up my tent then lay my fly out on the ground to dry a little I quickly made tea then got supper cooking while it was cooking Knockout joined me he was in two minds whether to go on but decided to eat with me. I drank my beers that I had carried all day with my supper. Mmmm they tasted so good I fished off the evening with a hot chocolate and so to bed Knockout then put up his tent