Day 144 (Sept. 11): PCT Mile 2,615.6 – 2,638.5

Last Night in Washington

Beginning Elevation = 6,800
Ending Elevation = 6,200
Elevation Range = 5,050 – 7,000
Weather: Cloudy, high of 60 °F

I left camp at 7:03am. It was cold and we were inside a cloud again. TW was up and moving within his tent, but I figured if I waited, I’d probably lose my toes to frostbite.

5 minutes down the trail, however, I walked out of the cloudy haze into clear sky with beautiful sunshine. It still wasn’t exactly warm, but so very welcoming after the rainy day yesterday. It brought a smile to my face.

The trail was absolutely wonderful starting out this morning. Gradual, almost flat, traversing along near the top of a ridge surrounding a giant bowl/valley. Looking back I could see our tenting area, or at least the cloud rolling over the lower elevation saddle at that location.

Looking out was the sun rising and spectacular mountains that weren’t fully seen yesterday because of the cloud cover. I had 45 minutes of the straight clear sky, then went in and out of random clouds for a while making it down to Hart’s Pass.

Hart’s Pass is the last road that the PCT crosses in Washington going northbound. There is a little ranger station there that was closed when I went through, but also some camp sites where two guys were slowly packing up and providing some trail magic sodas to the hikers passing through. There were maybe 10 or so hikers when I stopped including TW.

The strange thing was, some of these hikers hanging around Hart’s Pass were done with the trail already! The two options after reaching the PCT’s northern terminus at the border are to get a permit and cross into Canada (my plan) or turn around and hike about 30 miles back to Hart’s Pass and start hitchhiking. Going forward from this point all the southbounders we saw on trail were folks who had finished the trail so there was always an exchange of congratulations. I was surprised at how many chose not to cross into Canada, but I supposed that was still the more complicated option.

Leaving the pass the trail took a gradual ascent up a beautiful mountain-side that was relatively clear of trees. Thus, more outstanding viewage outward! The first photo is looking back at the saddle of Hart’s Pass, the second looks ahead.

After the climb up, the trail for the most part followed the wonderful traverse style that I love so much with the flatish and relatively gradual trail that allows me to see the trail far ahead and behind.

When I left the pass, I could see a guy on a horse up ahead of me. We must have been going around the same speed because I followed along behind for a ways and only passed when he stopped to get down and readjust something. He was actually leading another horse too and told me he was headed to Devil’s Dome to do trail maintenance. Not sure where that is, but thanks to you kind sir!

Around 1:00pm or so I caught up to where TW was taking a break for lunch and to dry out his tent.

After a good long stop, we trekked onward together.

After a few hours, we took another shorter break here at this dividing line between burned and unburned.

We hiked separate for the last hour of the day, TW ahead . The burned section didn’t last long and it was yet another gorgeous stretch of trail. Here’s leading up to our camp site…

When we arrived to the spot we’d hoped to camp at, there was already a few groups set up. I thought the surrounding area was so great looking and seemed like there would be potential sites hidden off trail, so went for a walk to scout things out. I didn’t find a secret spot, but did get a lovely perspective on this amazing area!

In the end, we ended up back at our original camp site, but found a spot up above the others where all four of us could set up. Cheer and Calzone came pretty quickly after we’d set up and we had a fun last night in Washington. It was also the last night on trail for TW! Our spirits weren’t dampened though, we had a good time celebrating the good times and amazing experiences we’d gone through together.

Today’s Music/Podcasts:

The All-American Rejects – Move Along
Third Eye Blind – Thanks For Everything
Frozen – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

99% Invisible – Making it Rain
99% Invisible – Billboard Boys

3 thoughts on “Day 144 (Sept. 11): PCT Mile 2,615.6 – 2,638.5

  1. Luke David Medema

    Great progress Stevie Wonder, the scenery continues to impress. I’m looking forward to the next post when you reach Oh Canada!!!

    Cool runnings


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