PCT 2015 – Week 18

3 Sept – Day 119 – Goldmeyer alt. mi. 11 – psyched on big trees, lush forest, mushrooms and ferns – rumors of the fire closure opening –  more rain and lunch under an umbrella – waterfalls forever and more lakes – sunshine and warmth – Icy Hot is alive! – the trail is never what you expect – nightfall coming early – night hike – clear night sky – Cathedral Pass camp –  mile 2435

Lake along the alternate route

4 Sept – Day 120 – mi. 2435 – first sunny morning in more than a week – climbing and intermittent rain – sweat soaked under rain gear – rain clouds, fog and mist fill the canyons where smoke filled a couple weeks ago – WA is equally beautiful as it is challenging – The trail is open! – in the flow – ski lifts, lakes and passes – Stevens Pass – hitch with Index Lauren – chili, fried chicken, jojos and beer – full house at the Dinsmores – Hiker Heaven – mile 2462

Snack break with Leopardsauce, Hundo & Desert-hang

5 Sept – Day 121 – rest day – no miles – Skykomish, WA – Trail magic and family from Louisiana – stuffed with town food – frisbee in the street – serious hiker hobble – WA apples – trail angels here are awesome – Team Gnar Gnar is all together and then disbands – “can’t loose a Gnar Gnar by speeding up” – sad and tired – Cascadia Inn

the Complete Team Gnar Gnar: Middle, Leopardsauce, HoHo, Chicory, Backwise, Alpaca, Possum, Sneezl

6 Sept – Day 122 – mi. 2462 – hard to leave the warmth of town – I’m loving every town now – deserted trail – snow covered mountains – foggy, soggy, dripping forest – hiking in snow in a t-shirt – all day with Alpaca – fog covered lakes – dogs – large groups can be dramatic – ankles are wrecked – Sally Ann Lake camp – mile 2491

Leaving town for snow

7 Sept – Day 123 – mi. 2491 – 4 months on the trail – stars in the night – misty morning and fast moving clouds – Llama packing bear hunters – bandana ankle brace – blueberries and mountaineers – Glacier Peak Wilderness – new faces: Hawaii, Marathon John, Just Drew and Logan – these mountains feel huge and wild – Desert Hang camp – mile 2522

Colors & weather of Fall

8 Sept – Day 124 – mi. 2522 – mice scurried around all night – good morning switchbacks – very clumsy, foggy, drizzling morning – older hikers and a neurotic heeler – huge hemlocks – great rest stops – Sunshine! – forest floor carpeted with moss and shrooms – hot lunch with Desert Hang – spectacular golden hour views – night hike with Desert Hang – Chill Hards hiding in the woods – night hiking is one of the coolest parts of thru hiking -night time rock slides – stars and clouds – solo, established camp – mile 2553

Evening sun & God light

9 Sept – Day 125 – mi. 2553 – 5:15 AM wakeup – dawn patrol with stars and moon – damp bag and tent – soaked and cold from wet, overgrown trail – was a cold night – wildfire smoke still smoldering – hot and dry – big red shuttle bus to Stehekin – mandatory stop at the bakery with a cinnamon roll to die for! – Lake Chelan and Stehekin are more beautiful and magical than ever expected – get to see the Gnar Gnars – burger and sunset with hikers – much needed relaxing and healing – probably the best Post Office in the country – resupply – chillin with the Chill Hard Tribe – Veggie, Square, Popsicle and Easy – mile 2569

Lake Chelan

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