PCT 2015 – Week 17

27 Aug – Day 114 – mi. 2273 – 4:30 AM start – dawn patrol – rock and ice – the Knife’s Edge! – coffee and breakfast on the rocky, exposed ridge – wildfire viewing – to the north, Mt. Ranier, to the west, Mt. St. Helens, to the south, Mt. Adams and to the east, sunrise – one of the best moments of the whole trail!, I love this trip, trail and these people. –  missed goat sightings – single track, ridge trail inspires me to run – temptation by a chair lift – Whites Pass and Kracker Barrel store – town food – resupply – pace deliberation – indecisive waitress – cookies and the Tao from Peter – fricket – River Jelly & Chopsticks – highway horse camp – mile 2293

Mt. Adams & wildfire at sunrise

28 Aug – Day 115 – rainy morning = perfect sleeping weather – cricked neck – rainy, cloudy day = perfect hiking weather – quick pace – Lakes forever – Ginormous church/Russian youth group blasting horrible techno music! – lunch break to dry out, nap and wait – alone time and visiting with new hikers – more views of Mt. Ranier – reunite with Highwater going Sobo – emaciated, mountain man comment – Canada fever and exhaustion among the team – Dewey Lakes camp – mile 2318

Highwater reunion!

29 Aug – Day 114 – mi. 2318 – more great sleep -warm, rainy morning to Chinook Pass – Mt. Ranier National Park – beautiful, cloud filled morning with rain soaked views – Outhouses but no TP! – super nice father & son – climbs with rain and wind – broken umbrella – mountain goats – floating rainbows – lunch in a broken down shack – shadows of clouds racing across scree and ridges, dashes of sunshine – controlling, powerful wind – mushrooms – hints of Fall – the brunch club runs to catch up, Chicory passes us to BW’s frustration – No Trace & Unbreakable going SoBo – hot fire to dry out – 2nd coldest, wet day of the trail – Ulrich Ski Cabin – mile 2345

Above Chinook Pass

30 Aug – Day 115 – difficult to leave the warm cabin – trash bag trail fashion – elk sighting in a fog covered Government Meadows – Daybreaker and friend’s trail magic: coffee, pancakes, fruit, eggs, burgers and more – car cuddle – feel unprepared for constant cold, wet weather – sunshine and another Legend sighting – rain covered firs with clouds and dam light look like snow – early nightfall – dry layers, tent and warm food feel so good – Old road bed, cold & wet camp – mile 2368

German Homesteaders at the Ulrich Cabin

31 Aug – Day 116 – mi. 2368 – Snoqualmie Pass – rain all day – running with an umbrella in the rain – loud hiss and crackle of rain on the power lines – soaked to the bone – run for warmth and town food – cold & wet hikers – Hundo comes to the rescue, again – decision to dry out and wait out the rain in town – Dr. Drei going SoBo – Pancake Inn and pizza – crazy, unorganized hiker box room – Seattle, WA – Hundo apartment camp – mi. 2391

Dig for your box at Snoqualmie Pass

1 Sept – Day 117 – big city day – Seattle, WA – sleep in with big breakfast, Ali Cakes -resupply on cold, wet weather gear – Mario Kart – Fremont Coffee trail magic – Pho and ice cream – Fremont Brewing Co. – REI, hipster look of downtown Seattle men – Josh B. from Las Cruces – late night, delicious Mexican food – no trail miles

the City of Seattle

2 Sept – Day 118 – mi. 2391 – sleep in again – Silence Heart Nest breakfast – resupply – Hundo returns to the trail – Goldmeyer Hot Springs alternate – spectacular scenery: Snow Lake, waterfalls, craggy towers, ferns, Chicken of the Woods, huge trees, lush everything – land slides – slip, slide, fall and scrape – hiking alone, reflections on the trail, idea of the end setting in – space cakes – Goldmeyer Hot Springs and wilderness preserve is magical – mine shaft hot springs source – hot pool and cold plunge – hot soaking in the rain – cozy warm clothes after the soak – tough day with great ending –  Goldmeyer Hot Springs camp – mile 11 of Goldmeyer alt. route

Town days are hard


Familiar Ground

Sunest in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah

After six months of traveling the west, I am back in Las Cruces, NM. It was a great time and was fortunate to climb in some beautiful places like Bishop, Joe’s Valley, Indian Creek, Yosemite and the Black Hills and I got to see many old friends and made new ones that I think will become old ones. Thanks everyone and everywhere for a wonderful trip so far.

I felt like I had beat my body up with all the adventures over the summer, needed to let the van have a rest and relax the mind for a spell. Southern New Mexico is great place to do just that. There are good friends and places here, a very laid back environment, good food and old routines I can get back into while I recover. Hello New Mexico, good to be back.

Hello beautiful Southwest (Dolores River Canyon, CO)

I had incurred both carpel tunnel syndrome and foot tendonitis over the summer. I suspect both are due to overuse. After living in denial for weeks and trying to run on a messed up foot, I have stopped running completely for about three weeks now. As hard as this has been, I do believe the rest is helping. I woke up with very little soreness today. So far my recovery plan has consisted of rest, stretching, soaking after physical activities, yoga, hot springing, swimming (including pool running), low  impact gym workouts and climbing (as long as the approach is short). None of the activities seem to be detrimental to recovery and can only help. I have found a new love for swimming, yoga and sport climbing. Can’t say I enjoy the gym much.

Roadside recovery at Lava Hot Springs, ID

The CTS in the had is very slowly getting better. I don’t think all the driving was helping any. The hand feels better while climbing as long as I don’t crimp too much. I’m going to see a physical therapist, Susan Conant, tomorrow. She does great work and have seen here before. Hopefully she can manage some improvement on my hand.

So in the meantime, I will continue to recover and keep catching up on my pictures from over the summer. I put up a bunch from over on the flickr and will have a proper report from Glacier National Park up soon. I think I can start doing some longer hiking next week. Hopefully, I be fully recovered for the bouldering season at Hueco Tanks. If anyone is around New Mexico and wants to climb or hike, I’ve got time.

Chris cruising up Scott at the Tunnel; Alamogordo, NM. Good to be back at the old sport crag but quite a difficult reacquaintance.