Mile 2176.6 to mile 2214.8 (38.1, 61.3 km)
Today was all about gaining distance. Although I meant to slow down through Washington, today I couldn’t. I needed to get as many miles in to reduce the distance down for tomorrow. I had enough to get me through to mid morning tomorrow then I would be out.
Packed and on the go the misty rain had cleared and it was shaping up to be a cracker of a day.
A quick 5 miles saw me at a bridged river to collect water and running into the group of four Israeli’s with the loud snorer. We exchanged info we had on an upcoming fire closure in the Goat Rocks Wilderness and after a quick break I was into it.
The next 9 miles were steep up. Maybe I’ve gotten too use to Oregon’s kindness, as this climb was kicking my butt. Slower than useful I plugged away, stopping half way to take on some nutrition and water. The major payoff in reaching the top was a surprise view of Mt Adams. I was not expecting that at all and was blow away by the mountains size and proximity. It’s just over there.
The terrain changed all day and kept the scenery I interesting. From damp forests to open grassland, to mountain lakes and adjacent moors, to dry pine forest through lava fields with the open caves of collapsing lava tubes.
By 3pm I had around 16 miles to go. My biggest distance by far this late in the day. I pushed hard and was spurred on by Heaps and Neo, a couple of ultralighters that go light, go fast and go long. I’ve been leap frogging Heaps (from New Zealand) on and off for a few weeks now. Kia Ora cuz.
I knew it would be a late one and that I wouldn’t be cooking dinner when reaching camp as it was definitely going to be in the dark. Stopping around 7pm I put together a no cook dinner of tuna tortillas and geared up with a head torch.
The sun slowly crept down and the light was just holding out. Under tree canopy it was dark. The trail, all the rocks and tree roots could just be made out. I didn’t quite need my head lamp until reaching camp for the night and setting my tent up.
Calculating the mileage for the day I was surprised to find that it was 38. My biggest yet. Surprised because I felt so good and strong, not broken like I thought I’d be.
This puts me at 12 miles from Trout Lake. The perfect distance for a morning.
On climbing up through the trees most of the day I was rewarded with an unexpected view of Mt Adams in the distance.