Into Snoqualmie Pass

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2377.5 to 2393.6 (Snoqualmie Pass),16.1 Miles

It was another wet night with rain bucketing down. In addition to the rain most of the trees, spruce I think, collect the mist and funnel more of the wet stuff down. The exception are the Douglas Firs, my favourite trees. It doesn’t matter how much rain there is you can always find a dry spot under a Doug Fir. Handy to take breaks under but not so great for camping as they typically have a lot of roots and are rarely on flat ground.

So another wet pack up. By now, everything is wet. My sleeping bag is damp, not exactly from rain but rain doesn’t help. My single skin tent likes to collect condensation when there is no breeze passing through the tent to displace the warm air breathed out as I sleep and the large rain drops hitting the outside of the tent dislodge condensation from the inside roof, to fall and collect on my sleeping bag.

It’s a town day today where I can dry gear out in a hotel room so I’m no so adverse to pulling on soaking wet socks one last time. My shoes, socks and wet weather shell layers live in the tent vestibule overnight to limit the amount of moisture inside my tent. And although protected from the rain, there is no chance of them drying. Wringing out wet socks and putting them on your feet sucks big time. But your feet get warm soon enough. Worse is pulling on damp rain shells over damp shorts. Same again, once you get moving you warm quickly.

The terrain was fairly easy going with one big climb for the morning upto Mirror Lake, one of last years camp sites. With only 16 miles to hike to reach town I was keen and moving fast. Maybe a bit too fast and my body, feet in particular, are paying for it. My whole left leg side is sore – glutes, knee, ankle and arch. I’m sure a good physio would tell me they are all related to the same issue. Most definitely from walking 20 mile days strAight off the bat.

Sections of trail were literally like walking through a small creek with all the rain. The procession of south bound flippers continues through the morning.

With a about 5 miles to go the rain had cleared and blue skies appeared. I had slowed my pace considerable by this stage, about 2 mile/hour, taking it easy for the descent down through the ski fields to Snoqualmie Pass. I have a hotel room booked here and a resupply package waiting. A well needed shower awaits.

Arriving in town the good old Aardvark Express , a small greasy spoon, operating from a converted tiny house, in a servo car park, was still there and my first port of call. They offer a great little space for PCT hikers to hang out, grab a bite to eat and have a beer. A free Rainier beer for hikers. I caught up with a bunch of crew, all either south bounders or flippers who are heading south. It’s always good to share stories from the trail and relive the highlights and plights from the last sections.

Checking into my hotel, my decision to take a full day off and then work out a plan to skip this next section is cemented when learning of the unseasonal forecast ahead. It’s going to be raining more and I’m not going to see much with the cloud anyway. Everyone is amazed at the rain and questioning exactly where summer is right now. Quite a few flippers haven’t enjoyed Washington at all – a combination of the weather and the serious terrain their bodies are unaccustomed to since flipping north.

My plan now is to hitch to Ellensburg about an hour east, catch a bus north to Chelan and take the Lady of the Lake ferry to Stehekin to continue north to the border.

Looking forward to a zero day tomorrow with not a care in the world other than laundering my smelling clothes.

163 miles over a week is pretty good going I reckon, 262 km.

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