Sunday, August 31, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2535 - 2548, Raining

Sunday: (08/31) Up at 0730 on trail. 0900. What I thought would be a grueling climb wasn't bad. It did rain until 1600 though. Just a few teases of sunshine. Today I followed two chicks like the ones I followed yesterday but the young chicks quickly left the trail. Lots of overgrown wet trail today. I stopped at 1830 MM 2548. Tomorrow the worst climb of 3000' over two miles.

Lots of trees fallen across the trail. I never stopped to take pictures of the really "difficult to get around" ones.
A faded trail.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2520 – 2535, Milk Creek

Saturday: (08/30) It rained all night and today. I didn't get up 0800 when there was a lull in the rain. I stowed every thing wet and was back on the trail at 0930. A long uphill today made worst by rain. I can't wear my rain suit because I sweat so much. I'm just as wet but overheated as well so I just hike wet. Even when not raining you get wet from the water on the bushes overgrowing the trail! So I was very wet all day. Fortunately, no wind. After the climb, going down there was a steep, muddy, wet trail. I considered stopping at 12 miles but the site was near the mountain, on rocks near snow. I continued on but finding a campsite was difficult. The first two were taken. I finally found one good enough at Milk Creek, MM 2535, at 2000. Need some sun to dry out. On the trail today I followed two different chickens each for some distance. They can't seem to get the idea to go off the trail? Also lots of frogs seen. Surprise.

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I found the cupped mushrooms interesting.  Some bridges can be worrisome.

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The mountains here  are steep and have these deep ravines making the trail have to out of the way to find a route up and down.

Friday, August 29, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2505 – 2520, Baekos Creek

Friday: (08/29) Up at 0530, on trail 0715. Another no heat breakfast.

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Overcast and limited views. What can be seen is wonderful though.

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Scenery changed to grassy slopes.

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I almost stepped on two marmots today. They usually are in the rocks but these were in the grass by the trail.

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As my big climb began, it started to rain then threatened rain and sprinkled into the evening. I stopped for the day at 1700 by Baekos Creek,MM 2520 making my 15 mi!as I could have gone on after dinner but why push?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2489 – 2505, Sally Ann Lake

Thursday: (08/28) Up at 0530, on the trail at 0720. A really heavy dew last night. Wet tent and drop cloth. While in Skykomish I forgot to get a new gas canister for my stove. It's good for about 12 uses per the manufacturer but that's heating a full pot which I only fill half usually. Anyway, I'll probably run out since I've used it for 14 days already. That means no hot breakfasts just dinners until it's gone. I had sausage and granola bars for breakfasts. Clear skies last night but the sunrise was through a few clouds in the East  which developed into being mostly overcast all day. Actually a good thing with my two climbs today it made it cooler. Met Maddie, a girl from Portland doing this section to Stehekin as well. She was camped about two miles uptrail from me. Somehow I passed her or she me about six times. That's rare because I hike so slowly. She likes to stop and enjoy the trail, unlike the through hikers. She said she wasn't doing 15 mile days. Tonight we both camped at Lake Sally Ann at MM 2504.6. Lots of little fish jumping in the lake in the evening. At lunch I had found a nice lounge rock. A pica stopped by for a visit only a few feet away. You can hear them whistling as you pass the rock piles near the trail. Or is that the marmots?Usually they just scatter as you approach. The scenery is getting better. I even caught sight of our next big mountain Glacier Peak. A 16 mile day.

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Still some nice flowers out. A view of  Lake Sally on the right.
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My campsite above the lake. I've noticed these signs before but nevr really checked the destination out. I finally checked and the "Toilet" is a short ways down from the sign near the camp sites. It is a wooden box with a lid. No walls, no screening. Just a nice place to do your business out in the open.  It is more comfortable than squatting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2476 – 2489, Stevens Pass And Onward

Wednesday: (08/27) Breakfast at the Sky Deli again. Same ole thing. I made a quick stop at the convenience store for some rope. I may be required to hang my food and the cord I'm carrying may be too short since I'v been snipping pieces off of hit for various needs. I then returned to the hotel and doffed my backpack and walked over to the highway to hitch back to the trail. I was passed by a half dozen cars but the last one turned around and asked me if I was a PCT hiker and offered the ride. Turns out he is the coordinator for the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) Northern region (last name Woods, I forgot his first name). He was headed to the trail at Stevens Pass to determine a new route for the trail that aligns it with the new pedestrian overpass. The ski facilities obviously built the OP and now the trail
ends at the highway with "No Pedestrian Crossing" signs. Needs adjustment. He and his puppy were there to check it out. I was on the trail at 0935, much earlier than I expected. Nothing exciting on the trail. I met Carlos, a NB through hiker. I stopped for the night at 1830 at MM 2488.5.

Monday, August 25, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2468 - 2476, Skykomish

Monday: (08/25) Up 0630, on trail 0730. Only 8 miles to go today. A couple of climbs then down hill to Highway 2. I was at the highway before 1200. There was a sign on the trail that said that something was open at the ski lodge selling espresso. I stopped in and got an ice cream cone and checked my email while eating it. Then I went to the highway and hitched a ride to Skykomish, about 11 miles West of Stevens Pass where my resupply box was at the Post Office. They had my resupply box but I had also had some new insoles sent from Amazon that were supposed to arrive today, ordered Thursday with two day guaranteed delivery? I got a text message saying it would be delivered today and was out on the truck. I'm actually here a day earlier than planned due to my shortcut/alternate trail. Still, the Post Office slosed at 1545. I had waited a couple of hours relaxing on the lawn waiting buty decided to go at 1500. I checked into the Cascadia Hotel. Nice Room and there is a cafe included. Skykomish is an old railroad town that has seen better days, Beside the hotel there is a deli and a gas/convenience store. My late lunch at the hotel cafe was good but Later I got some great chili at the deli. I should be able to survive here for a couple of days. I need to blog, repair the tent, go through my bag an mail off stuff i haven't used or think i don't need, and get my insoles at the Post Office. Lots to do while relaxing. This hotel is great. There is no laundromat nearby so they take your bag of dirty clothes and return it washed and dried later in the evening all for $5. Wonderful.


The Cascadia Hotel in Skykomish, Washington.

Tuesday: (08/26) On the street by 0750. The Post Office and Deli opened at 0800 so I went to the Post Office first. I had gotten a text at 1800 that my package had arrived AT 1526, about 15 minutes after i gave up waiting yesterday. My new insoles feel good. Then I was off to the Sky Deli for breakfast. A nice breakfast burrito, sort of. Sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese, wrapped in a tortilla and then toasted in a panini machine., Really good. I tinkered in my room going through my pack contents. I filled a box to return home with my iceaxe, heavy thermal layer, shoe spikes, trek pole snow cups, my light rain suit, and??. I did come prepared and heavy. I think I might have shed 15 pounds? I lugged this stuff this far but decided to gamble on the weather, not having had any sign of really cold weather. I still do have rain gear.
Lunch at Sky Deli as well, a French Dip sandwich and vanilla shake. In the afternoon I repaired the mouse holes in my tent screen with my repair kit, told you I was prepared. I sewed pieces of screen over the two big holes. I also went through my food and shed some of it to the hiker box here at the hotel.
I had dinner at the hotel, a shredded pork sandwich, corn on the cob, coleslaw and fries. with a vanilla shake. The restaurant only does breakfast and lunch items even though they are open until 1900 except on the weekend when they do dinner items. In the evening I loaded the backpack for departure.
I like the town but there isn't much to do. It's a dead rail town.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2453 - 2468, Tunnel Creek Jct

Sunday: (08/24) A couple of good climbs today. Thunder rumbled some before the second climb but only provided a short period of very light sprinkles.  It turns out, my mouse last night gnawed two holes, not one. I noticed the second hole when i set the tent up tonight. Amazing how they act. Two nights ago my neighbor had a visit, I didn't. Last night I had a visit my neighbors didn't. Well, tonight I had another visitor who just used the existing holes to get in and out. Again I spent some time on mouse watch. I have a patch kit that hopefully I can use to eliminate the holes tomorrow. Might be how close they are to their hole. I tried a new gourmet treat today, a spam and peanut butter wrap. Yum! Camped at the Tunnel Creek Junction by a lake at MM 2458.

My campsite at the Tunnel Creek Junction by a lake.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2438 - 2453, Cathedral Rock

Saturday: (08/23) Up 0630, on trail 0830. Most of the day was UP getting to Cathedral Rock then down to what was identified in the trail info as a hazardous river crossing. It really wasn't too bad if walking across  roaring steep river on two springy 6" logs is OK with you. I was passed by a dozen or so NB through hikers. It was dark by the time i got to a possible camp site where a couple of tents were already setup. I stuffed my tent into a really tight not level site, too tired to hike further. Camped MM 2453. Just before crossing the river a trail angel gave me a luscious plum. A couple of hours into the night I was awakened by some ruffling. I had a mouse in the tent. All my food was in my pack under me but the mouse gnawed through  the tent screen right by the wrapper from a granola bar I had for desert. (note to self...) I was awake much of the night on mouse watch.

Fun to cross the river.

Nice mushrooms.

Friday, August 22, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2420 - 2438, Thunder Creek

Friday: (08/22) On trail 0720. A short distance away from my camp I noticed the the reason for the noisy creek all night, It's called Thunder Creek for a reason. Since leaving Snow Lake yesterday I saw no other hikers until a three log crossing of a very wide river. Of course the congestion would be at a place you couldn't pass. There were a couple doing a section hike. Just across the river I stopped by the Goldmeyer hot springs for a planned soak. Decided against it because it would have cost $15 for a day pass to soak. To expensive of a bath. I continued on through rumbling skies and showers over the top of the other side of the valley and stopped to camp where the alternate trail rejoined the main PCT trail. Only saw one hiker the rest of the day. I spent the night about 1/8th mile from the PCT junction at MM 2438 camped with Bird Food. No wonder he had a visit from a mouse in the evening. Really nice forest today, very green almost like the Olympic forests. About 3pm the skies started to rumble some then rasined for two hours, heavy at first the light rain. Then it cleared again.

Jus like a Japanese garden.

Sorry for the bad picture of the multi-log river crossing. The morning sun must have ruined it.Sufice it to say good balance is helpful, wish i had better.

Wow, an artesian spring, maybe?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2402 - 2420, Goldmeyer Alternate Trail

Thursday: (08/21) I finished packing my pack. Why is it that it's so hard to fit everything back in it? Nice breakfast at the pancake house here at the Inn. I did make a donation to the hiker box to help. I fianally departed at 1030.  Because of a report of a persistent bear at MM 2419, which would be my likely camp site, and because of a ten mile shortcut avoiding it, I opted to take the Goldmeyer Alternate trail from Snoqualmie. It starts with a good climb up to Snow Lake, a popular day hike judging from all the folks there. From there I took the old PCT trail, now the Rock Creek Trail. It was in poor condition and very steep with lots of narrow overgrown sections and lots of loose rocks on the trail, all factors that slow me down. Once at the bottom of the valley, I entered a dark thick forest. Reminds me of the Harry Potter forest. I stopped in it at Thunder Creek for the night, MM 9.2 0f 25.8 on the Goldmeyer Alternate. SO, effectively I'm at MM 2411.2 or or 2421.5 because since the alternate is 10 miles shorter, I'm actually 16.6 miles from the junction to the PCT where the MM will be 2438. So I'll call it the average MM 2420


Ivanhoe Lake, heading down to rejoin the PCT.

I had dinner by this nice bridge. Too bad I was on the wrong trail. I backtracked about 1/8 mile to the trail junction where I followed a confusing sign.
One of several hard to caspture waterfalls along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2393 - 2402, Snoqualmie

Tuesday: (08/19) Up 0615, on trail 0730. Started with a little more climb then a lot of up and down. The trail graph gives the impression it was mostly downhill but it didn't seem so. Only 8 miles to Snoqualmie. Several more NB through hikers passed me. Also a lot of day hikers heading SB. Freeway I90 is really noisy once you come into the valley where it is. I thought they were testing a jet engine nearby? Saw another snake like the last but this one was black with two yellow stripes. I checked in to the Summit Inn at 1230. First a shower, then lunch. Ahh! I picked up my resupply box. The ROM is now cluttered with an exploded backpack. Time to relax for a couple of days. I uploaded my photos, I think. I'll have to check if they all arrived.

Wednesday: (08/20) Up late. Breakfast from the market, a chimmachunga  and a sausage on a stick. I worked on the blog all morning.

Monday, August 18, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2376 - 2393, Mirror Lake

Monday: (08/18) On trail 0720. Hiked with an older hiker named Steve, from Renton, Washington doing a short section hike much of the morning. He hikes about my speed. I stopped for lunch at an abandoned weather station. Also called home since I had  cell signal. Met Lion Heart, a NB through hiker. Also met a couple with their dog doing a SB week section hike. I've been following horse tracks for a few days on the trail. No problem knowing which is the PCT trail at junctions because the horse isn't allowed on most side trails. I think it's the guy from Bumping River. I did get a good view of Mount Rainier this morning, first time in days and now I'm way north of it. Camped at Mirror Lake, MM 2393 with Lion Heart, Berry Picker, and Steve. Berry Picker is a girl headed SB. Her name comes from the same problem I have, stopping to pick the berries rather than hike. I saw a nice brown snake with a red strip. I also came upon two deer that didn't spook for quite a while even continuing toward me on the trail. Nice to see more wildlife here further North.

Mt Raineer finally seen this morning.

A couple of my hiking friends.

A typical campsite,bare flat ground, or as close as you can get.

I like pretty mushrooms as much as flowers.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2360 - 2376, Met A Trail Crew

Sunday: (08/17) On trail at 0815. Met a trail crew working on the trail. My they get up early! I think they were the "350 Blades" from the Seattle area, all older than me. Today's hike was through a 12 mile waterless section of trail. 16 miles today stopping at a saddle between two mountains at MM 2376. More SB hikers today as well as folks gathering huckleberries and blue berries. Also met two unsavory types with shotguns. Lots of forest service roads around. I had to stop often to enjoy some wonderful huckleberries. I stopped for dinner and met Why Not a section hiker from Sacramento. Another 1.5 miles to camp at MM 2376.

image I was surprised to find this water cache about two miles into the 12 mile waterless trail section. image This is the greatest hazard in trying to make some good daily mileage, the huckle berry.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2343 - 2360, Urich Cabin

Saturday: (08/16) Up at 0600, on trail 0715. Started with a climb up the rolling trail until just before the end of the day.
Met NB hikers Bigfoot, Wolfman and a SB older couple of section hikers Zombie and La Contessa. I stopped at the Urich Cabin at Government Meadow. Hikers can stay there, and it was tempting but didn't match my schedule. I needed do some five more miles. I met Gray Eagle an older hiker there. He's had both knees replaced in about four years ago. He was struggling deciding if he was going to stay there. Gray Eagle made it the extra five miles as well. We were joined by three other hikers. Two were through hikers, without trail names, from Vancouver, BC. Nice campsite by a spring at MM 2360. 17 miles today.

The Urich Cabin was built by a snowmobile club. Government Meadow is a snow park in winter. Probably a warming hut. In summer and fall hikers use it.

For some reason I thought about a mountain golf game?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2317 - 2329, Dewey Lake

Thursday: (08/14) I was on trail at 0730. It wasn't raining. Started with a climb then entered Mt Raineer National Park where the trail meandered up and down but no bad climbs. About 1530 it started to rain. I tried to wait it out for 30 minutes under a tree but the rain continued. I finally continued another mile to a campsite stopping early. Earlier, when the rain started, I tried my rain suit. I'm drier walking in the rain that sweating in the suit. No views today. Foggy and overcast all day. Camped MM 2329 by myself, next to Dewey Lake.

Typical trail. Note the sky.

I watched a couple of marmots for a while.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2303 - 2317, Bumping River

Wednesday: (08/13) Another luscious breakfast from the tiny market and onto the trail at 0835. It was a very wet and muddy trail and sprinkling until after 1000. I met Kevin, Patrick, and Sam. They are from Seattle and doing a week SB. Otherwise by myself all day. I met a guy and girl with no packs and fishing poles just before stopping for the day. He was horse camping with a pack horse. I had to ford the Bumping River and the camped on the far side of the river. The river was about 20 feet wide And 18 inches deep and no dry crossing to be had. After I had stopped, Able, a NB through hiker stopped to rest before heading on. It was 1800. That's the difference between me and someone who has been doing this for months. I was through at 14 miles stopping here at MM 2316.8.
Typical trail.

These would look good in our yard. This flower grows from a round all of grass.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

PCT Hike, Zero At White Pass, MM 2303

Tuesday: (08/13) Today I worked hard ant relaxing. The day off might not have been necessary but my body will probably appreciate it. Yesterday there were a couple of clouds appearing in the afternoon but it had been warm to hot the previous week. This morning it was overcast. I was hoping the sun would come out and I'd take a swim. It never did. In fact when I was leaving the office after extending for the stay tonight, I felt some sprinkles. I tinkered at the computer all day, if a tablet can truely be called a computer. It's not easy for me to work with often making incorrect spelling suggestions for my spelling errors. In the afternoon sprinkles turned to light rain then heavy rain and thunder. One strike was probably within a half mile by the sound and feel of it. It will be fun out hiking tomorrow in the rain.

The Bumping River Ford.. I camped on the far side.

One of the may ponds along the trail, most just mosquito generators.

Photo Album

Here are all the photos, unlabeled. I'll work on them after the hike.

Album link:


Monday, August 11, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2291 - 2303, Goat Herd

Monday: (08/11) Up really early, 0450. On trail in the dark at 0520 hiking with my head lamp for about half an hour. I wanted to arrive in White Pass in the early afternoon. It was only a 12 mile hike. Half up then half down. Fortunately the down was the greater elevation change. On the way down I stopped to watch a heard of mountain goats graze and play for about 15 minutes. I arrived a little after 1300. I checked in and showered then had lunch at the 7/11 like store. They do make good pizza and sandwiches though. In the evening I worked on this blog and uploaded photos.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2277 - 2291, Goat Rock Wilderness

Sunday: (08/10) Today was on some interesting trail. This is the Goat Rock Wilderness, after all. The climb up from campsite brought me into the Yakima Indian lands for about a half mile where I had my first snow crossings. From there things got worse, climbing and trailside, that is. The views were great. Narrow, steep trails on extremely steep mountain sides. Several long snow crossings on those strep sided mountains. The mountains seemed like 75 degree slopes. Then the trail was along a knife edged ridge with nice loose rocks. It seemed to go on and on. When the trail finally went down off the ridge it was on the most slippery trail that seemed like hiking on ball bearings. I stopped for dinner at 1830 at MM 2290. I decided to hike on another mile to the next campsite. In that mile there were 8 downed trees across the trail. While up on the ridge I had reserved a room in White Pass for tomorrow.

The trail follows along the knife edge of the ridge in the distance.

Lots of snow. Mt Raineer in the distance, way North.

A nice waterfall I passed.


Nice flowers.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

PCT Hike, MM 2267 - 2277, A Camp To Myself

Saturday: (08/09) Up after 0700, on trail 0900. Granola bar to start. After two miles I stopped for breakfast at 1000, a hot dog (small summer sausage and cheese in a tortilla). I took care of a call of nature. The miles just didn't add up so only 10 miles today. Camped at MM 2277. Met a couple of day hikers and scored a banana and some sliced red peppers. Today was about 4 miles down and 6 miles up. Shouldn't seem like much but I was tired at 1700, was at a beautiful campsite by a good creek across from a snow patch. I decided to stop there and had the place to myself. I washed my dirty socks and feet, which the feet liked. The trail today had many day hiker's because there are many short trails up into the Goat Rock Wilderness, unlike the Mt Adams Wilderness.


Here I am relaxing. Don' I look happy. I am!


Lots of these on the spruce trees. Not as big as redwood burls. They also seem to rot quickly like the trees when dead.


Another mushroom.