I slept very comfortably in the Mountaineers Lodge and woke up over an hour before my alarm clock. For some reason they didn’t serve breakfast at five am there, but I made sure to get things packed so I would quickly be ready to go afterwards. The breakfast was very nice, and most certainly worth waiting for. It was also nice with some small talk with the other hikers. One had already left early in the morning and one more was planning to go. That made only three of us while the others were mostly going in to town to buy food.
Before leaving the place I thanked the host and the cook. The windows had been kind of foggy , but once I got outside a clear and blue sky greeted me. I got going half past eight re energized and joyful. At the same time it also felt odd to set out on the next to last stretch before the Canadian border. The last stop being Stehekin.
There were many day hikers and for some reason also extraordinarily high amounts of fresh horse poop. Maybe a dozen horse riders for some reason had chosen to set out here very recently. Two hikers were a bit unsure if they were on track, so they asked me about a lake and subsequently where I was going. I said I was going to Canada from Mexico to which the one hiker asked if I were joking, which I denied and threw in some facts about my hike. He then said that I surely must have taken busses some of the way, which I of course also denied to which he said “wow brother”. He he. I guess I would also need a second take if I hadn’t heard about the PCT before.
While the first part of the day had been nice, it first got really interesting once I got climbed something called “Grizzly Peak” where there were incredible views in multiple directions. It had all the usual components of the Washington section: grassy areas, pines, steep hillsides, and grey rock. It was a perfect spot for my second lunch, which wasn’t interrupted by anyone. I had the whole mountain for myself!
I hiked on and eventually got tired and a bit exhausted. Even though the trail was mostly soft today there certainly was a lot to elevation change. At one point late in the afternoon I looked up at the steep mountain side and thought “oh no, not this one as well”. It turned out to not be as bad as I had feared, though. Further, there had been tons of ripe and sweet blueberries along the trail most of the day, which I had enjoyed and eaten more of than any other day. I’m certainly going to miss the berries when I get off trail.
At one point I noticed the mesh at the front of one of my shoes was ripping and to a lesser degree the mesh on the other shoe as well. That was a bit disconcerting as they have to last all the way to Canada and they only have two hundred or so miles in them.
Expectedly given the late start, I fell a tad short of my goal as I camped just before sunset. No one else was at the site, and as a matter of fact I hadn’t seen any through hikers or trail today. I’ll make up for the lost miles later.
As soon as the sun disappeared the temperature dropped rapidly and markedly. The days feel like summer once again, but the nights are well into autumn as we I am nearing the last chapter of my hike.
This day’s miles: 2464-2487