Got going earlier today just as dawn broke as I camped early yesterday. It was surprisingly cold, so it seemed like the heat wave had passed. Also mostly gone was the smoke and the soy eventually turned blue as the sun rose. Nice.
My feet hurt a bit but that disappeared relatively quickly after getting them warmed up. It actually felt much easier going today. The lighter pack due to the dwindling food bag was probably partly to blame for that.
A bit into today’s hike, I got a paved road leading to Trout Lake and saw three hikers standing there trying to hitch. One of them was Dragon. They had already been there for over an hour and the first car hadn’t even driven by. That seemed to be a tough hitch. I felt justified in my choice of carrying all my food and thus being able to just hike on, but at the same time I of course also felt sorry for them, and I wished them luck before hiking on.
The going continued to be surprisingly easy even a longer ascent that brought the trail to higher elevations with a marked change in the scenery. First there was a burn zone from maybe a handful of years ago, but nature had waisted no time in “refurnishing” the area it was quite green and sprawling with plants, many of which were flowering. There were also numerous small birds. I think that I saw more than a hundred.
In the distance, an enormous and beautiful mountain started to come into view but often hiding behind dead trees. Turns out it was Mount Adams, which somewhat made sense as this was in Mount Adams Wilderness. He he. Much further in the distance, Mount Rainer, an equally large and beautiful mountain, came into view. Shortly after seeing Mount Adams, it disappeared behind a large hilltop and I feared that it was the last that I had seen of it and that I would never really get a clear view of it. Luckily I was wrong. For the rest of the day Mount Adams played peekaboo as we got closer and eventually circumnavigated it. We got out of the burn zones and back to the ordinary forest, which was even greener and in itself also quite beautiful. It never really got too warm today, which was also nice.
Around dinner time I stopped by a creek and unexpectedly found myself in one of the most beautiful places if the whole trail, I think. Mount Adams was in the background, a meadow came before it, and in that meadow, a small creek was flowing before it went under a small wooden bridge, continued out over a cliff and thereby formed a waterfall. Everything was beautifully lit by the afternoon sun, and in a split second I made up my mind to dine just there. It was cold soaked mashed potatoes, which I have grown quite tired of. I felt that view necessitated a nicer dinner to go along with it, but luckily I had some candy for desert, which mostly made up for it. I sat there for quite a while enjoying the scenery all by myself with the water as background music.
I eventually got going again to hike five more miles to a campsite near lava springs. However, when I got there I was quite disappointed as there was no lava flowing at the spring. Just ordinary water. He he. I was quite tired and quickly got to bed. I hadn’t expected to do such a long day in Washington, but it wasn’t too hard, and such nice views to go along with the many miles!
This days miles: 2218-2250