170813 – A walk in the woods, mostly

Day:  112
Date:  Sunday, 13 August 2017
Start:  Where PCT crosses Highway 12 in White Pass at Mile 2292.4, 4409 ft
Finish:  Camped by the trail at Mile 2312.1, 5603 ft
Daily Miles:  19.7 PCT
Total PCT Miles:  1771.8
Weather:  Cool and mostly overcast with occasional fog and drizzle in the morning.
Accommodation:  Tent
     Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs, sausages & hash browns, toast & jam
     Lunch:  Gorp
     Dinner:  Rice & pasta with cheese and tuna.
Aches:  Left heel still giving me grief
Highlight:  None really
Lowlight:  None really
Pictures:  Click here

Map:  Click here for Google Map

I was hitch-hiking by 8:00am on a damp and cool morning after breakfasting at the adjacent diner.  I wasn’t sorry to leave the motel, where something had bitten me both nights, and if I had time, I could have written a very interesting Tripadvisor review.

There was some traffic, but not a lot, so I was thankful when a retired forest ranger picked me up at 8:30am and delivered me to the trailhead 30 minutes later.  He did a U-turn after dropping me off, and I suspect he drove me all the way to the trailhead just because he had seen me hitching in town.  The kindness of strangers. 

It was a pleasant change to be hiking in cooler weather, even though there was occasional drizzle, and the trail was easy going.  For the next six hours it wound its way through undulating old growth forest past scores of grassy meadows and still ponds of all sizes, often cloaked with mist.  It reminded me of parts of Maine and Canada that I have visited, and I guess they are similar latitudes.  It was enjoyable walking and I made reasonable time without pushing it, though annoyingly, the blister site on my left heel was still a little painful with every step.

In mid-afternoon, the trail reached a wide stream that I could not cross without filling my boots with water, and rather than change into my trainers, I crossed on a log that was a few hundred metres downstream.  It was OK, but I don’t enjoy such crossings carrying a heavy pack.  It’s too easy to lose your balance.  After the stream, the trail climbed steadily for the remainder of the day, mostly through forest, but with occasional views across forests to other mountains.  The low overcast remained in place, despite a few sunny patches, and I couldn’t see the tops of most mountains, or Mt Rainier, which I think should be in view.  According to my radio, it should be clear and sunny tomorrow so the views will improve.

I reached my target campsite a little before 7:00pm, and it quickly got dark and cool.  I wore my warm clothes while cooking dinner for the first time in weeks, and was happy to finally crawl into my tent and sleeping bag. 

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