Tuesday July 28 ——–
We woke a half hour later than usual and met with Laura and Donny again. They fixed us an awesome hearty breakfast to start our day.
But there was more! We had run out of Tortillas and Hot Chocolate and they not only supplied those, but Laura made Chocolate Zucchini Bread (from home grown zucchinis), cookies, home made Smoked Salmon and home made Elk Jurkey. About 95 lbs of food (Well, it seemed like it 😜) that we gladly accepted.
We started about 90 minutes later than usual (Best delay ever!) and the first half of the day went well. We planned on doing just 15 miles and the camp was near a spring, so we didn’t carry extra water. Why carry the water weight and all the extra food?
Sadly, the whole south side of Mount Adams was a recent burn area from 2012; The spring was dry, the campsite was simply gone and we were low on water. You’d think we would know better! The next water was a lake on the west slope of Mount Adams, 5 miles away. We motored on and finally reached a campsite next to the lake about 6:30pm. While the views from 6,000ft on the west slope were amazing, it was a very long, thirsty and exhausting 20 mile day.
Imponderable: why were the two guys night hiking at 3:30am? I can see doing it in Southern Calif to avoid the heat, but Washington?
More great views of Mount Adams up close, Mount St Helens and Mount Rainier. Tired from the previous day’s hike, we just did 15 miles and camped between two small lakes. We were early enough that we took a quick bath in one of the lakes.
Since entering Washington, we’ve seen a lot of dead trees. Most of these are still standing, many have already fallen. Two nights in a row I’ve heard trees falling. The one last night was very loud and lasted a while. Sometimes multiple trees go down, Domino fashion. Every day we have to climb over or go around fallen trees on the trail. Kinda sad.
Below is the reason for our slow progress: Berries! Soooooo good. 😏
Today was a hard day: we did Cispus Pass. (6,500ft) While not high compared to the Sierras, it was still 3,000+ ft of climbing and we finished 18 miles. The pass was very rocky and bare. The scenery was stunning. This part of the Cascades is rugged. When water is found, it comes from springs and is really, really good.
Our camp was high on a cliff overlooking a deep valley with great views. Below is Turtle nearing Cispus Pass, wild flowers near a spring and the morning with Mount Adams peeking over the ridge.
Today was one of the toughest in months. It started with a modest climb through a series of high meadows. Then we were in the Rock and stayed there for the next five hours. The goal was an optional side loop trail called Old Snowy, otherwise known as the Knife Edge. The views were incredible at the top.
The elivation was 7,600 ft at the top, and we had to go down to 5,400 ft to camp. Even though we did only 13 miles today, it included 3,500ft of gain and nearly 4,000ft of loss. The downhill is what did us in. Mile after mile of loose rock on steep trails makes for slow going. That’s a tough day for us old guys, folks.
We’re camped near a spring with wonderful water. (Some are just blargh).
Pictures: Me and Turtle with Rainier in the background.
Wow. August is here. It’s only 9 miles to White Pass and we will have completed the first 150 miles of Washington. Just 350 more to go till Canada! 😃
Still, this is the 5th month of the journey and it’s hard to believe where the time has gone.