Day 148 (22/08/2018): Seasonal Creek to Mountaineers Lodge off Mile 2464.2 (11 Miles)
This morning I woke up to condensation on my bag and tent, rain ﬂy is being used from now on. Luckily I’m going into Steven’s Pass so I can dry it all out. I met a wise old hiker named Glenn today right before making it down to the lodge. He was tired and ornery, the ﬁrst thing he did was buy two IPA’s and drink them while I spoke with him. He had been hiking since he was a young kid with the boy scouts in the Sierra Nevada Range during the 1950’s. He is 76 years old and was out to hike the Washington section of the PCT again. He had already hiked it to celebrate turning 70. Really cool meeting him. Then I went over to the mountaineers club lodge where I payed $30 for a bed in a shared room with dinner and breakfast included. The best deal around that’s for sure. Super cool lodge with incredibly kind and accommodating hosts.
Day 149 (23/08/2018): Zero day at Mountaineers Lodge
Chilled all morning then got a ride into Leavenworth from one of the lodge volunteers. Really kind of them to help me and make it super easy to resupply. Played some trivial pursuit with Peck and had some beers. Great day off.
Day 150 (24/08/2018): Mountaineers Lodge to Pear Lake at Mile 2482.5 (18.5 Miles)
Today I woke up at 8:30 am. That’s the latest I’ve slept in since I started hiking the trail. And it felt damn good. I got some coffee and breakfast leftovers downstairs and chilled until around 10 am before Peck and myself ﬁnally decided to start hiking. The trail was quite good for the most part, small pathways and lots of day hikers for the ﬁrst 10 miles or so. The clouds were all around me for the majority of the day. Reminded me a lot of Southeast Alaska and hiking in Juneau. Pear Lake is so blue and beautiful. No bugs, fairly warm, great place for a swim if only the sun was out. Good day overall, not too hectic. It’s all coming to an end so quickly. My body is telling me to stop, but I’ll ﬁnish this section and see how the ﬁre closures are looking, I might stop at Rainy Pass and have to come back next year to ﬁnish the through pathway to Canada. Either way this has been the biggest, most challenging, and best decision of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Day 151 (25/08/2018): Pear Lake to Creek and Tentsite at Mile 2506.8 (24.3 Miles)
Wow, that was a tough day. Woke up to fog everywhere, luckily my tent was completely dry so it must’ve just rolled in before I got up. The morning started off with tons more fog without any views for a couple hours, then it started raining just as I was looking for a spot to eat lunch. It’s been quite cold even during the day, which makes wet hands and feet pretty miserable. The rain steadily increased as I kept climbing towards a long stretch of exposed ridgeline that on a good day would have heralded an unimaginable view of Glacier Peak I’m sure. But today it just made it colder and windier with visibility hovering around thirty feet. I started to get very cold towards the end of the ridge and had to pick up my pace and put my hands inside my rain jacket. Luckily the descent was near and I slipped and slid my way down towards the creek where I currently sit in my tent writing this. I’m pretty bummed out that this is the way the hike is ending, but it could’ve been worse I suppose.
Day 152 (26/08/2018): Tentsite at mile 2506.8 to Random Spot at Mile 2523.1 (16.8 Miles)
My God, this was the toughest trail since the Sierra. Arguably much less maintained, basically just smashing through soaking wet bushes and walking in streams. It started raining at 8 am right after I left camp. The ﬁrst hour was fabulous until it started pouring. I made it to this spot just after 1 pm and basically had no choice but to quit here because I couldn’t feel my hands, completely soaked through my shorts and shoes, and I was beginning to shake. I also was getting chafe between my legs which never happens, but since I’ve been actually dripping water all day I guess that does it. It’s crazy how quickly you become uncontrollably cold when you stop hiking. I’ve spent the past three hours trying to dry myself, my tent, and some of my gear. Not gonna happen unfortunately as it’s still raining heavily. At least I’m kind of warm now though. What a wasted day. I’m so incredibly tired and over hiking out here. I just want to go home. Maybe it will be nice tomorrow… if I could just dry everything out it would be all OK.
Day 153 (27/08/2018): Random Spot at mile 2523.1 to Miners Creek Tentsite at Mile 2544.4 (21.3 Miles)
I woke up to the sound of rain drops hitting the tent, not a good sign. But they weren’t as consistent as last night so I had hope. I think I stared for a couple minutes at my cold, rain sodden shorts laying in the corner before gathering enough courage to quickly put them on. As I emerged something I hadn’t seen in weeks greeted me, blue sky. Oh what joy a cloudless, smoke free view can bring. After two days of being freezing cold and wet, today I could ﬁnally dry my things and start anew. After the initial climb up through rain soaked brush and weeds I made the ridgeline and promptly dismantled my pack and layed everything out to dry for about an hour. The rest of the day was a breeze. Everything smelled so sweet after the rain. I saw a couple marmots. And to top it all off, the last few miles were through old growth forest that was just breathtaking. Gazing up at gargantuan trees hundreds of years old I couldn’t help but think “it’s all been worth it”. This afternoon brightened my mood drastically, and although my left knee and foot are still hurting, I can suffer a bit longer for the kind of beauty I saw today.
Day 154 (28/08/2018): Miners Creek Tentsite to Holden (7.4 PCT Miles) (~11 Miles on Hart-Lyman Trail)
Today was bittersweet to say the least. I couldn’t sleep last night due to constantly thinking about what my plans for the end of the hike would be. I ﬁnally got up at around 3:45 am and drank coffee and read a bit before ﬁnally breaking down camp and hiking out at 6 am. I had resolved to just hike for the morning and see if my foot and knee continued hurting as bad as the past few days. If they felt better I would get more food at the Lutheran run summer camp called “Holden” and continue on to Stehekin. If not, I’d catch the ferry out to Chelan and go home. Unfortunately my foot hurt worse than before and my knee continued giving me trouble the whole way down to Holden. The silver lining of having to take an alternate trail to a place I didn’t really need to go was that the view from the pass looking down at Lyman Lake and the surrounding mountains were just magical. Steep, snow covered ﬂanks of scree slope drifting and cascading down into pristine alpine lakes was certainly a view I won’t soon forget. Once in Holden, Peck and I got our affairs in order concerning bus and ferry rides, then went and played pool and listened to oldies on the jukebox. This little summer camp tucked up in the mountains is a pretty cool stopover to end my ﬁve month journey up the west coast. I hope it’s clear tomorrow during the ferry ride. The way down Lake Chelan looks like an awesome time.
Beautiful out here when it isn’t smokyThe fog can make it tough to see as wellBut it is enchantingThe dark skies make long exposures much easierThis was my view from 1 pm on while it downpoured outsideThe sun is out!!!And so are the Marmots!Glacier Peak poking its head out of the treesIt’s really tough to see, but there is a hiker in this photoSo many super cool wooden bridgesThe view from near my campsite on 8/27Loving it now that I’m dried off and the skies are clearBuh bye Glacier Peak!Looking down the valley at the fire forcing me to detour*shakes fist angrily*Nice views to the South thoughOver the pass and down the valley towards Holden I goI mean, this is pretty great hiking as wellFree pool tables and a free jukebox at HoldenThese Lutherans sure know how to have a good time in the mountains!