Daily miles : 21
Total Miles: 2598
The rain came again last night, but luckily when we woke up in the morning, the sky was clear. All of our gear stayed dry overnight, which is always a top concern.
We headed out of camp ahead of MountainMan and Gazelle. We figured they would catch up quickly enough, but we didn’t end up seeing them until lunch. The morning was a steady climb up to Rainy Pass (our last paved road of the trail). There were a lot of stream crossings, where the expected means of crossing was a big log. The logs were all wet from the recent rain and often slippery, so we tried to find a way across on the rocks instead.
Shortly before we got to Rainy Pass, we left the North Cascade National Park and entered US Forest Service land. Once we got to the road, we crossed over and walked to a trailhead for the PCT where we were able to find a sunny spot for lunch. We had all decided to cook lunch and dinner each day on this final stretch, so we got our stove going to cook up some Thai Kitchen Noodles.
Shortly after Gazelle and MountainMan arrived at our lunch spot, we were joined by RoadRunner and Hammer. They had just hitched back to the trail from Mazama, where they had resupplied. It was nice to see them again. They are both really positive and fun to hang out with, so we are glad they will be hiking with us for the final days of the trail.
After lunch the steady climb continued to CutThroat Pass. As we were getting close to the top, we could admire the view of the mountains we had come from. The reds and yellows of the shrubs on the mountains gave colorful views. When we got to the top and saw the views on the other side, we were amazed by the beauty. We have been told that this final stretch is the most beautiful, and we are starting to believe it. The views are vast and dramatic.
Tonight we are camped at a meadow with a bunch of other hikers. It is quite cold, as we are over 6,000 feet. Our hang spots aren’t great, as the trees are fairly small and bend a lot under our weight. We have our tarps up, but they aren’t taut due to the sag in the trees.
Tonight at dinner, Gazelle had the idea for us to share our favorite days and trail towns from different sections of the trail. Tonight we talked about the desert section of the trail. It was fun to reminisce and to hear what others felt were the highlights. It is a nice way to think about this journey as it is nearing the end. Hard to believe that we only have three days left on the trail.