August 9, 2016
Dewey Lake (mile 2318.3) to Urich Cabin (mile 2344.5)
Our total miles: 1938.2
We woke up to a gray sky. Luckily it was just foggy and not raining.
We slept well with our new sleeping pads. In fact Andy woke up saying, “Laurie, I’ve found the one. I think I’m in love.” He was sold on the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm.
We packed up a wet tent and headed uphill toward Chinook Pass. We watched steam rise off of Dewey Lake as we walked around it.
We passed more vibrant wildflowers and snow melt streams on our way to the pedestrian footbridge over the highway.
And what a beautiful bridge it was!
From here we climbed another 2.3 miles to Sheep Lake. The clouds lessened the dramatic views but occasionally we got glimpses of the beauty of the area.
From Sheep Lake it was up again to an unnamed pass. With the wet weather yesterday and this morning, the heels of Laurie’s shoes had shifted and were rubbing on her heels. All comfort was restored with a little shoe massage and leukotape.
We were rewarded with beautiful views from the top of the pass. Clouds rolled in and out partially obscuring then exposing jagged mountains and patches of snow. Once again we were amongst green mountains! We like green mountains. They remind Laurie of Colorado.
The trail traversed the hillsides and we walked along and on top of ridges. Most of the time we were in the clouds and saw only whiteness but occasionally we caught a glimpse of our surroundings. There seemed to be more fog on the north side of the ridges.
On one occasion as we were descending a southern face, Andy counted 46 mountain goats on the opposite ridge.
We stopped and stared, watching them graze and confidently traverse the scree. We both wish we had the ability to walk on such rocks with that much ease and confidence.
The trail meandered through healthy looking evergreen forests. The valleys below were filled with what looked like big Christmas trees – the type you see in Union Square or Times Square – the perfect triangular cylinder ones.
We ran into Medicine Man, a southbound hiker, who said he had met some NOBOs, including Nemo who wasn’t feeling well.
This provided extra motivation for us to get to the cabin to see him and make sure he was okay. We have a more extensive first aide kit than others and wanted to help if we could.
He hiked through the wet forest and got to the Urich cabin at 7 pm. Eight people were already there, including Nemo.
We sat on the porch and cooked dinner while chatting with Nemo and others. With all the distractions Andy’s knee got too close to the stove and he melted is new rain pants.
We patched the hole with duct tape and now they have character. Hopefully they still work!
We figured we would sleep better in our quiet tent than inside the hut with 8 potentially snoring people. We had planned on walking another mile to get away from the smell of the two outhouses, but we were tired, and there was hardly a smell. We set up the tent under the nearby trees.
We fell asleep quickly to the sound of water dripping off the trees onto our tent.
Today was our second marathon in a row. We are amazed and impressed that our bodies feel great. After 1900 miles we can do anything!
Tonight we are grateful for our health and bodies that get stronger by the day!