August 10, 2016
Urich Cabin (mile 2344.5) to bushcamp (2364.7)
Our total miles: 1958.4
We woke up in a cloud yet again. The meadow near the hut was covered by low hanging fog. Everyone except the two ladies from France were gone by the time we packed up walked 100 feet to the cabin.
We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and hot beverages while chatting with Diane and her friend.
We attempted to dry our tent and rain fly by hanging them inside but since there was no longer a fire, water just dripped onto the floor.
We hiked out around 8:45, shortly after a hiker named Mudguts came, devoured a can of Busch’s baked beans and hiked on. Oh thru- hikers!
After eating Idahoans and Ramen for weeks on end, baked beans probably sound like prime rib! (We’re not making that up, he told us that’s what he eats.)
We walked in a cloud for the first 5 miles. We admired slugs and colorful mushrooms along the trail but kept walking to stay warm.
It wasn’t raining but we experienced periods of active fogging. And our feet got soaked in the first hour from the wet brush alongside the trail.
We picked a few huckleberries and got to a spring at 10:15.
4.7 miles in 1.5 hours – not too shabby!
It is nice to know we can go fast if we want. But we don’t want to. We want to savor this experience, despite the rain and the clouds and the cold.
The sooner we get to the northern terminus the sooner this experience is over, and we don’t want Washington to end so quickly.
We chatted with a day hiker named Dwight as we left the spring. He lives in Tacoma and comes to this area once a year. He said he enjoys talking with thru hikers and offered us some grapes. Fruit? Yes please!
We hiked on a little bit more and came upon the largest and sweetest huckleberries we have encountered thus far. We dropped our packs and started to stuff our mouths. Oh they were so good!
We picked the bushes clean and filled half of a Talenti before continuing on.
But we didn’t make it far. We saw more huckleberries and continued to pick until our lips and fingers were purple and our Talenti full. One Talenti full of grapes, one Talenti full of huckleberries – it was a purple fruit kind of day!
We walked down the trail, passing other full bushes. Laurie looked at them longingly. To her it was like a buffet where she feels she needs to eat herself sick to get her money’s worth. Out here she wants to eat as many berries as possible since we never know when we will stop seeing them.
Andy has a college friend who is hiking the PCT southbound. We figured that we would meet today and tried to coordinate a place so we can camp together. We had occasional service and checked in and altered plans as needed.
The trail was pretty flat for a few miles then dropped steeply down toward Tacoma Pass.
From here it was 3 miles to camp. We challenged ourselves to cover those 3 miles in 1 hour. It was uphill and we were panting and sweating.
We checked our progress after 20 minutes- 1.1 miles down.
After 40 minutes, 2.3 miles behind us.
We pushed on until we ran into a southbounder named Slowbo. We like to chat with the SOBOs so we paused a few minutes to chat.
Even with our stop we made it to camp at 6 pm with 10 seconds to spare.
We set up the tent and enjoyed snacks leaning up against our backpacks. While sitting, Andy noticed wild strawberries growing all around. What a luxury, picking wild fruit as we sat.
We ate dinner while waiting for Nikki to come. We saved dessert (huckleberries, strawberries and grapes) to share with her.
Around 7:45 Andy recognized a familiar hat. She had made it!
We were super stoked to share an evening with a good friend. We chatted while Andy helped Nikki set up her tent and then we all crawled into our palace of a tent to talk some more.
Around 10:30 we all fell asleep. Today was a pretty good day.
Tonight we are grateful for wild delicious fruit and meeting friends along the PCT.