August 13, 2016
Snoqualmie Pass Trailhead (mile 2390.8) to bushcamp (2399.9)
Our total miles: 1993.6
The flurry of town chores got us yet again. Though we didn’t go to bed as early as we wanted to last night, we felt rested when we woke up at 7am.
Our room was cool during the night and the bed was very comfortable.
We called Andy’s dad to consolidate our Stehekin resupply boxes and spoke with other family before heading upstairs to be social.
It’s easy for us to hide in a room with our faces buried in our phones, checking things off our to do list. We have to remind ourselves that enjoying the company of others is more important than purchasing new shoes or buying plane tickets. All of that can wait.
We organized our food bags and made breakfast. Prior to this trip one of our favorite things to do together was cook and we miss being creative in the kitchen. Thank you Mollie and Tim for allowing us to feel right at home. We made scrambled eggs with grilled onions, broccoli and mushrooms for everyone.
We also finished the remaining coconut ice cream and raspberry sorbet because we needed the Talenti containers. And really, who doesn’t like ice cream for breakfast?
With all of the rain last week we decided it would be nice to have our umbrellas. Andy’s dad shipped them but unfortunately they didn’t arrive yesterday as we’d hoped.
Rather than wait for the mail to arrive we drove to Snoqualmie Pass with enough time to enjoy a hike before Audrey and Mollie needed to leave to go to the airport.
Around 12:30 we reached the busy (and full) trailhead parking lot. It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday. It was nice to see so many people enjoying the local mountains although it made for a very different hiking experience than we are used to.
For the last 2 weeks we have seen quite a few SOBO and section hikers but nothing like the number of day hikers we saw today. We both found ourselves missing the quiet of a less accessible trail.
Mollie, her dog Cooper, and Audrey led the way as we ascended the PCT towards the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
We picked blackberries and huckleberries as we hiked. We really enjoyed Audrey’s and Mollie’s company. It’s nice sharing the trail with good people and learning a thing or two about the area.
After about 2 miles we said our goodbyes. Thank you Audrey for visiting us from San Francisco and thank you Mollie and Tim for opening your home to us. We really appreciate your generosity and hospitality.
We continued climbing on the ‘relentless switchbacks’ as the guidebooks put it, to the Kendall Katwalk. We were actually very grateful for the switchbacks since they made the climb less steep.
Because we started later in the day we didn’t encounter many others going up, but we ran into lots of day hikers, trail runners and backpackers on their way down.
Trail etiquette indicates that uphill traffic has the right of way but many people don’t abide by this.
It was hard to gain momentum given our constant stop and go. Andy still made an effort to be cordial and chatted with almost everyone he met. He loves asking people where they are are coming from, where they are headed and wishing them well.
We didn’t take any breaks until we got to Ridge Lake – our scheduled stop for the day.
We were bummed to find the place full. Every flat or semi flat spot was already claimed by a tent or backpack. There were at least 30 people at or around the lake.
Reluctantly we filled up our water bottles and kept going. We’re not antisocial but we do prefer our camps to be quiet, and that can be hard with so many people around.
We could’ve probably found a place to camp if we looked hard enough, but we elected not to.
Two miles later we found a small quiet spot and set up camp. It was 6pm and we were ready to be done.
Coming out of town is usually hard for us and it takes a day or two for us to find our groove.
We enjoyed dinner, then took a half hour nap. We hadn’t blown up our air pads yet but it didn’t matter. Laurie crawled into Andy’s arms and was out like a light.
We woke up hungry and had dessert. Laurie had more banana chips she found in the hiker box and Andy enjoyed Lake Champlain chocolate.
Hikers kept walking down the trail well into the evening. A couple stopped and camped near us in the trees. They didn’t acknowledge our presence. Perhaps it was because we were already in our tent? We didn’t make an effort either.
Around 8pm we heard more hikers nearby, then heard sticks breaking in the trees. At first we both thought it was people camped nearby but then we heard sticks breaking again, and again. There was something out there but we’re not sure what. It’s gone for now and hopefully it doesn’t return.
Tonight we sleep without the rainfly in hopes of seeing a shooting star or two.
Tonight we are grateful for good friends and scrambled eggs with veggies. Veggies!!