August 17, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 2464.1) to Lake Sally Ann (mile 2491.1)
Our total miles: 2084.8
Hiker fatigue has set in. Andy deflated his air pad and promptly fell back asleep on the cold ground. Now both of us have trouble getting going in the morning.
While packing up we shared a bag of 18 Rabbits granola to both lighten our load and lift our spirits.
We were hiking by 7 into the already warm morning air. Sunlight turned the tops of the trees a golden color. We hiked past many streams, slowly gaining elevation.
Andy’s knee has been bothering him for the last few days. Laurie thinks it comes from tight IT bands and the fact that we have totally neglected to stretch.
Laurie took the tent poles to slightly lighten his pack in hopes that it would lessen his knee pain. The agreement was that she would carry them up the hills and he down the hills.
As we started hiking Laurie experienced a weird pain in her right hip and thigh. With a little stretching this too improved, but Andy took back the poles.
Our bodies have held up amazingly well but things are starting to hurt. Upon standing up we initially limp as our bodies work through the stiffness that immediately sets in upon ceasing to move.
The trail took us up and down all day. In total we gained 7300 feet and lost 5700 feet over 27 miles. Every climb was rewarded with magnificent views of Glacier Peak and the North Cascades. We stared at green mountains and meadows as we walked. This part of Washington is truly spectacular in good weather.
Around 4 pm we got water from a small creek. Laurie was feeling sluggish and pulled out some Swedish fish in hopes of a boost of energy from the sugar.
Unfortunately the opposite happened and she felt even slower. It was 9 more miles to our ideal campsite at Lake Sally Ann. But we had other options if we didn’t want to push as hard.
We agreed not to make a plan and see how far we could get by 7 pm.
At 6 pm we were at the creek and 4.4 miles from the lake. We were a little hesitant to make that our goal given our previous experience with lack of camping and popularity of lakes as destinations.
However the mileage was right on target so we decided to take our chances.
We climbed 1600 feet over those 4.4 miles. Laurie sang “the ants go marching 1 by 1 hoorah…” over and over in her head. The rhythm of her trekking poles matched the beat of the song.
As we neared the lake we stopped in awe of the alpen glow on the distant peaks. The sky turned a light pink and the distant green meadows looked to be carpeted in grass.
While settling into camp around 5 or 6 pm is nice, hiking during the golden hour is quite a treat, especially when up high along ridges.
We walked the last few tenths of a mile smiling. Today was physically exhausting but the views made it all worthwhile. We were proud of ourselves for covering so many miles despite the steep terrain. We walked more today than we did for most of Oregon which had a lot less elevation gain and loss.
Rolling into camp around 8 pm made Laurie feel like a “real” thru hiker. Andy doesn’t care about things like that. He is just happy to be out here in good weather.
Lucky for us there was only one other couple at the lake and we found a great spot near some trees.
We ate dinner and mapped out potential tentsites for the next 4 days. We plan to be in Stehekin on Sunday and want to maximize our time – both along the pretty stretches of trail and in town.
Tonight we are grateful for plentiful campsites next to a lake and for blue skies in Washington.