August 25, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 2625.8) to Hopkins Lake (miles 2643.7)
Our total miles: 2237.4
We watched the sunrise from the comfort of our sleeping bags.
Since we had only 20 or so miles to hike we were in no rush to get going.
We shared how it felt to be so close to the end and discussed again the logistics involved in getting back to the trail in California.
Around 8am we finally stepped foot on the trail. There were darker, meaner looking clouds in the direction we were walking. We hoped they wouldn’t produce precipitation.
The first few switchbacks Andy commented again how much he enjoyed the sunset last night.
“That spot and that sunset were absolutely spectacular. I’ve never seen a sky that red before! Washington sure did wow us on our 2nd to last night.”
We dropped into the trees, lost in our own thoughts until we reached the Holman Creek trail junction.
From there we climbed 1400 feet to Rock Pass in four miles. We took a long lunch break at the Pass, then made our way toward Woody Pass.
Our guidebooks warned us to not be tempted to take the old, unmaintained PCT as it’s treacherous. We stuck to the main trail and enjoyed the views between Rock Pass and Woody Pass.
The relentless climb up to Woody Pass kicked both our butts. We huffed and puffed our way up it.
“Where the heck did that climb come from? Did we really drop that much from Rock Pass?” Andy asked doing his best to catch his breath.
“I dunno” replied Laurie.
We kept hiking. There was a bit more climbing to do, then it’s all downhill to Canada! Nine or so miles with slightly more than 3000 feet down.
These mountains are truly beautiful and we continue to remain grateful for the weather we’ve enjoyed.
Around 3pm Laurie suggested that if we like it, we should camp at Hopkins Lake. We got to the lake around 4 and immediately decided we’d stay here.
We were 2.7 miles short of our plan, but we can make that up tomorrow. We kinda like camping in pretty places. And this was our last night in Washington!
Laurie went for a dip before the sun hid behind the mountain while Andy soaked his feet. We stayed at the shores of the lake for about an hour, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the beauty of our surroundings.
Around 5pm we left the lake, hiked about 150 feet to an established camp and set up our tent. We’re hoping for another clear, dry night.
We ate, journaled, listened to music and watched the mountains to the east turn golden brown. Well, Andy did all of yhst. Laurie took a nap which turned into a 7 pm bedtime.
It’s really peaceful here. Just us and the birds. Not many hikers around since we’re only 6.4 miles from the monument.
It’s gonna be a chilly night. Chilly and clear. Hopefully we’ll see lots of stars.
As Andy was tucking away the electronics for the evening (we wrap them in a fleece to help preserve battery life) he heard rustling.
He pulled out his headlight and not even 10 feet from our tent was a creature with large, beautiful antlers. We think it was an Elk but it may have been a buck. It didn’t seem concerned or interested in us – just the bushes around our tent.
Andy woke up Laurie and we both stared in awe. It was beautiful!
Throughout the night we continued to hear munching. We futilely tried to scare them off but they kept coming back so after a few minutes we gave up and went back to sleep.
Tonight we’re grateful for solitude and naps at 7pm!