Day 107, august 9th
Start: mountain overlook camp at mile 2419
End: camp past deception creek, mile 2456
Miles hiked: 37
I wake up to the mountains being painted with the morning light. The sunlight illuminates the large stones, splashing then with orange and yellow. I snap more pictures as I eat a cold, hard granola bar. Then I set off, down down down, out of view of the mountains. I’m glad I stopped early yesterday and camped where I did. Top five campsites of the trail, for sure. I pass where we were supposed to camp with the group, and see that it’s in a terrible burn area, and it only reaffirms my decision to stop earlier.
Eventually I get to a large stream crossing. I take off my shoes and cross this wide river slowly. The rocks are super slippery, making it hard to cross. And the water is an icy river that quickly numbs my feet. I hustle across, and after getting out, I get extremely light headed. That water was cold! As I sit to dry my feet I check where I’m at on the map, but have trouble figuring it out. Soon I realize I’m not on the pct. I feel stupid. How could I have done this, I don’t remember seeing a trail junction. Luckily there’s a side trail back to the pct, and it only adds a mile or so to my hike.
I wait for a bit, and soon Guthrie shows up as well, and I tell him we’re not on the pct.
“How did that happen? I don’t remember a junction.” He says. Same thought I had.
We get back to the pct and climb up a few thousand feet where we see carrot and crispies sitting at a lake, wondering what happened to us. They, somehow, stayed on the right trail the whole time. We cruise out, going up and over ridges, then back down to lakes below in the valleys.
We reach a bridge in the day with a sign from woody, tiny, and brainstorm. “Carrot 2 2456”. They’re camping at mile 2456. That would mean a 37 mile day, which we weren’t planning on. I book it up and down the trail, over streams (falling in one), and finally make it to camp before dark. There’s a whole plethora of hikers here! Guthrie and crispies show up a half hour later, and then in the dark carrot shows up as well. 14 hikers in total tonight, all cowboy camping near a small stream. Thirty seven miles in Washington, I never thought I would do that, but here I am. And I felt really strong the entire day. Hopefully I don’t feel it tomorrow. Luckily it’s just a 20 mile day to Stevens pass. That’ll surely help.