Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 5,584 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 27 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 2,266.6 miles
Weather/Temp- clear 50s-70s
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 8
Had a freezing cold, windy start this morning, but had an incredible, killer day. We tackled some nice climbs, and Katana achieved her biggest day on the PCT yet, 27 miles. This was a perfect number because it averages today and yesterday to an even 20 miles.
The entire day was filled with gorgeous views of Mt Adams and Mt Rainier. Seeing these singular monoliths rising out of the trees make for some of my favorite views of the trail. A range of mountains is beautiful, but there is something magical about a stand alone behemoth.
It’s Bow/Elk season here in Washington, and the hunters are out in full force, creeping all over the mountains and through the forests in search of their quarry. I’ve had some run-ins, but other hikers have had some very interesting encounters with them during the day, and night. For some reason, the hunters like to try and hide from you, rather than just come out and met you. You’ll catch a glimpse of one standing or walking with their bow, but the second they notice you, they try and fade into, or behind the trees and vegetation. It can be fairly off-putting until you acknowledge their presence and they step back out. I guess they’re having fun with their camouflage. I have some great second hand stories from other hiker’s encounters with hunters. I’ll save them for a later date, but they’re kind of creepy.
I’m very anxious for tomorrow’s hike. We’ll be hitting a section called Goat Rocks. It’s supposed to be the prettiest section of Washington, and also hold some of the best views on the trail. The part in anxious about is the rocks and the difficulty. It’s said to be extremely sketchy, but there are two routes. One route is the easier one for horses and other pack animals; the second one is only viable on foot, and requires about 400 more feet off climbing over loose shale rock. I’m planning to do the more difficult route, and also planning to carry Katana to save her paws. We’ll see how it goes…