They took off before me and I plodded along looking at increasingly open territory. Green grass, wild flowers, gentle slopes, creeks meandering in the low areas and bear...what? Yup a big ole one, but fortunately running the other way. Seems like these wild bears don't really like people all that much. I like that about them.
I crossed Cispus Pass at 6,473 feet and began the descent into the bowl below the jaggity teeth of Goat Rocks. Passing hikers told me they'd seen goats frolicking on the upper hillsides but I didn't see them. I sure could smell them though. Billy goats have a stink that can't be described but it travels a long way on slopes. At least that is what I think I smelled. I guess it could have been me...
It sure is nice to be out in the open. This bowl is surrounded by gigantic and sharp rock formations. I'm camped in an area that is fairly open to the view and I've been watching the clouds rolling and boiling over the mountains peaks. Occasional thunder off a ways and sprinkles on the tent are rounding out a very nice 14 mile hiking day.
Tomorrow is another thing. The trail traverses Packwood Glacier and it's been described as both very doable and scary, depending on the person doing the describing. I'm nervous about it and one of the reasons I stayed here at this campsite is that it is farther away from the glacier and will give the snow/ice more time to soften. In fact I think I'll start later than usual in the morning. Seven sounds good.
One last thing. I met a young woman on the trail this morning with the name of Carrot Quinn. She is thru hiking and has written journals of her past travels that I have read and was amazed by her skill. If you want to see good writing do a google search for her name. She is very talented.