Saturday, August 15, 2015

Section I, Washington PCT

It is strange to be picking this blog up after so many months of absence. I won't spend time now talking about this. Instead I'll jump right into the description of this section hike. 

My Washington hiking buddy L met me at Chinook Pass this morning at 9:30. She had driven down from Bellingham and we were to leave her car at the pass, take my car south to Highway 12 and hike back north to her car, taking three leisurely days to hike the 30 miles. When I arrived the pass was socked in and the fog was so thick I couldn't see across the street. 

Fortunately I had looked at the forecast and Mt. Rainer was supposed to get rain, snow flurries and lightening today so I had thrown in some extra gear. A wind shirt, buff and wind vest. It was hard to imagine it being cold since I had been sweltering in Yakima with 103 degree days. 

We donned our packs at 11:15 and off we went, in a beautiful swirling fog. We walked for an hour then stopped for lunch, in the shelter of some trees. The fog had started to go 3-D on us and began to turn into droplets. It turned out that L had also been unable to imagine rain, since it hasn't rained in Bellingham for three months, so she didn't bring rain gear. Over the next few hours the fog turned into rain while L got wetter and wetter. I gave her my extras and we managed to walk the 10 miles needed to get to Snow Lake but it was full on raining when we arrived. 

All of the established campsites were inhabited by others so we walked along the lake shore till we found some relatively level ground under some trees. L put up her tent, which unfortunately is kind of like a big, roomy bivy tent. She can't sit up in there so she's stuck in her tent, with her wet gear, till morning.

I made her some miso soup with seaweed, which was quite yummy, and she finished off my dinner of Thai Chicken. A big deal since she is a vegetarian.   

It's only 6:45PM and we are both ensconced in our sleeping bags and tents. It continues to rain and all around us is damp. A novel thing since it has been bone dry around here for months. I think I will be able to get warm tonight and hopefully stay dry, but if it is still raining in the morning I wonder if it is a good idea to continue on. L has no rain gear and most of her stuff is wet, except what she is sleeping in. I guess only time will tell. 

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