It’s a Wrap!! Hike Complete

Left Stehekin on a cold rainy morning September 16th with 5 days of food and 80 miles to get to Canada.  (Plus 31 miles back to Harts Pass my exit point)  The hike did not start out too well.  About 18 hikers were on the bus to the trailhead and by time we started it was raining steadily.  Lucky I got coffee and a lunch time cinnamon roll from the bakery and was set for most of the day.  I hiked with the group most of the day just kicking out 23 miles in the rain. Camped up above 6,000 feet just below snow line so it was pretty cool the first night.  I was able to stay a bit drier than most using my trekking umbrella.  But everything was a bit damp.

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Crossing creek in the rain
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Good name for this pass – Very Rainy

The next morning was foggy at the campsite and wet but the rain had stopped.  Big climbing day and was soon above the fog looking at incredible views.  When you can see Washington is spectacular.

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Looking back towards Rainy Pass
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Down the valley going west
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Above the tree line looking north
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Only 50 miles to go!!

I did see a few bears right on the trail.  One had found a wasp nest and was eating the wasps.  The wasps were not happy and were everywhere.  The bear did not want to leave the nest when I walked up, so I made some noise to get him to move away from the trail.

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Nice Bear keeping an eye on the trail

Got to Harts Pass after a 27 mile day, just missing the trail angels who had been cooking burgers for the hikers.  They were able to give me a beer and some chips so I did not totally miss.  Also another day hiker had some left over pears that she was handing out they were marvelous.  Got set up that night in a light rain.  It was off and on all night with a bit of snow.

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Harts Pass camp with snow dusting

Next day my plan was to hike 26 of the 31 miles to Canada and then go to the boarder the next morning on 9/20.   My plan was interrupted by a blizzard.  It rained all morning and turned to snow about 16 miles in from Harts Pass.  The snow was accumulating fast but luckily there were enough hikers going both north and south to pack down the trail so you did not have to guess where it was.  It got a bit crazy in the afternoon with sometimes 6-8 inches of new snow on the trail that I was walking through – way too much fun.

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Snow starting below Rock Pass
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2 miles further snow is heavier
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Near 7,200 feet snow is 1′-1.5′ feet
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My planned camping spot with 6″ of snow

Got to my planned spot at around 5:30 and decided to go down to Canada on the 19th since it was 1,500 feet lower and out of the snow.  Got to the Northern Terminus of the PCT just before 7:00 and took a few pictures and hiked into Canada to camp (against all rules)

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Looking north on the boarder
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Canada – I made it!!
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The hat that went every step

Next morning worried about the weather I packed my stuff and planned to go as far as possible or to Harts pass (31 miles) The weather was partly cloudy, cold but no rain or snow.  I started hiking up the 3,000 foot climb back to the 7,200 foot pass with all the snow.  It was fun seeing all the other hikers all day going north and all the excitement about finishing. I pass 50 other hikers going north, many who I had met on resupply or at various campsites along the trail.  I did make it all the way back to Harts Pass on the 20th where it was snowing again.  I could not get a ride out of the pass area that night so set up my tent and crawled in to stay warm.

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Climbing up – Returning from Canada
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Trail packed down by hikers
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Hopkins Lake
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Lots of snow on the trail
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Across the valley
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Looking up into the Cascades
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Climbing up to Castle Pass
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Looking up to Woody Pass
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It’s fall in Cascades colors changing
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Looking south back from where I hiked
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Sunset over the Cascades
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Wednesday Morning at Harts Pass – some sun

At Harts pass I met some deer hunters that were going back down the road to Mazama (19 miles) they said they could take me to town which was great.  Got to the Mazama store and got lunch and tried to figure out where to stay for two nights.  The suggestion was the Freestone Inn, since they had a restaurant that served everyday. (only one in Mazama).  So I walked 2.5 miles to the Freestone Inn and got a 2 bedroom cabin (since they were sold out of rooms)  Worked out great as my friend from the trail Sharp Shinned (a type of hawk) joined me and split the cost.  It was nice to hang out at the Inn for 2 days until Tom H. picked me up and gave me a ride back to Seattle / Tacoma Airport.  Home late Friday.

I would like to thank all the great people that help me on this Journey.  Thanks to Kathy for letting me go away for six months and putting up with me before the PCT while I was planning and getting ready.  Also for sending me boxes of food, additional gear and driving me to trails, love you.  Also to all the others who drove me places, brought me gear and provided me with encouraging comments.  Also thanks to all the trail angels that gave me a ride, cooked food, or just made the trail more welcoming.  Everyone was fantastic!!

 

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More gear and better weather 

After I rested a day at Snoqualmie Pass I started off on a cold clear morning. I had a short road walk pass two ski areas that had some great vertical. Got on the trail and started the normal 1,600 foot climb up to the next ridge. Lots of day hikers on the section going to Snow & Gem Lakes. 

Hiking down to Snow Lake

Very tough hiking day with 7,000+ of climbing on rough terrain.  The weather was great and I got a full 20 milesdone even with a late start. Next day climbed over Dutch Miller Gap and pass a clear blue Lake Ivanhoe. 


Another big climbing day but got over 22 miles. Camped with 5 other PCT hikers that I have been running into over the last few weeks. 

Climbing up trail over Deep Lake
Looking up to Cathdral Rock
Looking back to Cathdral Rock

Next day was normal WA weather, cold wet, and cloudy. Hike for the day was 19 miles to Stevens Pass and a hitch to Skykomish to pick up a box of food. Another 5,000+ climbing day. Got to the Pass and Ski Area, they were having a mountain biking event with over 200 bikers. It was very cool hiking down watching bikers on the course. They also had a Disc Golf course that the took you up a chair lift and you played your 18 holes down the hill. 

Sun rising over Washington
Cool mountain lake
Looking down on Glacier Lake
Clouds over Trap Lake
Reflection on Mig Lake
Stevens Pass Ski, Bike, Disc Golf. Area

Washington hiding

I am 240 miles into Washington and fighting multiple days of rain and cloudy weather. I left Trout Lake hiking in the rain and it has continued for most of the week. Crossing over Goat Rocks I fought through 40 mph winds rain, sleet and snow. Most of the scenery was obscured by clouds but what I could see was spectacular. Hiked into White Pass a nice ski area with a gas station store with food. Got a room to dry out all my gear from three days of rain. Met lots of hikers doing the same thing. Hiked out to Rainer Park wishing for better weather. Got some peek-a-boo views of the mountain but mostly hiked in clouds. Temp was very cold with frost on the ground in the morning. 

The hiking is getting tougher with 4,000 to 7,000 feet of climbing per day. Am still hiking 24-30 miles a day but it takes longer. Stopped one night at the Ulrich cabin a spot for snowmobilers to warm up and camp. We had 14 people jump in and a trail angel hike in with bread, meat, cheese, chips cookies, cokes and beer. Nice to have a second dinner.  It rained like crazy that night and it was nice to have a roof over head. 

Hiked out 30 miles the next day so I could have a short day into Snoqualmie Pass resupply. Kathy also sent my rain pants, water proof gloves and long underwear since Washington is so cold and rainy. Got food and gear, rested a day and now to finish the last 260 miles. 

Hiking by Mt St Helens
Hiking the foggy forest
Into scenic section of WA
Goat Rocks area in clouds
Knife’s edge trail
White Pass store lots of packs
Cool wood pathway lots in WA
Sheep Lake
Mt Rainer behind Crystal Mt ski area

Urich Cabin. out of the rain
Mist over the Forest
Flowers are still blooming
Views are a bit obscured

Summit Inn Snoqualmie

Into Washington

Chuck gave me a ride back up to Cascade Locks on Sunday.  We picked up ADL a PCT hiker that I met at Kennedy Meadows south that wanted to hike WA with me. We found the trail and all three of us set off. Chuck was hiking in a few hours then going back. 

Bridge of the Gods
Chuck and ADL at the trail head
The section to Trout Lake is 82 miles with 17,000 feet of climbing first day was 20 miles to Rock Creek. Nice day hiking up from the Cloumbia river gorge very scenic. 

Looking back to Cloumbia River

The campsite at Rock Creek smelled smokey and I thought someone in another site had a fire. However the next morning I noticed smoke coming from the side of the fire pit at our site and the smell was from there. Ended up hauling over 4 gallons of water from the creek and digging for 30 minutes to get it completely out.  But saved a forest fire. 

Putting out day old fire

ADL decided on day 2 that he did not want to hike WA and left me around noon and hitched back to town. In the heat of the afternoon I took two hours and soaked in Panther Creek before a 2,000 foot climb 

Panther Creek. nice bridge

Next day was cold and cloudy, a nice relief from the heat. Passed through nice forests and lots of small lakes. Got to the road to Trout Lake (13 mile hitch) and trail angel was there dropping people off. Easy ride into town. 

Foggy forest
Bear Lake
Mt Saint Helens
Trout Lake store. resupply box was there

Oregon complete 500 to go

The Timberline to Cascades Locks hike was only 50 miles and mostly down hill. Left Timberline after buffet breakfast( fantastic food) at 9:00 trying for a thirty mile day. Hiking around Mt. Hood is spectular. Great waterfalls and snow fields

Only got 29 miles out of Timberline on first day but camped on a ridge and watched a great sunset through the trees. Next day took the Eagle Creek trail to Cascade Locks. The trail was very steep with lots of loose dirt. I fell coming down one section an twisted my knee. No major issue except for being sore.

Grouped up with three other hikers after breakfast and planned to swim at Punchbowl Falls. Got past he falls and took a “shortcut” down to the creek. Unfortunately I slipped and slid down the hill over 50 feet bouncing over roots and rocks was able too stop my fall but lost some skin on my right arm and got some great bruises on my butt. The rest of the group decided to take the normal trail to the creek and skip the shortcut. ( smarter then me)

After stopping the bleeding I was able to swim and relax a bit at the falls  A good crowd of day hikers were there swimming and relaxing at the falls as well  

Left the falls and hiked the final 7 miles to Cascade Locks. Called my college friends, Chuck and Debbie in Portland and Debbie picked me up. I also picked up new shoes, equipment and a resupply box at the Post office

Went to Portland to relax for two days before the final 500 miles Had a great time with the Raby family seeing Portland and even going wine tasting. 

Back on the trail on August 28th. On to Canada!!

Leaving Timberline
Mt Hood View
Mt Hood and waterfalls
Mt Hood looking back
Tunnel behind falls
Tunnel falls on Eagle Creek trail
The Tunnel!!
Tunnel Falls
Last mile of Oregon
Maude my new best friend
Dinner with Chuck and Deb.
Wine tasting at the Dusty Goose
Dinner with the Raby’s. Great friends

Onward to Mt Hood

Hiked out on McKenzie Pass headed to Timbeline Lodge on Mt Hood 112 mile away.  The area is beautiful with Mt Jefferson and Mt Hood rising above the terrain. I ran into trail Angel Coppertone who I saw before at Echo Pass near Lake Tahoe he had a big group at his site so I just said hello and kept hiking. 

Once I got off the lava fields the hiking got easier. There were lots of people on the trail both thru hikers and section hikers. At Breitenbush trailhead a angel left two coolers full of drinks and fruit. Cold watermelon was a great treat on a hot Saturday. Was able to make good time and got to Timberline in four days a day ahead of schedule. My resupply box was at the Lodge and they had a open room. Nice to spend a day relaxing hanging out at the pool/hot tub

Over 2000 miles completed
looking back to Sisters
Heading to Mt Jefferson
Palisade Lake
Fallen trees over the trail
Mt Jefferson
Hiking through the forest
Little Crater Lake
First view of Mt Hood
Approaching Mt Hood
Timberline Lodge – used in the film “The Shining”

Into the Volcanos

Hiking north out of Shelter Cove into central OR and the very cool mountains of Batchlor and Sisters. The peaks rise up above everything else and make for a dramatic hike. This section also has lots of lakes and obsidian deposits. Also some tough hiking across lava fields. This 100 mile section was one of my favorites. At Desane lake I stopped for breakfast and while I was boiling water I heard a large splash in the lake. Looking up I saw bear cub had fallen off a log into the lake. There were 2 Cubs and a mom walking along the lake. The Cubs were a bit crazy and kept climbing trees then coming down and running to catch up with mom. Very fun to watch from the other side of the lake. 

A friend of Tom Lonzo and Brad Sasser ( great friends from high school) who lives in Bend, OR contacted me and offered to pick me up and take to his house, feed me , provide a shower and laundry. Ken met me at Mckinzie Pass and drove me back to Bend, took me shopping for a five day resupply and brought me to White Whiskers Ranch. Ken and his wife rescue older Golden Retrivers and Dalmatians. They have six fun dogs. Ken and Audry treated me to a great dinner with their neighbors Terry and Kathy. Ken made waffles for breakfast and drove me back to the trail. Tremendous resupply stop. 

View of Odell Lake
Rosasry Lake
Burned forest area
Stormy Lake. calm today
Can you find the Bear?
Desane Lake with bears
Mt Batchlor
Getting closer!
Obsidian deposit
Trail into lava fields
Ken’s house in Bend
One of the great dogs
Sarge snd his toy
Lava fields tough hiking