Day 153 8-25-07 Tarp Tent 2160′
Vista Creek – Five Mile Camp
23.7 miles; 2569.0 (79.36) total miles; 4413.6 trip miles
60-70’s, sun, rain and clouds Day ? of rain
Days camped alone 32
2007 PCT Critter Tour General Category
1- Marmot count is 163
2- Deer count is 134
3- Pika count is 70
4- Elk count is 65
5- Goat count is 21
6- Slug count is 17
7- Bear count is 7
8- Rattlesnake count is 6
9- Martin count is 1
10- Badger count is 1
!!!The Pikas have knocked the Elk off the podium. With 9 points today the Pikas gave themselves a 4 point cushion as well!!!
I woke to dark clouds and overcast conditions. It looked like all the makings of rain and a shitty day. I packed everything in trash bags and was off. I had to cross the Vista first and did so by walking across a downed tree. It wasn’t hard; but the tree did have some height to it, making a misstep dangerous. I had to contend with more blow downs as I approached Gamma Creek. I crossed that and just up the trail I ran into two guys having breakfast before heading up to the Gamma Hot Springs. We talked a bit and then I pushed on to the Suiattle River. The Suiattle was supposed to be the worst of all and the last. The rivers wash was over a 100 yards wide, but the river itself was only 20′ now.
I found the tree everyone spoke of crossing on and it was not as big as I was made to believe. Maybe I had the wrong one, but when I got across there was a rope to help me up the 4′ vertical bank, so I don’t think so. I stupidly didn’t unclip either of my pack straps and crossed. The log was a good 6-8′ above the water and the water was moving. I crossed it very easily. The hard part was finding the trail again.
I walked downstream following the so faint tracks and finally found the orange flagging tape indicating where the trail was. From there it was a 4.4 mile climb to Buck Creek Pass Trail and the end of the supposedly impassable section of PCT. It was a long climb and there were lots of blow downs to go over or under. As I approached the detour, they had cleared the trail. I’ve been told the trail is clear all the way to Canada. From the junction with the detour PCT the data book was off, way off. It told me I had a 1 mile climb to Suiattle Pass. It was more like 3 at least. I met a guy at a side trail not listed and he thru-hiked last year and recalled the same thing.
I made it to the pass and then descended pass Railroad Creek Trail into a canyon. I would have called it a bowl. I saw pikas and marmots in the bowl. I passed many tenting sites as I continued to descend towards the South Fork Agnes River. After the next large bowl, I stopped for lunch in the trees, since it had started to sprinkle on me. As I ate a father and daughter came by. After lunch I reached the South Fork Agnes Creek, which was crystal clear. The water was beautiful. I didn’t see any fish though. Later, I would pass a set of waterfalls that explained the lack of fish upstream.
After crossing the creek I passed Cedar Camp, Hemlock Camp, Spruce Camp, and Swamp Camp before reaching Five Mile Camp at the junction of the West Fork Agnes Creek. I had debated on hauling ass after lunch and trying to catch the 5 PM shuttle into Stehekin, but a third day doing a 28 would have crushed me. Plus if I miss the shuttle, it would have really sucked to waste all that energy.
I got to Five Mile Camp around 4 PM. I was able to chill out, write some emails, soak my feet, collect firewood for a fire I will not be having, and wash up. It has rained off and on a few times now, but luckily I was able to cook dinner first and then eat inside the tent when the rain finally hit. It’s stopped now and I hope it stays that way. I don’t want to worry about the tent leaking all night. Since I have the opportunity to go to sleep early I am. Tomorrow I will be up late telling my friend, Gordy, all about my trip.
Get out there!