Day 155 8-27-07 Tarp Tent 5520′
Winthrop, WA (Rainy Pass) – Glacier Pass
21.2 miles; 2615 (80.86) total miles; 4461.1 trip miles
Days camped alone 32
2007 PCT Critter Tour General Category
1- Marmot count is 163
2- Deer count is 135
3- Pika count is 72
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
I didn’t sleep all that well last night. I had a headache and just felt restless. I got up at 4:55 AM to go pee and let me tell you, my feet hurt so bad. The floor was shockingly cold as well. Then the brightness of the bathroom light nearly blinded me. I’m not used to that type of light change after being out here that long.
We got up around 7 and Gordy cooked waffles while I packed up. He had to talk to the guys digging out the crawl space for his home renovations and take the trash out, then we left for the trail. We stopped by the Cutthroat Trailhead so we could drop off his bike. He planned to hike up to Cutthroat Pass then take a side trail back to his bike. Then he was going to ride back up to get his car.
When we got to Rainy Pass, Gordy let me out so I could walk to the trailhead and not miss any of the trail. He took my picture next to the Rainy Pass sign and then drove up the rest of the way. We hit the trail just before 10 am and climbed right away. We ascended through thick forest for the first half of the climb then the forest changed to a thin one and soon went away all together. We met three southbound section hikers not far from the pass. They were just doing WA. When we got close to the top, the views south were incredible. I knew yesterday that hiding behind all the clouds were amazing views but they turned out to be better than I imagined.
We got to the top of Cutthroat Pass and Gordy took some photos and just north of the pass he took a side trail down to his bike. I traversed along the mountain side and was treated to more incredible views. Since I was on the east side of the range, the mountains are very arid and rocky. It was a stark contrast to just back at Glacier Peak where everything was green and wet.
I traversed and then descended to Granite Pass. Just north of the pass, I found a shady spot just off the trail and had lunch. I didn’t stop long since I thought my late start would mean getting to camp late. I passed a nice meadow of sorts with a large campsite just after lunch and then started a upwards traverse to Methow Pass, at 6600′. From Methow Pass I had 7.7 miles of downhill. Some of it turned out to be more flat than down but it was easy hiking. I dropped back into the thick lush forest when I got down low but the drier conditions came back later. I passed Golden Creek/Willis Camp, West Fork Methow River, Trail 755 and finally reached Brush Creek.
I got water at the creek. Since it was too earlier to cook, I decide to just carry the extra water up to Glacier. I put on my headphones and started the 2.8 mile climb to Glacier Pass. I passed two beaver ponds which had crystal clear water. Spotting the beaver would be a snap if they were swimming. I unfortunately did not see the beavers. Not long after the beaver ponds, I had two young ladies pass me coming south. They told me others were already camp at the pass. We chatted a bit before moving on.
When I got to the camp area, I ended up camping with two sisters Tracy and Terri who were out for a 8 day hike. What I’m doing in 2.5 their doing in 8. They are Canadian, so they are hiking home. They go on one 10-12 day hike every year. We had a good time talking during dinner; but it’s really cold so we all went to our separate tents to get in our bags and get warm.
I now have only 2 days left and 40 miles to hike. I’m so close I can taste it. I can’t wait to see my folks, so I can tell them how much I appreciate their help.
Get out there!