August 17, 2018
I wasn’t expecting Washington to have so many steep climbs, but I powered over them as best I could. There’s a lot of overgrowth and greenery, making it a little nerve-wracking to hike up steep switchbacks when you can’t quite see where you’re putting your foot down. It’s taking me forever to get over some of these passes. Thankfully, the dense fog from this morning lifted around 10:00am and I was able to see what I think is snow-capped Mt. Baker and nearby mountain ranges, so that was pretty cool. There were also tons of Hucklebarries along the trail! Yum!
Nothing about hiking in Washington is at all like hiking in California, and I keep finding myself wishing I were somewhere else. Not that I don’t want to be hiking the PCT. I mean, hell, it’s not like I miss the pain I experienced in the desert, but I am so mentally exhausted after just a few miles and I don’t know why. My new blisters will probably be healing or turning into callouses right around the time I reach the northern terminus and I’ll be faced with the decision to either take advantage of my newly acquired trail legs to keep going or cut my losses and go home. How will I tackle all the miles I missed? Hitch to Stevens Pass and hike SOBO? I guess.
I did about 20 miles today to Lake Sally Anne. I hadn’t intended to go so far but when I took a break early in the afternoon I was surprised to find that I’d already done 15 miles. Well, I thought, might as well go a little further. Better to make a few more miles than lay in my tent with the sun beating down on it. Maybe my trail legs aren’t completely gone?
I found the perfect place to camp near the lake. There are weekend warriors camped in the spots closest to the lakeshore, and I can hear some others camped on the other side of me in the trees somewhere, but I found a nice open spot concealed by trees. It’s dusty and the grit coats everything, but it’s private. It’s nice to have both privacy and the comfort of knowing there are people nearby. Win-win!
I don’t think I need to worry about bears here, but there are lots of critters nearby, so I hung my food bag on a branch just in case.