Snoqualmie Pass – Tacoma Pass
28.7 miles!!! 7128ft up. 6665ft down.
I had a much better nights sleep. Less stress keeping me awake and it was cooler.
The alarm went off at 4:30! Glendee and Doug planned to drop me off at the trail before they went to work and they have to leave at 5 am. I could have easily just stayed there for the foreseeable future, in their lovely little cottage in the woods but I have hiking to do.
We found the trail head. Said our goodbyes and at 5:50am I was walking off into the mist. I hadn’t made a plan for the day I was just going to walk and see how far I got. I had my new shoes on so I was a little worried at how my feet would be in them. As long as I didn’t do less than 20 I would be OK.
The trail begins winding its way up out of Snoqualmie, across the ski slopes, under the chairlifts. I was in a cloud and everything was wet. I’m glad I wasn’t in this last night! I started off trying to avoid getting my feet wet and making my new shoes stinky instantly. But the plants were so wet that I had zero chance of keeping anything dry.
The wildflowers covering the slopes were beautiful and I was at the top of the climb I was dreading before I really felt like I was climbing. The first couple of miles were a bit rocky and they were wet and slippery. On my first little stream crossing I slipped on the first rock and my left foot went right in I definitely have wet feet now. The cloud was low and the trees were raining on me and visibility was just a few metres. But at least the temperature was cool.
I was still feeling a little bit emosh, so I had a little tear. Let it out.
I walked a while in my waterproof until it warmed up and I could delayer. After those initial rocky couple of miles the trail became an absolute dream. There were no trees to climb over because they had all been logged by trail crew. I did a little mental cheer every time I passed a fresh cut. I could still see all the sawdust and smell the fresh cut wood. And the trail was smooth. No rocks. No tree roots. Just soft spongy pine needles. And my feet were feeling good in my new shoes. I passed Mirror Lake which last year was full with people, this year deserted. I polished off my breakfast snacks early and I stopped around 11 for an early lunch – avocado and Fritos. Yum. Before moving off I stopped to get water and as I was leaning over my right foot slips off the Rock and plunges into the water. Great.
I plod on with wet feet. There is a lot of elevation gain and loss today but it’s all rolling and quite gentle. A lot of time is spent under trees in the forest, occasionally coming up high enough to see out. I don’t see many people this morning. The first person nearly runs right into me. Stumbles from the class of 2014 is finishing up her hike. She had a wet and miserable night but the sound of it so she was focused on getting to town to warm up and dry out.
I only saw 4 other people all day. Now of whom were Thru hikers. Where are all the nobos?!
The weather continued to brighten up and the sun came out but it remained a reasonable temperature. And there were practically no bugs!! 1:30 came around and I had already done 18 miles to Stampede Pass, with its shot up sign and tree eaten sign.
Still so much time left, so I thought about setting a goal. Maybe a 25 mile day will be achievable. Then I saw a problem. I have gone from water everywhere to suddenly no water anywhere. Wherever I camp it will be dry so I have to make sure I don’t miss the only spring. I have hardly had anything to drink today yet I’ve had about 6 wees. In the past couple of weeks I would pee in the morning and then not again until the evening, and I was drinking lots. Most odd.
The afternoon carried on much the same as the morning. The trail crossed under power lines and over dirt roads several times over. In the forest, out the forest, in the forest, out the forest…
I went past one section where loads of trees had been cleared ant they were all stacked in neat little piles of wood.
I stopped to get water from the spring and had 1.5 litres in my bag. It would either be a 4.5 or a 6.5 mile carry to camp. I was feeling good. A little slow still on the uphill but cruising on the flat and downs. I occupied myself most of the afternoon with toadstool spotting. Little bursts of colour in the green and brown.
I had one blowdown to cross over the whole day!!
I got to my first camp option and decided to carry on the two extra miles to the next one. I made it there at 6:20. A solid 28.7 miles in 12hrs 20 minutes. That made me happy. I have big mile days in me. And I feel alright. My feet are sore from being so wet all day but actually the shoes and socks have dried out a lot. But my legs aren’t zinging and pulsing like they have been.
I pitched my tent and ate inside. There were a few mozzies around but nothing like they have been. Chicken Terryaki and rice. That’s a filling one! I think I have far too much food for this section!
As my feet are warming and drying they become increasingly itchy.
I’m all done and ready to switch off by 8:30. I wonder how I’ll feel in the morning!
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.