|The weather on Labor Day wasn't looking much |
better than the day before. =(
It wasn't a joyful Labor Day morning, however. When I woke up, it was raining, and under my tarp, I felt like I was tucked away in a small cave. Not a smidgen of light could be seen anywhere. No moon, no stars--just like being deep in a cave without a flashlight.
By sunrise, things started to light up, but it wasn't much of an improvement--all I could see was rain. Thick, cold, wet, miserable rain. I stayed dry under my tarp, but it didn't motivate me to get up early. I hoped to wait it out, and maybe--if I was lucky--the rain would stop. And it would eventually stop, and I finally broke down camp and started hiking again at about 9:30.
While the rain had stopped, the tree snot had not, and I pulled out my umbrella to protect me from the onslaught.
The fog lifted just high enough, or rather, I descended just far enough, that I could get some decent views down the canyons below me. The mountains above me stayed in a perpetual fog, and Mount Rainer never showed itself.
Late in the afternoon, a bit of sun finally peeked out from the clouds, but only briefly before the clouds and fog returned. I filled up with water from a crappy little of water since it was the last water source on the trail for the next 20 miles. The day was getting depressing.
Late in the day, I passed four men wearing camo and bows and arrows--the first hunters I'd seen since the Goat Rocks. I didn't stop to talk, though, and plowed ahead. I didn't even know what they were hunting, but I started walking a little louder and made sure my brighter colored gear was easily visible. I get nervous around hunters....
|There was supposed to be a large lake off on the|
right side of the trail, but I could barely even see
Hmm.... I finally decided to ignore the arrow and plow ahead where my gut was telling me to go, then worried for miles that I was headed in the wrong direction. I should have checked out that arrow. If it was a camp, I would have known it in minutes, backtracked to the trail, and not have to worry about hiking in the wrong direction for the next few miles. I'm such an idiot not to check that it was just a campsite.
|Chinook Pass, straight ahead!|
I finally set up camp at Rods Gap for the night, a little after 7:00 in the evening, managing to pull out a 25 miles of hiking despite my late start. I set up my tarp again, almost certain it would rain overnight. I was getting increasingly annoyed at setting up my tarp every night. I liked to sleep under the stars, but haven't been able to since entering Washington. It had already rained more on me in Washington than it had in all of California and Oregon combined. This, I thought to myself, is not acceptable. September is supposed to be beautiful in the Pacific Northwest!
|Some of the many, many day hikers at Chinook Pass|
|The mountains upward towards Mount Rainier were obscured by clouds,|
but the views east down the canyon below the clouds were nice. =)
|The hatchet job trail workers did to this tree|
kind of amused me.... =)
|The trail passed by the Crystal Mountain ski resort. |
Not much skiing going on at the moment!
|Despite the clouds, I still occasionally got some nice views out of the hike. =)|
|They say every hat has a story to tell.|
But this hat isn't talking.....
|The fog was so bad, I couldn't use a flash. When I did,|
photos would turn out like this one. =(
|The trails, needless to say, did not dry out, and were|
slick and slippery as ever!