Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Dreary Weather Continues....

September 19: It rained again during the night. Good lord, Washington had been miserably wet. What is wrong with this state! I'd only been able to cowboy camp once for weeks! And the nights were growing increasingly cold. I was having to bundle up in all of my dry clothes, then crawl in my sleeping bag where I cooked dinner and ate breakfast.

I lingered under the tarp until about 9:00 hoping to dodge the rain, somewhat successfully, as it turned out. I broke down camp and started hiking, finding a fantastic place to camp about five minutes up the trail. Well, shoot. I was much closer to Brush Creek than I thought! Camped at a crappy little place off the trail, and if I had only pushed on another five minutes, I would have been good. Curse my lack of a map!

I passed Walrus and Foxtrot heading southbound from the Canadian border--thru-hikers who had finished their hike and were now getting off the trail. These were the first successful 2010 thru-hikers I'd seen!

"So," I asked Foxtrot, "why not just get off the trail in Canada?" Manning Park was about 8 miles from the Canadian border and the end of the PCT, but Hart's Pass--the closest trailhead on the US side was considerably further away than that. I assumed that he had been denied entry into Canada, like Red Head had told me had happened to him back in Cascade Locks.

I got a few more views than I did yesterday, but the
weather still sucked.
His answer surprised me, however. His passport burned up. He had it stored at his parent's place, and they suffered a house fire while he was hiking the trail. He found out around the time he reached Etna that his passport burned in the house fire, so he had permission to enter Canada.... but didn't have a passport anymore and trying to get a new one while hiking the trail seemed like too much trouble. So without a passport, he was hiking back to the nearest US trailhead. Bummer.

The other southbound hiker, Walrus, ripped out the last page of his data book to give to me. I still had no maps, but at least I now had information about points along the trail--water sources, campsites, prominent passes and gaps along the way. He was only willing to rip out the pages that he had already passed through, though, so it only covered the last ten miles of the PCT. I was grateful for it, though--it was more than I had before!

For the most part, the day was largely uneventful. There were few views due to the bad weather, and it rained lightly several times during the day. I set up camp early, at around 5:00 in the afternoon, at a wonderful little campsite just past Foggy Pass. At least I think that's the name of the pass. Hui passed by after I set up camp and I invited him down to join me, but he was anxious to get a few more miles in before he stopped for the day, and Hui told me that he thought we were just past Foggy Pass. I asked him if he happened to have found and picked up my Erik the Black book, but alas, he had seen nothing. *sigh* Still mapless, I camped alone, trying to stay warm and dry.

The trail reaches this pass, then goes around the side of the mountain in the background.
If you look closely, you can even see the trail cutting through. =)

I have no idea why I took this photo. I do know that it was so cold all day,
I never did take off my gloves! The gloves were pretty wet due to
rain as well, which didn't really help matters much.

The marmot seemed happy enough. =)

The Canadian border! Just 35 miles away!!!!

Harts Pass--the last trailhead until Canada. This is the very last place to stop and
still be in the United States. Next stop.... Canada!

Miserable, rotten weather......


Anonymous said...

The last photograph is exceptionally beautiful, despite its dreariness!

Captain Sunshine

Anonymous said...

Bummer, you deserve the sun to be shinning and bands to be playing at this point in the journey.


Anonymous said...

I thought your camera was turned sideways until I saw the pines growing at that angle.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see this is ending soon! Any chance you can do a quick gear review of what worked for you?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! There is so much color in the vegetation along those ridges and meadows...lots of reds, yellows and oranges. So pretty!

Such a sad story about the Foxtrot's family's house fire and having his passport destroyed. I bet that really put a damper on much of his joy for the rest of the hike, and the rain and fog just made it worse. :-(

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers