Friday, October 9, 2020

Day 56: Shenanigans, Hannegans....

August 4: I had a super short day today, planning to cover just 10 miles for the day. I wasn't even limited by my permit anymore, but I still planned for the short day because after that, I'd be on a very long road and I didn't want to camp along a road. Nope, my plan was to camp at the Hannegan Pass Trailhead then spend tomorrow getting through the entire road walk in a single day and camping in a nice spot in the woods.

So I took my time getting up and hitting the trail.

It's a happy log!

About an hour, I reached the boundary of North Cascades National Park and entered into the Mount Baker National Forest.

I stopped for about two hours at the border, resting in the shade next to a beautiful meadow of colorful flowers while my solar charger collected electrons from the sun. It was a beautiful, clear day and there were lots of electrons available for collecting!

I found a notebook behind the border sign and it looked like a small register, but when I opened it to look, it seemed more like a note left by one group for another. I'm not sure why they didn't just leave a note rather than the entire notebook, but I went ahead and wrote a note in it because I was taking a two-hour break and really didn't have anything better to do.

Oh, sure, I read my Kindle, but that was about it.

From the boundary, the trail climbed up a moderately steep slope to Hannegan Pass. It wasn't a particularly long climb, though, rising less than a thousand feet, then descended relatively slowly down the valley on the other side.

The downhill side had little tree cover and the sun burned hot. Even going downhill, I sweat like a pig! I took another long break, this time about an hour, under a small group of trees.

The trail through this area was extremely busy. Between the national park boundary and the trailhead, I probably saw at least a 100 people throughout the day. It was a positive highway of people!

Despite my three hours worth of breaks, I still reached the Hannegan Pass trailhead at 4:50pm, hours before sunset. I was worried the area would be full of other people wanting to camp given the crowds, but surprisingly, nobody was there. In hindsight, I realized that most people are starting their hikes from there. They're all camping at the sites 5 to 10 miles up the trail, not at the trailhead!

The trailhead had a wonderful, creek-side camp. Or at least a picnic area with plenty of space to camp. I'm not so sure it's official in any way shape or form, but I was happy to take advantage of it. 

The parking lot at the trailhead actually had no vehicles at all in it because the gravel road leading up to it had washed out at some point and the vehicles were parked on the other side of the washout just a few minutes walk away. I liked not having vehicles roaming next to my campsite. =)

And that was that. It was a relatively dull day of hiking to report. Nice and easy!

I took a two-hour break next to this colorful meadow. =)

The national park boundary. (Although I was leaving rather than entering it.)

It looked like someone left a register to sign behind it, but it was actually just a note for another group. Something about one of their party having an ankle sprain and heading back to Portland to go to a clinic.

Hannegan Pass

The descent from Hannegan Pass was slow and easy, but very hot in the sun!

Hannegan Pass Trailhead

No vehicles were actually in the parking lot because the road was washed out here. (See the barricade at the other end to discourage vehicles from driving into the washout?)

I had a lovely campsite all to myself for the night. =)

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