1 mi before Trail 101 (2074) to Alpine Camp (2289)
Wow. 15 mi. Heard what must be an Elk last nite that woke me up. High like a dog/coyote whining then super deep honking! very near. Tons of condensation took forever to packup. Got going at 9 am. Wet overgrown bushes and me picking huckleberries most of the morning. It got scenic after my short lunch breat at Walupt Creek when I realized how slow I’m moving. Dried my gear and cooked at trail 96 where a cute guy showed up with a cool old camera, odd. Before here at the waterfall I met some cool old dudes in a hiking group that geoes out every week, wow.
But the Knife’s Edge took the cake. Unbelievable scenery, perfect weather, good timing…. what an incredible stretch of trail! It was hard and steep with crazy flat stones that make a tinkling sound as you walk over. Amazing views of 3 mtns then forever walking on the spine “knife’s edge” of the mtns– cliffs on each side!
WEd Sept 21
Woke at sunrise- gorgeous! coffee w cocoa, cereal w milk and strawberries. Got going way earlier than usual, cleaned my cookstuff then found Gnarly hitting the trail from a campsite just below mine. Neither of us seemed to find the “Alpine Camp”. Nice to chat and catch up for awhile. Kinda big climb, I got tired and had to dig up that yummy brownie Lara bar to make it. Two cute hipster dudes packing camp at the top with a fantastic view of Rainier with its head in the clouds. Then Shoe Lake, then a narrow gravel path where 3 ladies on horseback came thru. I caught Gnarly on a break near a ski lift and we went to White Pass together to get our packages. I talked to my dad to wish him a Happy Birthday! I ate bad pizza and drank soda, not feeling great, should be eating more. Hiked 6 mi to Buesch Lake. 21 miles on a resupply day. Sweet!
Thur Sept 22
Slapt light, thinking of real life/art stuff. Excited. Woke early but slow to get all ready. Left 7:45 am. EZ descent to Bumping River. Gnarly fell in a little bit. I was hungry already so I ate my other pizza slice and some oreos. then a long climb, saw lots of chipmunks, voles, and marmots- all frisky!! We actually watched a marmot saunter over to another one, stand up and smooch. Really! Then we met a SoBo WA only hiker with his dad. Over the top to scenic views tho partly clouded over and Rainier in and out of view, sun, hot, cloud, drizzle, cold, hot, repeat. I was tired and ate more but prob. not enough. I’m not enjoying this force-feeding thing.
Dewey Lake was beautiful and I heard these 2 pan flutes talking to each other for hours how strange. At first I thought a camper was trying to mess with me. This is not the first time I’ve been an idiot about natural sounds sounding “fake”. Apparently elk have a unique nose or something? At this time of year the males make these bugling sounds challenging each other. I really gotta google it. Any way it was this high pitched multi-note ascending tones. Just like a pan flute. Really exhausted climb up, then super beautiful descent past tiny streams and little lakes at sunset. Saw Gnarly cross the road at Chinook Pass, so I guess I gotta keep with my brilliant plan to make it to Sheep Lake. Starving and so tired, dinner and camp was a joy. Very quiet night and super pretty in the am.
Fri Sept 23
Sheep Lake to Windy Gap
SO Tired! It was easier today but uphill is so draining these days. I’m over exhausted. Been hiking with Gnarly for a couple days but we hit this little flat spot and I dropped my pack and said, I’m done for the day Pitching here man. He went on a couple miles. I was so tired I couldn’t sleep. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s almost painful, the exhaustion wakes you. Leg cramps a little bit too.
Today was a super scenic ridge walk, my favorite. Lat5e lunch tortelini (carb and calorie blast!) at “airplane meadows” where there’s a fuselage from a crashed plane. Urich cabin was pretty cool to see at the end of the day but still wanted a few more miles, besides there was two strapping dudes with guns and a kid prepping for a bunch of boy scouts to arrive. Almonds and ocean spray drink for fast dinner. sleep now.
Comfy in my tent at 8 am in light rain. Gnarly and I made it to Rd 54 after dark where we found awesome trail magic by Stumbling Norwegian! This is my first full blown magic. They made me a nice cheeseburger as I gorged on Doritos (which I’d been fantasizing about!) drank PBRs! Rained for a while. Not sure I’ll head out… Been desperate for rest and a calorie bomb.
Well I did head out before noon, and made it half way to Snoqualamie, 9 mi before the rain kicked in, it was nice and I felt super happy from the trail magic, it means So, so so much to feel supported and respected for doing this. Means so much. Guy named Virgo was there- he’s making a documentary on Trail Angels! Apparently if you search for that on You Tube you’ll find it, his name is Miguel. Steve Climber was there too, I had met him at Tom’s place at Kennedy Meadows, and that guy’s mom makes some kickass cookies. I ate a bunch of them. Anyway the second half of the hike was all rain and grey so I shared a room at the hotel with Gnarly, Eden, and Icharus. Dry!!! Dinner!!!! Hot Tub!!!!
Monday Sept 26
somehow I got my days all messed up. Rain all day, we are all zeroing. YES! I’m so glad! Now I gotta go get in that hot tub and lounge around. This morning I ate the “I-90 special” which is bacon and sausage links, 3 eggs, hash browns, and french toast. I put it all down, and I’m relieved to be eating again, I gotta catch up on some calories. And then I ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.