Slept dry and warm last night and it was amazing after days of rain and cold. Grabbed breakfast at the Baring Store/Cafe before leaving town. It rained up until it was time to leave then eased up enough for Bob Holtel and his son to give Flash and I a ride to Skykomish. That’s part way back to the trail and an easier hitch.
Bob is the 79 year old guy I mentioned in the last post that is running the trail. He was the first to do so about 25 years ago and is now about to be the oldest. He wrote a book about his experience the first time around which I think can be found on Amazon by searching his name and the PCT.
From Skykomish it wasn’t too long before we got a ride to the trail. And once again I was a hiker. It stayed pretty dry but as always completely overcast for the first few hours. After that it pretty much opened up and rained for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
A rough goal of getting to Pear Lake was floating around since there would be water, camping spots, and it would make about 18 miles for our late start day. With all the rain I wasn’t checking my maps as often as usual, but I have a feeling we got a couple miles past Pear Lake. It would have been hard to miss, but with the fog and head down hiking I suppose it’s possible. That meant hiking into the dark looking for something that wasn’t there with not enough water, and nowhere clear to set up. It’s not as though we need a lot of space to make camp, but most of the trail was narrow ridge walking. Then the snow started.
We found some water along the way and then were able to make due with a couple spots off the trail under some trees. It’s back to raining now and quite cold, but I’ve got dinner in me and should get through the night without issue.
Just before dark we saw a mother bear and two cubs. Pretty cool. They were in a field eating berries about 30 yards from us when we discovered each other. The cubs took off and mother bear gave a look then followed. They crossed the trail then mother bear turned again and got up on her hind legs. Once she saw we were not a threat she followed the cubs off into the thicker brush and trees.
Too many mixed reviews on what the weather is going to be. Most of the people we see just say it’s going to be lousy for at least the next week. I’m hoping it clears up a couple times to at least dry out gear and have some views. We’ll see what happens. Somewhere around 160 miles to the border (and 8 more to Manning Park Lodge).