7/25/16

Cascade Locks, OR Mile 2144

I crossed the Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River and into Oregon yesterday.  Washington has been much colder and wetter than expected, but that helped keep the bug activity down and there have been some sunny breaks for mountain viewing. It seems Washington weather is more often cloudy and drizzle than an all out rain.   I've been fortunate to meet many nice people on and off trail.  I started meeting a slow trickle of fast northbound hikers just south of Snowqualmie.  Overall Washington has been a delight!

The gang at the Dinsomore's Hiker Haven in Skykomish outside the Cascadia Inn, the local breakfast spot.  

The weather cleared just in time for my arrival into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area.
Looking down at Spectacle Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.  This is a place worth going back to.
More in Alpine Lakes
Camping up high in Alpine Lakes.  Several deer wandered around me all evening and night. 
Heading to Mt. Rainier, just north of Snowqualmie Pass.
I learned an important lesson here:  don't mess with snow bridges.  That larger chunk of snow broke off on top of me and pushed me down the rocks below after I stupidly tried to pass underneath it.  Luckily I got pushed to the side.
This guy, Sasquatch, gave me a ride into North Bend to a Safeway so I didn't need to resupply at the small grocery at Snowqualmie. 
I lucked out  missing some nasty thunderstorms once I got into Mt Rainier National Park.  About 5 miles south of Chinook Pass the ground was cover with 1-3 inches of pea-marble sized hail.  I must have missed it by an hour.  Thanks to Pilot, northbound section hiker, for serving me coffee and keeping me in camp late!
Mt Rainier pops out of the clouds and towers over the trail. 
The clouds and rain make for some spectacular scenery. Sometimes it is hard to tell mountain from cloud.
Dinner with Dick and Karen. I met Dick at the Post Office in Packwood on a rainy day.  He offered me a room, and dinner, and breakfast, and shower, and laundry, and a ride back to the pass. Very kind people and I'm grateful I got to meet them and learn about life in Packwood.
The Knife's Edge trail in Goat Rocks Wilderness, the last snowy section.  The weather was starting to clear up, but the cloud ceiling was just above the edge, which is the white line at the top.
The steep snow fields were in the clouds, less than 50' visibility, and if there wasn't a well beaten path through the snow it would have been difficult to navigate.
Coming out of the clouds at Goat Rocks.
Interesting rock formations coming out of Goat Rocks.  Any geologists have an explanation for this?
On to Mt. Adams in the sun!
The trail gets close to Mt Adams, with nice views of its glaciers.
In Trout Lake I met Patty and Dolores at the cafe.  Patty offered to buy me a burger, but since I just had a huckleberry milkshake and double chocolate chip muffin I could only handle a second milkshake.  Then they drove me up to the trail head and sent me off with a couple nectarines and $20 to get that burger further down the trail.
I passed through Indian Heaven Wilderness in a cold rain, which was good for mosquito activity, but I didn't get to see much. After Indian Heaven I descended into lower elevation forest, which is lush and green, rainforest like.  The picture above doesn't do it justice.  My last night in Washington I camped at Rock Creek, next to a clear deep pool in a lush forest.  I fell asleep to a Spotted Owl squawking above and woke up to a Kingfisher cruising up and down the creek.    
Mt Adams and the Columbia River heading down to Oregon.  The descent was slow, largely because of the abundance of huckleberries, blueberries, and blackberries. 

3 comments:

  1. Hey Dan, How's your journey going? Was great meeting you @ Trout Lake and even hiking my 1st 1/2 mile of the PCT with you!! Bring It On!!! Went on a 4-day hike to Mount Rainier last weekend with a gaggle of girls.....sorry, we're all g-mas.... The scenery was beyond beautiful, only disappointment was too short a trip and no edible berries! Take care and be safe, (sounds like a g-ma), Patty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patty, glad you got out for a hike around Rainier. Thanks for your kindness and help! Let me know I can be of any help in planning your PCT trip. Dan

      Delete
    2. Hi Patty, glad you got out for a hike around Rainier. Thanks for your kindness and help! Let me know I can be of any help in planning your PCT trip. Dan

      Delete