September 9, 2017: Hiked Miles 2529.0 to 2554.5 (25.5 total)
Another wonderful night of sleep. These cold nights and long, hard days are really helping us sleep well. I woke up feeling very rested to a slight drizzle on the top of the tent which lasted just long enough to be the most relaxing sound. I finally got up around 6:15, when I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep, and slipped out of the tent to a glorious morning view.
Luckily the sprinkle of rain didn’t come back, so we packed up and ate without getting soaked. But we kept our rainpants and jackets on because we knew the bushes surrounding the trail would be wet. And of course they were, and completely overgrown, but luckily our raingear managed to protect us from the elements. Our feet didn’t fare as well and were soaked in no time. Oh well, better than our whole bodies.
We had a long climb down the mountain this morning that kept us stuck in the trees.
We made it the bottom of our climb and after walking along the Suiattle River for a long time we crossed over it on a long bridge.
And then of course, we turned around and walked right back up the other side of the river and climbed up the mountain opposite of the one we just came down.
It rained a little on us during the morning, but the tree cover kept us pretty dry. The one good thing about climbing hills is that it warms you up. We stayed warm in our shorts and t-shirts as we climbed for a couple hours and then when we sat down for lunch we put on all our clothes and were freezing within seconds. Oh Washington…
We did pass by a lot of pretty little streams today.
And of course we started talking about food and dream vacations and then I started thinking about how nice it would be on a cruise ship to be warm and have all-you-can-eat food and now that’s all we can think about.
It was so cold at lunch, I made some coffee to try and warm up which only warmed me up until I finished it. And Colton tried to stuff his face with as much food as possible, hoping that would warm him up. I don’t know if it helped, but it did help knock him out.
We had a few more miles to climb and the climbing helped to warm us up. As we got closer to the top, the mist turned into a light rain so we put our rain jackets and pack covers on.
The bushes were soaking Colton’s shorts so he decided to improvise.
We reached the top of the mountain and passed by Cloudy Pass.
The rest of the afternoon passed by fairly quickly as the rain slowly grew stronger and stronger. In no time at all we were soaked, but as long as we kept moving, we were able to stay warm enough.
We popped out of the trees every once in awhile to cross through huge rocky creekbeds and see what little view we could.
At one point I started thinking about how it was probably over 100 degrees back home and how everyone back there would probably love to see a little rain right now and we would love to see a little sun. But you always want what you can’t have right? Instead, I thought about how blessed we were to have cool hiking weather and the chance to be out here and see the real Washington. I also feel lucky that we are just now hitting rain. I’ve heard of many hikers that spend their entire time in this state in the rain, so we’re really lucky to have had as good of weather as we have.
Towards the end of the day I couldn’t help but get excited thinking about getting in our tent tonight and making dinner in there and being dry. Before hiking the PCT I probably never would have got excited about sleeping in a wet tent after spending a day hiking in the rain, but this trail really changes your expectations and needs and wants.
Eventually we did make it to our camping spot for the night. It had a little tree cover so we found the flattest, dryest spot we could and set up our tent as quickly as possible. We got inside and attempted to change out of our wet clothes and hang them up to dry without soaking all the dry stuff. Even though I didn’t feel that cold, my fingers were numb and it was quite hilarious trying to take off my wet clothes with thumbs that wouldn’t work.
With the storm, it was already pretty dark outside even though it wasn’t even 7:00. We got our headlamps out and attempted to warm up and simultaneously stretch inside the tent. It probably looked like some weird game of Twister. Then we cooked dinner inside:
We have to be very careful when we do this to not burn the tent or in Colton’s case tonight, knock his water bottle over and spill inside the tent. Just what we need, more water. But we successfully managed to cook dinner and we were excited to realize we both had an extra tortilla for dinner since we’re planning to get into town early enough tomorrow to eat lunch there at a supposedly amazing bakery. But for tonight, that extra tortilla really made our meal a feast and helped to fill our cold, hungry bellies.
Now it’s only 8:00, we’re cuddled up in our sleeping bags, listening to the raindrops on our tent, reading and blogging, and enjoying a peaceful Saturday night. And tomorrow we hike into Stehekin, where we will definitely enjoy a nice warm shower, a comfy, dry bed, and hopefully some amazing food.