Day 124 (cont.)
Mama G and Lynn have been some of the most amazing trail angels! Lynn took the four of us into the town of Packwood to send off our extra food.
The trail conditions are changing so fast around us that we have decided to just plan for what's right in front of us. We sent our extra food to Timberline Lodge and plan to hike from White Pass to Trout Lake and assess the situation from there.
From Packwood, Mama G picked us up and brought us back to her cabin. We pitched tents in her backyard and lounged around while Lynn continued to drive back and forth from White Pass to get hikers. By the end of the day there were about 10 of us in total hanging out in Mama G's tiny living room and eating the delicious pasta she cooked for us. Mama G's house has only been open to hikers for two weeks - she and Lynn both took action to help out as soon as they heard about the fires. Once again, the generosity of strangers and the support of the community and trail angels has made a huge impact on our ability to hike this trail!
After breakfast Lynn drove me, Jedi, Link, and Cosmo to the White Pass Trailhead.
Mama G and Lynn have been watching the weather closely and say that there is storm coming in on Sunday that will cause temperatures to drop and Pacific Northwest rain to fall for several days. We want to get in and out of this next section as quick as possible to stay dry and to continue to be able to see the area where we hike.
We got to the trailhead around 10:00am and the four us started hiking. The air was crisp and the temperature was cool, but warm in the sun. Fall is definitely here.
We entered the ever anticipated Goat Rocks Wilderness. Every northbounder we have spoken to lately has said that we are going to love this section.
Today was one of the most scenic days we've have on trail. Within the first couple of miles we got a glimpse of Mt. Rainier.
We continued to climb for six miles and shortly after that we began our approach to what is called "Knife's Edge". This section is appropriately named- a thin ridge line with steep drop offs on both sides. It was breathtaking!
I even got to see some mountain goats in goat rocks! A dream come true.
We scaled the ridge line of Knife's Edge for several miles and, lucky for us, we made it up there just in time for magic hour.
All evening we had views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Saint Helens, and Mt. Adams.
After bypassing some of the best campsites I've seen on trail, we set up and settled into a spot tucked away in the trees. We ate dinner and then hurried into our warm sleeping bags.
It was a chilly overcast morning and I wore most of my layers as we climbed up and over Cispus Pass. The early morning miles put us on exposed mountain sides and ridge lines with scenic views into the green valleys below.
The rest of the afternoon was spent tucked away in the forest without many views. The day remained cold and overcast and I couldn't stop worrying about the rainy weather predictions.
By early evening I was surprised to run into Fresh Meat. I hiked with Fresh Meat in the desert and he was another face I had been excitedly waiting to see.
Towards the end of the day we entered Mt. Adams Wilderness and set up camp early at Muddy Fork Tributary.
We are 20 miles from the road where we hitch into the town of Trout Lake. Fingers crossed that the weather stays dry.
I was pleasantly surprised to wake up dry this morning. When I crawled out of my tent the air was cold and crisp, but the sky was blue and the sun was making its way up.
We hiked 20 miles through Mount Adams Wilderness walking over lava rocks and staring out at stunning snow-covered volcanoes like Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier.
With six miles left to go before reaching Road 23, the dark clouds rolled in and rain came quickly.
Using a list of trail angels as a reference we called Doug who was kind enough to pick us up and take us into the small town of Trout Lake. Once we got into town the four of us settled in to a hotel, got food at a local cafe, and watched the rain from the warm comfort of a hot tub.
This morning we woke up and lounged around at the Trout Lake Inn until 1pm.
Later in the day we walked half a mile into the center of town and reserved our room above the grocery store. There are storm clouds all around us and in the mountains, but in Trout Lake the skies are blue.
Jedi, Link, Cosmo, and I eventually headed out to dinner at the Trout Lake Country Inn, a cozy rustic spot with a wood burning stove and delicious food. A great place to wait out a storm.
After dinner we walked one mile in the rain. Back to the grocery store to pick out a movie. As we are popping popcorn Hollywood (another SOBO hiker) comes into the store. He's wet and cold and said he hiked in through the rain and snow. We invite Hollywood to share our space and the five of us enjoy the coziness in front a small television for popcorn and a movie. Smokey, the local cat, also decided to join us.
We stayed in Trout Lake today while the storm clouds continued to dump rain and snow on the mountains.
We spent the day inside watching movies and eating snacks. Although we are getting a little antsy, it feels good to be warm and dry.
We are still deciding when to hike out. My birthday is on Thursday (gifts are welcome 😉) and I'm hoping we are able to be on the trail, I'm dreaming of a scenic, sunny, warm part of trail.