Day 144: mile 2249.5 to mile 2275.2
9.6.18. 25.7 miles.
I slept very well last night, which has been a nice theme in Washington so far. I think it’s because the temps have been cold enough at night where I’m comfortable in my quilt, but not so cold where my face and hands are freezing if they stick out a bit. So that’s been good! Orangutan, Toe Jam, and Rigby were all up at the same time as me, though I left a little earlier than them. Toe Jam asked if she woke me up last night bc she had a mouse trying to get into her tent, but I didn’t hear anything.
I walked with Macro for a bit, asking him about his SOBO AT hike. I’d be lying if I wasn’t thinking about doing another long trail, and *if* I did, the AT would probably be next. The trail wasn’t too exciting in the first part of the day. Lots of up and down and hiking in the trees, and leapfrogging with people, which is sometimes fun, sometimes just like, “yeah, I saw you 10 minutes ago and now you’re passing me again. We don’t need to stop and say the exact same things to each other 10 minutes later”. A good “hey!” is just enough for me.
My lunch break was NOT restful as tons of flies were swarming me. I must really smell bad. They were the kind of flies that you see hovering around dog and horse poop. I ate three bagels though, knowing that I’ve been hungrier recently, and that I’ll be getting into White Pass tomorrow, so I may as well just eat!
After my lunch break, the trail was much more exposed and it was hot! And that’s when the climbing began. The grade wasn’t bad, but I was sluggish after lunch and the sun just made everything worse. I’m trying not to complain about that, because I know I’ll be begging for sun at some point in this state, but it really does tire me out! The climb was beautiful though, once I started getting close to Cispus Pass. This is where the Goat Rocks really start. And it was amazing. Absolutely incredible. I couldn’t stop smiling or taking pictures. Once I reached the top of the pass, I saw Toe Jam, Rigby, and Wind Spirit taking a break up there, and they clapped as I came up. They’re a nice bunch. We gaped in awe of the beauty around us, and I continued down the other side of the pass.
I had my music on and the wind was blowing, and I was concentrating on not tripping down the trail, but I suddenly heard yells coming from the other side of the small valley, and it was Twinkle Toes and Jinx yelling at me to look up! So I craned my neck in an awkward way and saw mountain goats!! I saw a mama and her kid walking up rocks on the ridge way above me. It was sooo cool! I’ve never seen these goats in person before. I waved a thanks to them before they took off and I continued down the trail, hoping for a better viewpoint like they had. I reached a turn in the trail where another backpacker had a pair of binoculars, and he asked me if I’d like to borrow them. There were about 50 goats on a small patch of green way on the top of the mountain. I couldn’t believe how many I was looking at, and so many babies too! It was awesome. Toe Jam, Rigby, and Wind Spirit caught up with me and we walked to the next water source to fill up. We were all very happy about how beautiful the trail was, and so happy to have these amazing views and such good weather! I felt a little guilty, knowing Hot Mess & Butters had miserable weather in this section, which is such a shame.
After collecting water, there was still a good amount of time before I wanted to be in camp, so I pushed a little further up the next big climb and am camped in a beautiful alpine meadow with Wind Spirit, with a wonderful view of Mt. Adams. The sunset was beautiful. One of the few that I’ve enjoyed on trail, since I was usually asleep for them when the sun was setting later earlier in the summer.
Tomorrow I get to see the rest of the goat rocks, and I’m so excited bc it’s supposed to be the most beautiful part, and I’ll be seeing it in the beautiful morning light!