Day 121 mile 2229.4 – 2250
Elevation: ascent 3,295 ft, descent 2,722 ft
The plan for today was to try and get breakfast in town before heading back to the trail. We had made arrangements with Doug (our trail angel) to get picked up at 8:00 from Old Station Cafe. So the alarm went off at 6:15 and the four of us went into a frenzy, packing up the camper and trying to figure out who’s stuff was whose after four backpacks exploded the night prior.
We actually were leaving the camper at 7:00 and headed over to the cafe with our fully loaded packs. The cafe’s breakfast was great, especially the Huckleberry Coffeecake! It’s a good thing the food is good because the service is very slow. Obviously being in a small town they weren’t too worried about pushing people through their meals. While we were finishing up breakfast Doug showed up and chatted with us while we waited to pay. We finally got our packs loaded up and we were being whisked back up to the trail. We did get a great view of Mt Adams as we left Trout Lake. What a wonderful little town and is by far one of our favorite resupply stops on the trail.
We got dropped off at the trail and were back hiking at 8:45. The morning took us back into the forest but we steadily climbed over the next 10 miles. On the way up this morning we encountered another burn section of the trail. This area was showing signs of regeneration as there were a lot of plants and small trees growing back. We ran across a ton of Huckleberry bushes, with loads of berries. This once again slowed us down. It also had us seeing dollar signs. You see, while we were in Trout Lake we found out that a pound of wild huckleberries would garner you $22 at the local store. Had we known this heading into town we could have paid for the whole town stop.
The morning’s climb brought about the views that Double Down and I love!! We had views to the east of Mt Adams which was very impressive, especially it’s large glacier on the north side of the mountain. Then we looked west and saw Mt St Helens. To the south was Mt Hood, back in Oregon, and I think we could have seen Mt Jefferson if it had been clearer. Then finally looking north we had an amazing view of Mt Rainier. All four volcanic peaks definitely had the cameras busy today.
Along with views of volcanoes we also had some pretty great meadows which were popping with wildflowers. It was also interesting to go from green forested trail only to pop out into lava flows from old eruptions. The trail, thankfully, through those lava fields was much smoother and more forgiving on the feet.
We had a lot more water today, many flowing down from the glacier on Mt Adams. A couple of them looked like milk from all of the silt in the water. Thankfully we didn’t have to get our feet wet during any of the crossings today. After getting across Adams Creek we did have a hiker, who was out for a couple day trip, ask if she could borrow a water filter. I explained that our water filter was vital to us for the next three weeks and using it with the silty water would clog it, basically making it non-functional. She had a look come across her face that said, oh is that what just ruined my filter. I then asked her if she knew how to back flush her filter which might help, but again she looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Double Down offered her a little of the water she had, hoping that it might help her, which she gladly accepted. Obviously this was a big learning experience for her but we hope she was able to figure out a way to unclog her filter.
The afternoon trail wrapped around Mt Adams and gave us some pretty epic views of the huge northern glacier. We found out later that it is a pretty popular glacier to climb during parts of the year. The crevasses looked huge from where we were, so we could only imagine what they are like when you are up there climbing on them.
On this trip we have been carrying a Garmin InReach device which we use to communicate with family and friends if we don’t have cell service. It is something we have been using for years and we love the ability it gives us to stay in touch when needed. The issue we had today was that it appears to have died out of the blue. I had charged the device last night and even used it today to send and receive a couple of messages. However, this afternoon Double Down grabbed it to check something and the screen was black. Even when plugging it into our charger nothing would happen. So I guess it is now just dead!! Kind of scary that something like that could just die, especially if we needed to use it for an emergency. So now we need to figure out how to get a replacement some how in the next four or five days. In the meantime we have Pants and his InReach so we aren’t without help if an emergency arises.
Today on trail we met a lot of backpackers and so many of them had a ton of questions about the trail once they found out we were hiking the whole PCT. We enjoyed answering their questions as we know with the trip slowly coming to a close we won’t be getting these questions for long. We got to Lava Springs and our tent site for the night with Mantis and Pants around 5:30. It was great being in camp earlier as it allowed our Tramily (trail family) to enjoy dinner and Mantis’ now famous trailaritas (trail margaritas). She had brought tequila from Trout Lake and used some flavored drink packets to make some darn good margaritas!! Being able to share the last couple of weeks on trail with Mantis and Pants is going to be special and feels like the cherry on top.
Thank you so much for following along with us on this crazy adventure!! Link