Day 129 mile 2393.6 – 2415

Elevation: ascent 5,611 ft, descent 5,391 ft

This morning our zero ended and it was time for us to hit the trail as we push towards the Canadian Border. The alarm went off at 6:30 so we could get breakfast and a coffee before hitting the trail. We also had to make a quick stop at the gas station to pick up some jerky which we had forgotten to grab yesterday. Then it was a short walk up the road and under I-90 before getting back on trail. We left Snoqualmie at 8:00 and are now heading north towards Stevens Pass, which is our next resupply.

Today was going to be a lot of climbing in the morning, so having cool temps was definitely welcomed. Not before we got a 1/2 mile into the day we came across Boston (who is hiking the PCT), who had just decided to sleep right next to the trail. He is definitely an interesting character!

While hiking this morning I had a small bush run across in front of me at one point. It literally was a small branch moving across the trail. When I looked closer I found out that it was a small Pika carrying it back to its house. I tried to get a picture but it was in too much of a hurry to pose for me.

The trail today didn’t allow us to get into much rhythm while hiking, because we were constantly climbing over roots and various sized rocks. Each one took their turn trying to trip Double Down and I throughout the day. Our feet and toes were very sore at the end of the day from kicking and tripping on all of the roots and rocks. Also, with it being Labor Day weekend there were a ton of day hikers and weekend backpackers out on the trail today. We were recognized by one of the day hikers, Mike, who has been reading our blog. It was great chatting with him and hearing how he hopes to thru hike the PCT in a few years.

We reached the Alpine Wilderness before getting to the top of the climb this morning. Right after this the views of the surrounding area and Mt Rainier (yes she is still lingering around) opened up. We then started to run into a lot of beautiful alpine lakes, with their deep blue waters. Easy to see why this area is so popular for backpackers.

Alaska Lake
Ridge Lake

The trail this morning stayed high on the surrounding mountains. It was cool to see where we would be going as it was possible to see the trail across the valleys at times. We even had our first glimpse of Glacier Peak way off in the distance. The trail will take us closer to that peak in the next week.

Glacier Peak way of in the distance
Joe Lake

With the trail cutting across the mountains it didn’t give us much of an opportunity to for flat spots for lunch, especially since we were hoping for shade. We did find a spot to sit right on the edge of the trail that worked. Here we ran into two neat women section hiking, one was from Encinitas, CA (where we had bought our first house), so we chatted for a while with them. So great to meet such positive hikers on the trail!

After lunch we continued to travel across rock fields making our progress slower than expected. Many of the streams in this area are drying up and this made water carries longer than we wanted. We got to Delate Creek and waterfall around 5:00. Here we filled up our now empty water bottles and then headed the last couple of miles to camp.

We got to Lemah Creek at about 6:00. The bridge was out which resulted in us crossing on a downed tree. The biggest bummer was this is where we had planned to camp but all of the spots were taken. This meant we had to continue hiking to the next site about 3/4 of a mile up the trail. We grabbed water at the next stream as the notes on this site said it didn’t have access to water. We found a small site that we could squeeze our tent into, and it was right next to a creek!! So carrying all that water wasn’t necessary after all.

False Puffball

While getting camp set up, 3 guys out for a 5 day trip asked if they could get water by our camp. Of course we said yes, and then continued to have a lengthy conversation about Washington (all three of them live here) and our trip. After they left we used the creek to get cleaned up in before having dinner. We didn’t have much time as the sun is now setting at about 7:40. Since we didn’t get to camp until 6:30, darkness was coming on quickly. We ended up finishing up our dinner clean up and hanging of food/bags by headlamp.

Cleaning up in the creek

Our legs and feet are quite tired and the sound of the creek will provide us with great white noise to fall asleep to. The elevation changes are going to be tiring but if we keep getting these views it will be worth it!

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