Day 130: mile 2415 – mile 2435.3

Elevation gain: 4,468 ft

Elevation loss: 3,294 ft

Many of our stops today had the most stunning views or we were at beautiful lakes…I love that. More lovely blue skies with big puffy clouds today as well. One of the backpackers who we had met last night, said this weather is in the 1% of the usual for this time of year. We are definitely getting so lucky with Mother Nature and are so extremely thankful! Both Link and I said our legs felt pretty darn tired today. Nothing hurt, but I think after 5,600+ of ascent AND 5,300+ of descent over 21 miles yesterday, assured that these legs were bound to be a little pooped. We’ve both run the Catalina marathon quite a few times, and it’s so funny that I used to think it was so packed with crazy elevation. That marathon has about 5,000 ft of ascent, and then I couldn’t walk for 5 days. But that’s not an option here…my body says it’s tired and I say, “tough luck, Buttercup, get up and do it again!”. 😂 We had a 5 mile climb to start the day at 7am, but had our first stop to enjoy our coffee as well as these views.

Sure wish we could’ve seen more of this sunrise!

It was more of a “stop walking on the trail for a moment and take a couple sips” kind of stop, but we did that a few times because this view was spectacular! Our next “actual” stop was for breakfast at this pretty little pond at the top of the climb. When we got there, the sun hadn’t quite peeked over the mountain, but within minutes we had the warm sun on our faces while we ate.

After breakfast, the views just kept on coming. We have noticed that a lot of the brush is already starting to turn vibrant colors. This helps enhance the scenery even more, which didn’t even seem possible!

We started to see Lake Waptus, which also looked stunning, and thought that would be a great spot for lunch.

But as we descended toward the lake, we noticed that the PCT wouldn’t actually go by this lake. It would’ve been a steep 1/2 mile climb and we REALLY don’t like walking more than we have to, especially when there’s elevation involved. So instead of the stunner stop, we opted to sit by a cute little stream and waterfall instead…it worked out just great. Since we had already done 15 miles by lunch, we only had 5-ish to go before we reached our campsite for the night at Deep Lake.

Shortly before we reached the Lake, we noticed the air was really getting smoky again. I’m hoping it’s just because the wind shifted and not because there’s a new fire around us somewhere. This meant the beautiful blue skies were replaced with gray, hazy skies…but the lake was definitely still a stunner!

Because we arrived so early, at 5pm, we had tons of time to wash up down by the lake and do some laundry before making dinner. It’s always so great to be able to actually put our feet in a lake or stream to try and scrub them as much as possible. The trouble is that my feet are the one thing that hurt the most right now, and have been hurting for probably the last month. They are super sensitive, so trying to walk barefoot on rocks in order to get into the lake is rough to say the least. One would think I was walking on broken glass instead of a smooth rock! In the mornings, it takes about a mile or so to warm them up, then they actually feel pretty good…until I step incorrectly on one of those baseball sized rocks that are all over the trail 😡 I think maybe they’re just pretty tired of being walked on day after day.

I do like that Washington has privys at many of their frequented campsites. This seems to be working because I haven’t seen any turds or toilet paper very often. 👍

We had run out of our chicken that we had dehydrated at home, so we had started using some freeze dried chicken that we had ordered. It’s FANTASTIC! It’s all white meat chunks instead of our dehydrated shredded chicken (we always have to shred the chicken in order to help it dehydrate faster). It seems more hearty, plus we don’t have to start reconstituting it during lunch since that happens right away in the boiling water when we cook the rest of the meal. We added this freeze dried chicken to our Knorr cheese and broccoli pasta and it was delicious. We’ve also been adding Parmesan cheese to almost every meal…great for flavor and calories! After dinner, the Canada Jay birds were getting very bold and gutsy. This guy was WAY too late…that bowl was already licked clean by ME!

I was hoping for some beautiful sunset colors, but I think there was just too much smoke in the air…maybe tomorrow. I’m really hoping the air is a little cleaner when we wake up because breathing the smoky air is definitely not the best feeling. Thanks for following along with us whether there are stunning views or not 😜 DoubleDown