Day 133 mile 2479.1 – 2500.7

Elevation: ascent 4,862 ft, descent 4,788 ft


The wind last night continued to blow hard from the east, which seemed to bring in even more smoke today. Both Double Down and I are feeling sad. We are sad because the smoke is limiting our views right as we are entering the North Cascades. This is supposed to be a very scenic area from what we have heard, but we feel like not having the views is impacting our experience here. This however, doesn’t compare to the sadness we are both feeling for those affected by the large fires here on the west coast. People’s homes and lives are so much more important than any view we may or may not see.

The fires that are raging are also destroying so much wilderness and this impacts people’s ability to enjoy nature and see the beauty in this world. This makes us sad to think how long it will take for those forests to recover!!

Now on to today. Somehow we seem to have developed another small leak in our sleeping pad. Neither of us can figure this out because we have been so careful in where we set up and are even using an extra pad underneath it in our tent. The problem we have is that with the days getting shorter and our need to get in so many miles, I don’t have the time to try and use a lake to hopefully find the source of the leak. I will see if I can figure this out once we get to Stehekin for a nero. Until then we just find that we wake up with parts of our body hitting the ground. It hasn’t affected our sleep yet, in part due to us both being pretty tired these days.

We left camp at 6:45 knowing we had another big day of climbing and wanted to make sure we left ourselves with ample time to reach camp at a decent time. As we headed north we could barely see Glacier Peak off in the distance through the smoky haze. This would be a common theme today as we had faint glimpses of Glacier and Kyes Peaks.

Glacier Peak through the haze

We traveled through some pretty meadows and the light through the smoke really brought out some golden glows this morning.

We were heading to Pear Lake for breakfast this morning. When we arrived, at about 8:45, we found the campsites empty. So we had the lake all to ourselves! We sat on a rock at the edge of the lake enjoying breakfast and used it to fill up our water bottles as our next source was about 6 miles up trail.

Pear Lake

After leaving Pear Lake we started to run into many more section hikers. Seems that the section from Rainy Pass to Stevens Pass is pretty popular. That was easy to see why from what we saw today. The ups and downs today weren’t nearly as steep or rocky which helped make the hiking a little easier on our feet and legs. I needed to stop at Pass Creek for more water. I was feeling a bit dehydrated today, so I was on a quest to drink more today. While at the creek I caught Double Down a cute little frog. During our break Double Down also busted out some Oreos for a snack. Yummy!!

Our goal was to try and get to Sallie Ann Lake for lunch which was at about 14 miles into the day. On our way there we met the nicest couple out backpacking with their sweet 6 month old Golden Retriever, Willy. We both got to get some of our dog fix in, as we are really missing our dog Mikey at home. Between the chatting with other hikers, petting Willy and trying to get pictures up for the blog we didn’t get to Sallie Ann Lake until 2:45. Oh yeah, while trying to get some pictures uploaded and while taking to our daughter my legs got attacked by a bunch of biting black flies. I’m normally pretty patient and bugs don’t really bug me, no pun intended, but they put me over the edge. I think being tired and hungry probably had something to do with it. So I wasn’t the most pleasant hiking partner for Double Down until we got to lunch.

Sallie Ann Lake wasn’t big but the fall colors around it and the amount of fish jumping made for a relaxing lunch break. After getting some food into my belly I came back around and returned to my normal self.

Sallie Ann Lake

The afternoon had us walking along a lot of ridges. We could tell the views would have been spectacular without the smoke, but we were still able to see the beauty in the area. We are getting closer and closer to Glacier Peak, so our views are getting a little clearer. The one thing that really popped out today was the deep reds and purples of the blueberry bushes and other shrubs. This made for fantastic vistas around every turn.

We did hit a pretty big milestone today. Right before camp we got to the 2,500 mile mark for the trail. Wow, I can’t believe we have actually hiked this far since March and it also means we only have 153 miles to go. DANG!!

We arrived at Reflection Pond a little after six and the Pond definitely lived up to its name. The one thing about this campsite which we haven’t had issues with lately was dealing with bugs. We had an increase in mosquitoes and the biting black flies were here as well. It wasn’t so bad once we got cleaned up and got our sleeping clothes on though.

This afternoon and evening the winds have died down, which will hopefully help the firefighters get better control of the fires here. We are hoping for maybe some clearer skies tomorrow!!

Thanks so much for following us on this amazing journey! Link