Day 139 mile 2593.6 – 2616.8
Elevation: ascent 5,237 ft, descent 3,929 ft
Well it rained off and on for about half of the night. No down pours, but enough to make everything wet. This had us imagining that we would have even bluer skies and better views for today’s hike. The other thing that happened last night was I woke up to some large branches breaking around camp. Normally this would have had my imagination running, but I have become so comfortable out here that stuff like that doesn’t bother me much anymore. I rolled in the tent to make some noise letting what ever it was know we were there. Both Zach G and I think it was a bear cruising around looking for grubs to eat, as we found some over turned rocks when we looked in the morning.
The tent was still pretty wet this morning so we may have to dry it out later if we find some sunshine. We find that getting camp set up or broken down with Zach G around is taking longer because we find ourselves chatting and laughing a lot. We left camp around 7:00 with a goal of about 23 miles in mind today. It was definitely cool this morning, with all of the dampness still in the air. The only thing that helped was that we had about a 3 1/2 mile climb to start the day. That will get the body temps up for sure.
To our dismay, as we emerged from the trees, the sky was not blue like we had imagined it. Instead, the grey haze from the smoke was back. How could this be!! We just had blue skies yesterday and it rained again last night. Ugh!! This means 8 out of our last 9 days of hiking will be a smokey haze. Such a bummer to finish this amazing trip this way. It seems the wind shifted back to blowing in from the east which must have brought the smoke back with it.
Around mid morning we passed the 2,600 mile marker. Neither Double Down or I saw a marker so we stopped and made one ourselves! This will be the last big milestone before we hit the terminus.
All day today we could see mountains capped with snow just across the valley, but even those were too hazy to get good pictures of. We used our imagination a lot, trying to picture how beautiful it would be with clear skies. At least in my head it was living up to the hype. Too bad it wasn’t that way in person.
The one thing that helped make up for our lack of views today, was the fall colors that are really popping out. The deep reds and bright yellows along with the evergreen trees were so pretty!! I was talking to Double Down about how we have seen all four seasons on this trip. We had snow in the desert, wildflowers, green meadows and now fall colors. What an amazing trip it’s been!!
We had lunch at Methow River and were joined by Zach G, Sparkles and Wooter again. Sounds like we are all going to try and get to the terminus on Friday. The current forecast is cold and rainy, which we are all hoping changes by then.
After lunch we had the biggest climb of the day (of course)! The 6 mile climb seemed to have countless switchbacks. Without the surrounding views it feels like time is at a standstill. We are just staring at the trail, which doesn’t help time or miles go by any faster, that’s for sure. I’m really trying to take in the last few days and make sure I enjoy this, but it’s hard when your legs are protesting every step and I feel like I’m missing out on the beauty around me. I would definitely consider coming back to this area in the future to hike, as I do think it would be spectacular without all of the smoke in the air.
We got to camp early, 5:30 which gave us some extra time to sit around and relax. Double Down went to get water from the spring, which is unfortunately down a steep hill. While she did that I set up the tent, which I will only do one more time this trip. After having dinner, I sat down with Double Down to talk about the PCT and have her answer a few questions people had asked.
We hope you enjoy these last few days with us on the trail!! It has been an incredible journey. Link