Thursday, September 15, 2016

Day 9- Entering Glacier Peaks Wilderness

Day 9- Entering Glacier Peaks Wilderness, Washington Section K
Wenatchee Pass (2479) to 2497

Thru hikers that pass us are focused on miles and have goals like 10 miles before 10 AM.  But we have our own goals. Crossing over scree and boulder fields, we count 10 unique pikas calling "eep" before 10 AM and decide we are on track for being observant for the day. 

Yesterday Anish was telling us how the pika are declining. Global warming threatens them and they have a narrow habitat range. Pika here seem more plentiful compared to Montana (ie Glacier National Park where I did a few pika surveys) but its sad to think of what it must have been like when their numbers were healthier.

Clouds are all the move all day but no rain. Sometimes the clouds are low and obscure views and sometimes the breathtaking snow-capped peaks are visible. 
Skies that are the scenic feature of the day
 Jan missed the sun and when a rare sunbeam touches down on a bridge, she basks in the glow.
Jan stands in a rare sunbeam
 The trail climbs today into the high country. Heath thickets, windswept dwarf trees and grassy meadows that remind me of the balds in the southern Appalachians. 

Today is a day for meeting women of the PCT. A mother and daughter, college-aged team, and a 70 year old lady and her friend-- after seeing mostly men, it was great meeting strong women here!

The cold temperatures and looming clouds didn't stop me for reaching my swimming goal for the day. Lake Sally Ann was just too gorgeous to resist! Timing the swim for the warmest part of the day, being quick to change, and hiking with extra warm clothes afterwards are secrets to swimming success.
Achieving my swimming goals- this is what makes my hike a success, not miles hiked per day, but how much I savor the miles I do hike
Fog is rolling over the mountains and temperatures are dropping tonight. The last weather forecast called for rain tonight. I'm tucked into a sheltered spot in the trees yet I'm really nervous for some reason. What if It rains and I get wet and cold? What if it snows? I tell Jan that I'm nervous and she gives me a hug. 
Some of the best hang sites are found just a short walk for established tent sites.  Jan camped in an open site while I was sheltered in this thick grove of trees that kept me warm and sheltered from the rain
 Tonight I will lay in my hammock early since its too cold outside. I watch the thoughts float like fog through my brain. The nervous thoughts swirl and sometimes obscure the joyful peaceful calm center, but hopefully I can watch as they lift and bask in rays of sun that shine through.


  1. A few weeks back I hiked around Mt Adams and met a bunch of PCT hikers who were up early, hustling. The first two were actually jogging. With giant packs. Most seemed grim, though smiling, in a strained sort of way.

    Rejoice in the eeps. It's the right way to go.

    I just finished a three-night loop in the very topmost tippety-top of the Mt St Helens monument (Goat Creek Trail / Deadmans Lake / Green River / Vanson Lake) and had one swell time, I tell you. Especially on the third day, when I emitted a plenitude of my own happy eeps, sitting in bright hot cloudless sun beside a flawless micro-stream at Vanson Lake while watching dragonflies fly and swimming newts swim. With no bugs neither.

    Marvelous area. No one else at the lake that night: joy.

    I'll keep your posts handy if I come back to the U.S. later, aimed at taking in part of the PCT.

    Interesting: "Breaking the PCT Speed Record" I.e., 35 years. ( Srsly.

    1. I'm glad you get it too. Wow- swimming newts I'll be on the lookout.

      35 years- now that's an inspiring "record" for a lifetime of worthwhile hiking.

  2. +1 for Lake Sally Ann. It's never been warm enough for me to think about swimming there, though. Maybe I need to hike it in early August...