Author Topic: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done  (Read 575 times)

Brad Young

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The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« on: August 12, 2021, 04:09:11 PM »
We closed the distance to the Canadian border on this trip, but, unfortunately, circumstances stopped us from doing all the milage we’d hoped for.

But first the preliminaries.

Last year’s last report included this phrase about the long drive north:

“This time we broke it into two days (staying in Medford - but next time maybe we'll go to Eugene, the University of Oregon town that we're already becoming fond of)."

Sure enough, that's what worked on the way up this trip. It's certainly a longer drive to Eugene, but that meant that the second day's drive was that much shorter. Plus, Tricia's a Eugene veteran now. She knew just the right pizza place for dinner (I'm pretty much the opposite of an epicurean and it takes a lot for me to recognize unusually good pizza like I did here). We visited "Duck's Village," where she'll be living next school year.

And we made the drive out to Dexter Reservoir, about 30 minutes from campus. That's where the University of Oregon has its rowing facility. Lowell State Park and Dexter Reservoir:




We joked with Tricia that this was the first time she'd driven there in daylight (and it may have been; practice starts at 6:00 a.m. - imagine a college student voluntarily getting up at 4:30 every morning!).

The University of Oregon's boat shed (it's very slender on this end, but also quite long):




Their dock:







And the dock during the season:




This was a really fun side trip. One that helped me realize that yes, Tricia is living her own life up there, as an adult, very capable and on her own. It's a proud feeling.

On day two we arrived at our staging point, the one and only MISTER MUD's house (thanks again for giving us a place to regroup!):










And, finally, to the Mud Master who whined this way on the last trip report: "I hope Mr Mud fixes his roof before winter:" look carefully at this photo. Note the gorgeous new roof? It seems that it is his business to make your every hope and dream come true.



Brad Young

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2021, 04:49:24 PM »
Day One:

We started this trip with a few worries. As for me, I injured my knee two months ago in a fall through snow while getting to a cliff. It’s recovered, but it took fully six weeks before I was able to use it fairly normally. So, to say the least, I was out of condition when we started hiking. For her part, Tricia’s rowing hasn’t conditioned her to hiking. She did co-lead a group of 11 twelve year old girls on their first backpacking trip ever (she’s now, at age 19, a trip leader at Girl Scout Camp Two Sentinels), but their longest hike in any day was five miles. More critically, Tricia’s had a lingering low back pain and stomach/digestive issues. She was game to make some miles, but worried about eating trail foods and about her back.

So we both felt at least a little out of shape. But off we went.

We started with full packs and 800 feet of uphill. In some of the most humid conditions I’ve experienced in the western part of our country:







We felt the hot hike up to the PCT at Union Gap:




Even more we felt the flies. That’s right, flies, not mosquitos. In all the time I’ve spent outdoors I’ve never experienced flies like this. Swarming, biting, persistent bastards. They made the mere act of resting miserable.

So we kept on, starting with forest marching for a few miles, past a cascade to Lake Janus:













Skies were smokey and so the view of this area’s “biggie,” Glacier Peak, was fairly obscure today (interesting that this huge peak is not visible from any major road):







After the tough first miles we enjoyed some ridge hiking on gorgeous terrain (the third shot is down to oddly named Glasses Lake):










Toward the end of the day our view of the peak was clearer:







Moving past Grizzly Peak we noticed that the skies were turning grey (from clouds, not smoke):




Finally it started to sprinkle (lightly, off and on). At 5:00, we reached Wenatchee Pass, a mile and a half before our intended end point at Pear Lake. By this point the skies weren't grey, they were black. We had another big uphill to the lake and the thought of that climb and the additional mile and a half was too much. Tricia suggested maybe staying for the night at Wenatchee Pass. It had an adequate flat spot, but what about water? Tricia dropped her pack and looked around. She found both a much nicer camp site and, nearby, water. We decided to cut the day short.

I got water while Tricia set up the tent. It started to sprinkle (now non-stop). We got in the tent and gathered our packs and gear up under the tent vestibule. And then it began to pound. Sheets of rain were falling, and, within a few minutes, lightening and thunder. Nice call on stopping here "T!"

Water ran in streams around the tent while we stayed dry and comfortable. The lightning continued, as did thunder. It all seemed to get closer until one massive flash was followed less than half a second later by huge pounding rolls of thunder. These rolls were so massive that we physically felt them! Hard. I thought to myself: "wow, that was certainly close... and man am I glad I'm not still hiking to Pear Lake! Really, really nice call Tricia!"

Although we were safe and dry, the downside was our girl Halifax, who was terrified. I don't know that I've ever seen a dog's eyes so big. All we could do was keep her between us in the tent and comfort her. It seemed to work, and after 20 minutes the lightning and thunder started to move off to the east.

We spent a not-wet, slightly damp, and mostly comfortable night.




JC w KC redux

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2021, 05:27:25 PM »


Nice start.
Lord of the Flies, Mud's tin roof not rusted and Dexter Lake.
Good place to roast some Piggy (musta lost his glasses at the lake) and keep an eye out for a killer of serial killer.

mungeclimber

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2021, 07:11:45 PM »
Vol 41 has arrived.

Legit.
On Aid at Pinns... It's all A1 til it crumbles. - Munge

F4?

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2021, 07:38:01 AM »
Nice job Brad.

Flies, ugh can’t get worse. Ticks maybe, but flies are nasty.

Glad to hear mr mud got the new roof on and he looks healthy.

I'm not worthy.

Brad Young

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2021, 08:29:28 AM »
Day Two:

Here’s the damp tent on the morning of day two:




The rain had stopped overnight and left in its absence a huge advantage: we had wonderfully clear skies:







We did some cruising on a ridge crest:




And then easily reached Pear Lake:







Glacier Peak was closer and easier to see:







More hiking up high:







Not all the hiking was in forest:




We took a break up high, in the shade at PCT mile 2,484 (that's 2,484 continuous miles hiked since the Mexican border):




The flies weren’t nearly so bad up at the higher elevation, but they’d been biting through to Tricia’s shoulder:




Long vistas to the west:




We came around one corner in the trail and saw… our old friend Mount Rainier, now far to the south. Wow, that mountain is still BIG:







Views north to Glacier Peak:




Mostly open and viewful hiking now:




After a long descent, we took a break at Pass Creek. We had water here, but the flies were back with a vengeance (this was the last place they were at all bad):







More progress, still up high on one of the crests of the northern Cascades:










We started a traverse across the east side of Skykomish Peak, closing in now on the afternoon’s goal, Lake SallyAnn:










This part of the Cascades is gorgeous in the right weather (and we definitely had that):










Hiking as we were on the east-facing slopes below Skykomish Peak, it didn’t seem possible for any size lake to be ahead of us. But we came around a bend and, sure enough, a beautiful Lake SallyAnn:







We arrived with plenty of sun in warm conditions. Oh, but the water? Fresh snow melt. Not warm:







A little, tree-sheltered hill top 250 feet off the lake provided the perfect camp site. Shade, shelter from any wind, and wonderful views (and very few bugs):













Tired and happy:




And the “chef” at work on dinner:




All in all, this was one of the great days. Perfect weather, perfect views and an ideal camp site in wonderful conditions.


Brad Young

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2021, 02:02:35 PM »
Day Three:

Our third day matched the quality of day two (at least). Starting with sunrise next to one of many, many Cascades peaks that I do not know:







We had excellent views (but still shaded in the morning) all around. Glacier Peak:




Looking to the northwest:




Our first uphill of the day was onto Wards Pass. Easy and cool:







More and more Cascades peaks to the southeast:




And then fairly level, very open trail toward Kodiak Peak:










Our jaws dropped when we got a perfect, long-distance view of White Mountain and White Pass (note the green, green ridge extending away from the point of view and from right to left - it culminates in White Mountain and the pass is just toward us from that). These were nearly 10 trail miles from us. We intended to leave the PCT for this trip half a mile beyond White Pass:







Hallie gets a little crazy whenever we take her pack off:




And we’ve got to figure out a way of controlling her around marmots. Even with her pack on she’d go sprinting off at them with seemingly no ability to even hear me screaming at her to “come” (and I’m not talking about her even obeying - she wouldn’t even flinch as we yelled at her - as if her hearing had literally been switched off). She’d get as much as 200 yards from us, totally oblivious to our yelling (see her just up and right of center in this shot - running like the wind… damn dog):




Around the south side of Kodiak Peak:




Looking back south toward Skykomish Peak:




And over to Cady Ridge:




Rounding Kodiak Peak to enter the Glacier Peak Wilderness:










The descent to Indian Pass (note up and left of center the long, green ridge leading to White Peak and White Pass):




After Indian Pass we climbed up onto that long, green ridge. During the climb we got a straight-on view of the North Fork Sauk River canyon (which would be our end point this evening):







Sappy, early-season cones:




A female grouse tried to lure us away from her chicks:







Nearing the long, green ridge to White Pass (at Reflection Pond):







She’s a pretty cool dog:




Last two miles to White Pass:













Attitude at altitude:




We took a sit down break at White Pass. I got going before Tricia and, after a few hundred feet turned around and took this shot:




Later (off trail) I realized that I had replicated nearly perfectly the photo on the August page of the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s 2021 calendar (here's a photo of that photo):




Gorgeous and open traversing led to the trail junction where we’d leave the PCT for a 3 1/2 mile, 3,000 foot, knee-pounding descent on the North Fork Sauk River Trail:







Another perfect day on this wonderful trail ended at a nice, almost bug-free camp on the North Fork Sauk River:












JC w KC redux

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2021, 02:18:25 PM »

I enjoyed the views on Day 3 but on day 2 - Geezus...MY EYES!

I'd rather see clink in a bubble bath...


Brad Young

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2021, 03:20:37 PM »
^^^

Perish the mere thought. Yuck.

I swapped what may have been the photo that was soooooo bad for a similar shot that isn't quite as close.

God save the king and queen.


clink

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2021, 04:44:52 PM »
I like Brad's naked pic
Causing trouble when not climbing.

Brad Young

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2021, 05:25:43 PM »
Day Four:

The plan when we started had been to exit on the North Fork Sauk River Trail and then regroup for another trip, this time seven days to North Cascades National Park. Today’s hiking was relatively easy, but Tricia had already realized that she wasn’t able to eat normally and that her low back was killing her. So plans would change.

Early morning in camp:




Easy hiking led 5.5 miles to the trailhead with 1,000 feet of elevation loss:










This is a very lush canyon:




Naturally Vicki was at the trailhead waiting:







And that turned out to be it for this summer. We took the rest of the day off that day and then (as planned) the whole next day. But Tricia wasn’t able to eat much without resultant stomach ache. And her back still hurt (on the last day she didn’t know if she’d be able to continue lifting her pack to put it on).

Maybe a day hike or two would have worked out, but there weren’t any PCT day hikes to be had. The next road we’d cross (or even be near) was over 80 miles by trail in the National Park. This seemed out of the question in her condition. We called it and came home (visiting the Washington coast a bit on the way).

On the up side, we passed PCT trail mile 2,502 just after White Pass and so we’ve got just under 150 miles to the Canadian border. And, maybe, if we get on it next year, PCT through-hikers will be allowed to enter Canada to finish at Manning Park, seven miles past the border (instead of reversing and hiking 30.6 miles back to the nearest trailhead in Washington).

We’ll see.

Tricia’s already got an appointment for next week with a head of Stanford’s gastro-entomology department (we’ve got to figure out what’s affecting her). Then we’ll start working on her back.

Oh, and those flies? The nefarious bastards actually leave scars:




JC w KC redux

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2021, 05:54:18 PM »
I like Brad's naked pic

The internet is forever.
God save us all.

mungeclimber

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2021, 08:13:22 AM »
Hope she feels better soon.

“ gastro-entomology “

Guess it could be a stomach “bug” :)
On Aid at Pinns... It's all A1 til it crumbles. - Munge

waldo

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2021, 07:11:36 PM »
I'm sorry to learn Tricia is troubled by these ailments! I hope all is well with her soon. You two did great under the circumstances. I especially enjoyed your ridge-running photos.
P.S. We have biting flies in this neck of the woods, too. It's best to stay out of the Ventana from July to October.

Brad Young

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2021, 06:29:56 AM »
Yesterday's visit was encouraging. Naturally though it's never figured out with just one visit.


mynameismud

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2021, 08:50:27 AM »
Nice pics,
Those fly's can be thick and relentless. 
Here's to sweat in your eye

Brad Young

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2021, 12:35:02 PM »
^^^

Thanks man!

For the hospitality and the comment about the shots (NOT for the flies).

mynameismud

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Re: The PCT Volume 41: Getting Something Done
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2021, 10:06:41 AM »
Anytime
Here's to sweat in your eye