We got up late again as usual, packed up the tent and then sat down to have our breakfast. T-Bone came to chat with us after he had packed his stuff and then headed out. I hiked out at 8:35, leaving Kristians behind to brush his teeth. I soon caught up with T-Bone as the trail was pretty flat and easy going.
After five easy miles I reached the Panther Creek and waited for others – we needed to fill up to prepare for a longer water carry. We filtered water and rested our feet for 10 minutes but then it was time to start the uphill section of the day. It was of course already hot and humid and the trail stayed strictly in the green forest – no views for us! Well, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway, the smoke from forest fires seemed to hide all the mountains anyway.
After many hours, 16,3 miles and ascent (which a podcast helped me through) I finally got to our lunchspot at a tentsite by a small stream. Coconut, Tomb Raider and Kristians were all there but the first two managed to leave just before T-Bone arrived. He had been having problems with his feet again, as usual, so we just took it easy and waited for him. We had a long relaxing lunchbreak – we deserved it. I even had a short nap!
T-Bone and I hiked out together and talked the whole way – time flies like that and the uphill doesn’t feel that bad! But we were looking forward to sonething – T-Bone’s friend Lene had been hiking southbound from the Canadian border since the beginning of July and today was going to be the day they were going to meet! And soon enough we caught up with Kristians who was already talking to Lene. I said hi, too, but Lene and T-Bone had so much to discuss that we then left them alone and hiked on.
There was still lots of uphill ahead, all of it in the green corridor. My feet were painful (wearing in the new shoes!) and tired and I also had some chafing, which just makes it all the worse. Thankfully podcasts get me through these 4 gruelling hours of heat, humidity and ascent. I passed the Sheep and Green Lakes before finally reaching Blue Lake – our destination for the day.
It took me a while but I finally found where Kristians had set up camp – on top of a small hill. We started dinner just as it got dark and soon we saw a headlamp approaching: it was T-Bone, we hoped. We flashed our headlamps to send a sign of our location and soon enough he walked up the hill to us. After he set up his tent he joined us for a late night dinner and we exchanged the day’s emotions and adventures. Another long day of 27 miles well hiked.
Today we were planning to hike into Trout Lake of resupply and thus got up at 6:30 like normal people. We had 24 miles to walk and 950 meters to ascend.
Most of the day was again spent in the forest but there were some meadows and views here and there. The terrain was not too hard and the elevation gain was nicely spread out. We passed a bunch of lakes and ponds on our way to the lunchspot at Mosquito Creek, which was at 12 miles.
Another thing that made me pretty slow that day were all the huckleberries around! We saw people picking them and there really were a lot. We also met up with and passed Coconut and Tomb Raider by a road crossing. After crossing some roads I reached a green blossoming meadow and could hear the stream – Kristians was already there, eating some berries. Coconut and Tomb Raider soon arrived too but didn’t stay for long.
Kristians and I relaxed and had lunch while another hiker arrived – an older guy from a group of three, who was going to wait for his friends. We, too, were waiting for our friend T-Bone. And a younger hiker, called Agamemnon, also decided to take a rest break there. All three of the expected people then finally arrived but T-Bone didn’t look good, his feet were really giving him a hard time. He decided that he’d skip Trout Lake and go ahead, doing fewer miles, to recover his feet. He had enough food to make it to White Pass. So Kristians and me hiked on alone.
The second half of the day had some bigger climbs and as usual it was very hot and humid so we were soaking in sweat. First we went downhill until White Salmon River but that was quickly followed by a steep 500m climb, followed by a steep downhill. But after a road crossing I suddenly saw some trail magic: snacks and mandarins!
My feet were already hurting as I took the last downhill, before the road, and as I caught up with another hiker we found more trail magic! This time I took a mueslibar and an apple – what a great day.
As I reached the road Kristians was already waiting for me so we hiked a bit down the road and caught up with Tomb Raider, Coconut and Agamemnon. They had already called a local trail angel called Doug so all we had to do was wait for the ride. Doug came soon and we got in the car, two of us in the back of the truck. Doug told us a lot about Trout Lake – they don’t have a sheriff, for example. He showed us the river and the town as we drove through the small town and he finally dropped us off by the general store.
Right away a lady welcomed us with open arms, showed us around and told us where to get food. We dropped off our bags and then went to get some dinner at the restaurant. The service was very slow and portions small but we can’t really complain in a small town like that. As we were eating T-Bone arrived – he didn’t plan to come but there was a car waiting for hikers when he got to the road crossing. I was at least super happy to see him!
Next up we had to find accommodation: the general store allowed for camping behind the store but they were already full so we called Doug again. He said if we can’t find anything else then we could camp by the church and he’d unlock the house with bathrooms – and that he did. Thanks to Doug and the General Store the six of us enjoyed our stay in Trout Lake very much!
We had a lazy morning – got up at 9, packed up and went to the general store. We bought some stuff for breakfast and I worked on the blog for a bit. Everyone was finally ready to leave around noon and so we called some trail angels and asked whether they could drop us off at the trailhead – the last person on the list could!
MJ picked us up and we met her awesomely cute dog Fiona, too. The ride to the trailhead went fast and we said goodbye to MJ and Fiona. We hiked 0.1 miles to a river and filled up our bottles with cold, clear water. We had 12 miles ahead of us as we planned to reach the Lewis River for the evening.
The hike was amazing – not only was it relatively easy we were also surprised by amazing views of Mt Adams volcano! Despite the burned forests we could still enjoy it and there were also lots of huckleberries and tens of streamcrossings. It really started to feel like we were getting to North Cascades. The hike was 8 miles gradually uphill but it went easy due to the beauty, which also seemed to be attracting a lot of dayhikers and weekend warriors.
At one point I passed two ladies having a rest and they were giving out some trail magic to the PCT hikers – I got an apple! This made me forget about my aching feet and finally at 17 I got to camp, where Kristians had already set up camp. We went to wash ourselves in the stream and collected some water for dinner. T-Bone and Agamemnon soon arrived and set up camp too. Coconut and Tomb Raider decided to hike further on but we were pleased with our campsite – one of the best ones we had had on the whole trail! There were also five others camped next to us but we didn’t really mingle. The evening ended with a great sunset, colouring the glacier on Mt Adams golden.