Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 September - Day 141 - Waking to Ice

From ridgetop campsite above Trap Lake (2463.7) to Stevens Pass/Skykomish (Mile 2476)

Total PCT Miles: 13.7

Sean-o here. Last evening, we hiked up to our first snow/sleet blow of the season. With light running out, we threw down our tents on a ridge 12 miles short of Stevens Pass, laughing and swearing in turns. Our shoes and pants were very wet, as was our rainfly from rain the night before. We got into our sleeping bags as quickly as possible to try to out-sleep the wind and cold.

We woke to a clear morning, though we figured the temps were down in the mid-20s. My shoes were two frozen bricks forcing me to answer the call of nature in stocking feet. I then returned to my sleeping bag, stuck my shoes in a bag, and proceeded to thaw them on my belly. The romance of nature at its most raw! We hunkered down to await the sun rather than try to stuff a whole lot of frozen stuff into frozen backpacks with our frozen fingers.

The view from our campsite. Not bad.
It worked, and by 10 am we were back on the trail hiking down to the pass, joining Freebird and Kate, to resupply at Skykomish and Baring.

Freebird, Seano, Dionysus, Pan, and Thing2.
We didn't even have time to put on our less-smelly town shirts when a super generous section hiker and PCT volunteer from Redmond pulled up and offered us a ride to the Dinsmore's, well-known trail angels in Baring.

We ate a delicious dinner of specialty sandwiches at the town store, cafe, and antique shop (thanks Nancy!) ordered others to go, then showered and set up our tents in the spacious yard while Mrs. D did our laundry. (thanks, Andrea!)

The bunkhouse was full of thru-bees at various stages of disrepair and injury. Zippy has had to leave the trail with a foot injury with less than 250 miles to go. Her hubby is continuing on, bit it's an example of the kind of heartbreak that happens as people try to coax this last push out of these busted up feet. We read that Moonwalker has left the trail. We hear that Big Bird has returned to the UK, also quitting the trail. Many more we hear of -- even while we get news of some buddies of ours finishing at the northern terminus in Canada.

The Dinsmore's was a very cool, friendly place to grab a little rest and camaraderie before we hobble on. They deserve their great rep.

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