Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oct 4th - Day 135, and the last 100 miles

It's day 135 and it still amazes me that I find something new and exciting each new day of this fantastic adventure. Today was another day filled with views and new sights. Camp was warmer last night. Must be the lower elevation and warmer air trapped in this valley. Had the sounds of the waterfalls all night. Glad I camped in this small niche last night because there was nothing close to flat for miles until you made the top of the switchbacks.

Lots ov blowdowns, some I even had to push my pack ahead and crawl through. As I climbed higher it got much colder. The ground under my feet was solidly frozen. Great views through the trees of the snow covered alpine zone from yesterday. I thought I would breakout above the trees for a good picture but the trail turned and crossed an open grassy knoll that blocked the view south.

Crossing the east fork of the Milk Creek was a little tricky with all the rocks coated with ice. Saw what I think was mountain lion or cougar tracks frozen into the trail. An amazing number of mountains surround me but the view is very hazy.

When I dropped down to cross the Suiattle River I had a big decision to make. Take the old abandoned PCT with the famous scary log crossing that has been used since the flood destroyed the bridge; or take the official new section that adds five more miles and has a brand new bridge. Part of me wanted to test my nerve on the log bridge but the purist in me wanted to stay on the official PCT. Given my fear of heights and poor balance, and respect for the amazing amount of trail work done to put in the bridge and approach trails, I took the official route. Glad I did because the new trail passes an amazing section of old growth forest.

Climbing up to Suiattle Pass I passed a number 100 on the ground. Finally dawned on me it's really -100 as in the last 100 miles left before the canadian border. After the pass I dropped down and throw a terminal moraine under the snow fields of Sitting Bull Mtn, and on down to camp at mile 2573.8. Getting cold tonight; definitely below freezing.

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