Left the North Cascades National Park this morning and entered the national forest. At first I was a little disappointed. I expected more from a national park then just a pretty woods trail with limited views; but the national forest made up for it with stunning miles of open ridge-line views.
But first, Rainy Pass where I found trail magic of an orange and a cookie. But wait, that's not all. A day hiker came along and saw the box and said he had some left overs he could add. Put came beers, trail mix, and chocolate. So, a nice Black Butte Porter for brunch along with some dark chocolate. I love this trail! Met Jawbones mom at the pass waiting to resupply her son since he missed the window for the post office.
Next I crossed the 2600 mile mark. Only 60 miles left to the Canadian border. The climb up to Cutthroat Pass was long and made more difficult due to the constant flow of day and weekend hikers. Felt like trying to go up a crowded down elevator. Constantly had to stop to let large groups pass. Then I found out why it was so crowded. The next section, from Cutthroat Pass, over Granite Pass and then over to Methow Pass is absolutely wonderful. Full of wide open ridge lines, long views, and the rocky jagged mountain peaks, some dotted with snow. After hiking miles acros this fantastic landscape I dropped down to Methow River to camp.