Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 119-122 - Climbing Into Washington

I slept in a bit Thursday morning, took my time packing and had lunch before leaving Cascade Locks. I knew it was going to be hot again, but decided to make a noon start anyway. After crossing the Bridge of the Gods the trail winds through some clear cut areas, making for a fairly ugly entrance to Washington. They didn't last long though and soon I was back in the trees.

I unzipped my pant legs to cool off a bit and promptly brushed up against some nettles less than a minute later. I had even seen them along the trail for quite a ways before that. The legs went right back on. My timing with removing them has been miserable; I burned my legs in a couple hours in Southern California the first time I took them off, left them on all the way to Northern California, unzipped them one hot day and got stung in each leg by two bees within an hour. I survived much of Oregon without them though. I had to have mom patch them at Odell Lake; I tend to tear up the inside of the ankles and they looked pretty beat up.

Friday was hot as well. Fortunately there was a big creek about 10 miles in that I laid in to cool off. I stopped by another later for dinner and got a few miles up a hill before stopping for the night. I'd been debating whether to do 20 or 25 miles per day before going home for Rachel's wedding. Doing 20 would get me to White Pass, 25 to a highway 30 miles closer to Canada before my break. The heat, sore feet and my super comfortable air matress have settled me on 20.

Saturday was cooler, quite nice actually, and overcast. You could count the number of cloudy days I've had on this trip without taking off your shoes. I stopped at a campground next to a road and was eating at a picnic table when a few raindrops started falling. It was barely raining here and there for an hour or so. That evening I stopped at a very shallow lake, one of several in an area. I saw a bunch of other people out camping, probably just for the weekend.

The sky was clear when I went to bed but around 1 am I woke to booming thunder. I made sure my stuff was all put away and zipped up my tent, I'll leave it open some nights for a breeze. It started raining shortly after. It wasn't heavy and let off quickly, starting up again around 3:00. By morning it was clear again.

Sunday was sunny but all shaded by big trees, and not hot, though going uphill still soaks my shirt with sweat. Must just be pretty humid. I saw a bunch of people out picking huckleberries in one open area. No thorns to fight through but I'll still take blackberries anyday. Looks like lots of climbing the next couple days.


  1. Idea for pants designers -- include a second pair of zip-off pants legs. Then when the first pair gets torn and ragged you can zip on a new set :). Hey, maybe I should market that clever idea.

  2. Come on, I made it our whole trip with only capris! :P Oh wait... I did less than 2% of the trail...