Mile reached: 2269.4 (+34.9 + 0.1 bonus)
High: The meadows around Mount Adams were exceptionally beautiful, and there was even sunlight.
Low: It was cold, and the wind was wet.
With almost German precision despite being a Britt, “Red Cross” woke up at 4:30 am and was gone by 5. The brief rustling woke me up, but I happily fell back asleep. Even an hour later I couldn’t be bothered to get moving when “Gandalf” packed up. It also didn’t help that his advice for me was to not get out of my tent, because he was wet and cold. And unlike him I didn’t even have a puffy to hike in! However, within a half hour I reluctantly got going and packed up my dripping wet tent.
As advertised, the morning was damp and cold intensified by the fact that the sun was blocked behind Mount Adams. My hands were freezing to the point that I used old socks as gloves to keep them warm. At the top of the climb I got signal and found a text message from “Gandalf”. He had gone a mile the wrong way from a trail junction and expressed both frustration and his disdain for Washington. So, I waited at the trail junction, but it didn’t take long for him to make it back to the PCT.
Near Mount Adams the low lying clouds seemed to break, and we were treated to phenomenal vistas. It quickly shaped up into being one of the most beautiful days on trail since California. Tragically, the damp weather returned as we descended from Adams’ northern slopes. After lunch we even had a lengthy water carry, but it was relatively easy since it was cold and the humidity was high.
As the afternoon drew on, we began to approach the Goat Rocks, which is regularly regarded as one of the most beautiful sections of the trail. However, there were so many clouds that we worried that we might not be able to see anything when we passed through the following day. Regardless, we still had some pleasant open views. More importantly, the sun occasionally peaked through, and we were able to bask in its warmth.
Next to a small stream on the side of the trail I had to wait a while for “Gandalf” to catch up, because we hadn’t agreed on a campsite for the night. So, I was pretty cold when he finally showed up. The decision was to keep going until I found an acceptable site in the next few miles. After passing on a small site next to a creek, we reached a little lake that had plenty of sheltering pine trees. This was deemed good enough, and we mildly encroached on some weekend backpackers’ site for the evening.