Monday, August 23, 2010

Out of the Tunnel

Day 132-August 23rd
Destination: MM 2258ish
Miles: 20.5
Cumulative Miles: 1934.5

Things work out on the trail. They always do. Ask any thru-hiker. This morning, when we discovered that the two trail angels in Trout Lake were out of town (one on a long drive for another thru-hiker), we had resigned ourselves to hitching. While grabbing a coffee at an espresso stand near a gas station, we were offered a ride back to the trail by a retired forest firefighter. It's a small bit of magic, but appreciated to the maximum, as hitching has never been fun despite the "fantastic" experiences we've had with it.

Back to the trail by 11am.

The Gray that lingered for our first three days of Washington was gone this morning. Our hike was under a blue sky, and we emerged from the seemingly endless green tunnel which had sucked the joy out of hiking. And what splendid sights were to be had as we climbed into the Mt. Adams wilderness.

The heavily glaciated Mt. Adams stood as a constant backdrop to the majority of today's hike. Psycho told Apricots the old lore of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams vying for the love of Mt. St. Helens. In a fit of rage, Hood smashed his fist on Adams. This is why the top of Adams is rounded rather than pointy. Apricots added that this kind of behavior caused Mt. St. Helens to "flip her lid" back in 1980.

When we had our backs to the mountain, we had an expansive clear view towards Mt. Rainier, and Mt. St. Helens. If the distant views of the other Cascade mountains became too much for us, we had many lupines, indian paintbrushes, and other wild flowers to look upon.

The blue gray basalt highlighted the tips of the lupines abundant throughout our day. Several small streams, glacial melt, wandered almost aimlessly through lush green meadows. Most stream crossings were done with a few rock hops, or a bridge. We did meet with one rather shallow but wide flowing stream that required us to take off our boots. The glacial water was fiercely cold, and our feet hurt after crossing. Yet once we donned our boots, they felt so refreshed, as if the last 15 miles were only 5.

Wandering off the mountain side, we dropped through a forest arriving at a lava flow with a spring percolating out of the lava rock. Crystal clear clean water for drinking. No mud or muck. We set up camp not long after sunset at this spring.

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1 comment:

  1. Ah again bless the Trail Angels and the good souls out there that have lent a hand when you all needed it. The mountains sound gorgeous and the tale of the history interesting.

    Journey on with blessings of safety xo