I first hiked the Pacific Crest Trail over the course of 1994 and 1996, then I hiked the whole thing in one go in 2013. During the latter hike I kept this website updated as I progressed up the trail. I still have about 45 hours of video to edit, but in the meantime there is a lot for you to look at here. Over the course of the 168 days I wrote 138,734 words and put 13,644 photos on this website.
We spent the morning taking photos of the sunrise, having a 2nd breakfast along with 2nd coffee. A few thru hikers went over the pass and we giggled a bit. I say this because they didn't even stop, just kept on walking. I have done that before in the Sierras, but man...this is one of the best spots in Washington.
I saw RWE ripping the fire ring apart so I went up and helped her. I see I am not the only one doing this.
After we left I realized we had spent about 14 hours up at the pass. Time well spent.
The trail passed a washout that wasn't that big. I had heard a bunch about it but this didn't seem to be that big of a deal. I heard a couple stories about UB playing Tarzan by swinging on a rope over the washout. When we got there I realized how the game of telephone among hikers can trump reality. It was just a small washout and the Tarzan rope was just a piece of cord. You could get over the washout without the cord but it helped. (edit: I have since learned/remembered that the bigger washout is further up the trail near the border)
We spent some time down at the Milk Creek Bridge. The bridge that I crossed in 1994 was washed away and they built a new one, which added about a mile to the trail. I wanted to see if the pylons from the old bridge were still there. The old PCT was pretty overgrown with what looked to be poison oak, so I decided against it.
A thru hiker named Frank (trail name, real name is Greg) came by and we talked a bit. Gabe took off up the hill and I soon followed. I ran into Gabe again stopped in the middle of the trail. "Come here", he said. I went up to where he was standing and suddenly the hot day became about 20 degrees colder. A whole bunch of cold air was blasting out of this nearby cave.
It was a really long climb out of the canyon...and really hot too. Suddenly it felt like Southern California all over again.
Got to the top and it was pretty open. Some clouds were rolling in, good thing I was able to pump a bunch of juice into my phone at the Milk Creek Bridge.
We got water thinking we might camp at the Dolly Vista Camp. After reaching the camp we saw a ziplock bag sitting on the ground with a note inside. "It can't be..." I thought. Sure enough, it was a note saying there were wasps in the nearby toilet. That would have been an unfortunate thing to discover.
The views from the camp were kind of alright, but nothing worth ending the day early on. The sound of bees in the air didn't help either. We dumped our extra water and started down to the Suiattle River.
The trail dropped and dropped. I took my time taking photos. There were people camped at Vista Camp which wasn't a big deal since Gabe and I felt like hiking until dark. Right at dark we got to where the now-old PCT was. Taking the old route was 4.8 miles shorter, but you had to cross on a log and the trail was a bit overgrown. This was the only route for years until they rebuilt the bridge in 2011. There were a couple lackluster campspots there. Since it was getting dark and might rain, I wanted to stop. The forest is really dark and I didn't want to try and find a campspot in the dark, let alone the rain. Gabe thought the same way so we made camp. Gabe remarked at how he maybe didn't like camping down in the forest after all.
As we were eating dinner I told Gabe how I was looking at the design of the rainfly on my tent and how every single time now I hear that woman from a few days ago say "Ohh, your tent issue sounds like operator error to me". Argh.
I ended up making a second dinner and just as I finished I felt a few raindrops. Those few became more and more to the point where we both grabbed our stuff and ran for our tents. "Alright! See you in the morning!". It reminded me of the scene in National Lampoon's Vacation where they are driving through East St. Louis. Things are all nice and calm until they hear the gunshots. "Roll 'em up!", Chevy Chase says.
The lightning started soon after, to which thunder followed. A couple of the thunderclaps were very loud. It is a good thing we didn't try and camp on top. Fire Creek Pass must be a huge nasty mess right now.
Night night and boom boom!