Day 100 – Near walupt creek to hogback ridge
July 29 | NOBO Miles 2269.2-2290.5
I woke with stoke, because today I would finally get to see Goat Rocks. I was out by 7:30 to get some climbing done before the sun had its way with me.
Behind me, Adams receded into the distance as I climbed through lush grassy meadowland.
Near Cispus Pass, the trail was buzzing with activity. The traffic jam was a bit overwhelming. Clearly I was entering the promised land.
I then dipped into a green valley littered with stunning waterfalls. Past the southbound traffic, I could relax and soak in the tremendous views.
Next I began to climb through an exposed, rocky basin where I ran into an old friend… snow. I stomped aggressively on the remaining patches of the white stuff in hopes that it would just get lost already.
At one junction, I stopped to eat my oatmeal and admire the open expanse that lay before me. A group of 8 day hikers clad in shiny Lululemon pants approached, their overstuffed packs exploding with luxury items, camp chairs and Crocs dangling from carabiners and swinging as they walked. Exhausted, they dropped their bags and tried their best to find sitting spots where they wouldn’t get dirt on their butts as they side-eyed me wolfing down cold oats from my Talenti jar in the dust like a wild animal. They watched, slightly disgusted, as I rinsed out the jar and drank the oaty dishwater. Satisfied, I took my cue to continue onwards.
Every step brought more amazement. God is good.
I pranced through the snow smugly as I crossed paths with some SOBOs taking gingerly steps through the pre-cut footpath. With a bit of envy I realized this was probably some of the only snow they would see on their whole journey.
Cresting Old Snowy, I ran into a crowd of folks–some thruhikers, some weekenders. I had fun chatting with a woman from Seattle who had trekked the Annapurna Circuit in her 20s, and a cool SOBO named Kermit and I convinced her to come hike the PCT as she shared with us her homemade cherry-black bean fruit leather (a bit crunchy as she had accidentally dropped some pits in the blender). We discussed giardia, hair care, and home-dehydrated meals… the hard topics.
I peaced out and began to descend the infamous Knife’s Edge, a steep rocky ridge with sheer dropoffs on both sides. It was like a catwalk toward Mt. Rainier, with miles of winding trail laid out before me.
It was everything I’d imagined and then some.
Having the ridge all to myself, I took a brief pause to ham it up for posterity. Rainier completely stole the show. Amazing.
^ I’m thinking of joining a KISS tribute band.
Dropping into another stunning meadow, I took an extended lunch and was so awestruck I neglected to realize I was getting slightly burnt. But with a backdrop like this I had not a single care.
The balance of the day, for which I was blissfully alone, took me up through more forest and onto a ridge above the Shoe Lake basin.
I meandered a mile or so past the final climb before White Pass, meaning it was all downhill from there until my long-awaited shower.
After much discernment and inspection I nabbed a gorgeous campsite situated behind a few trees on the rocky ridgeside. Yet another private bungalow for one, hidden from the hustle and bustle of trail life (that’s a half joke).
One breathtaking sunset and some cold-soaked quinoa later, I curled into my quilt and capped off the spectacular day watching one of my favorite movies: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I fell asleep thankful that there are no snakes around here (I think).