Day 103 – near Crag lake to bullion baSin junction
August 1 | NOBO Miles 2311-2332
I will cut past the cold coffee and protein bar to the part of the morning with the nice visuals.
I resumed the climb out of the meadow under the lively 8AM sun.
The Mt. Rainier Show was on again. This was a great episode.
Finally, this mountain getting the credit it deserves.
I was on a roll this morning, and not in the mood to stop for anything. I ate my oatmeal on the run. I filtered water while walking. I only paused briefly to chat with two older guys who sidewindered me as I turned a corner. They were nice, if not a tad creepy. At least they spared me the “you’re out here alone?!?” that I’ve gotten so often lately, so I will give them credit for that.
In a flash, I was off.
Look the show is on again. Love this guy.
The wildflowers were taking over by the time I reached the jaw-droppingly turquoise Dewey Lake.
I wished I could have stayed the night there. Alas, it was only noon, and there were many hours of daylight before me for walking.
Coming down into Chinook Pass, I think I crossed paths with half the population of Seattle, and their brothers. I was completely overwhelmed by the volume of day hikers, and saw not one single thruhiker. It was like an alternate universe. I was ready to be done with that so I jogged down to the trailhead, tossed my trash, and ran back up into the woods on the other side of the highway, which were thankfully much less crowded and which had approximately 200% more dogs.
I stopped for water at Sheep Lake, the last source for 8 miles, watching the toddler swimming nearby and wondering if he had peed.
I amused a few small children in my wolfing down a blueberry pop tart at the water’s edge.
And then I was ready for more climbing. I was rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the lake as I neared the top of the gap:
From there the afternoon was a lovely ridgewalk. At one point I stopped at a point where I knew I could get cell service and ran into a Danish couple doing the same thing. “This is just like the phone booths in London,” he said, “like in the olden days when everyone had to go somewhere to make a call.” We all laughed. He has a point.
I passed a ski area over near Crystal Mountain. I passed the time listening to, of all the songs in the world, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from The Lion King, which has been stuck in my head now for going on three days.
In the early evening I was pretty heat exhausted from the sunny climbing, so I called it early around 6:30 and set up camp on a sweet saddle overlooking both sides of the ridge. I chilled and ate al fresco in the mosquitoless oasis as a gentle breeze blew.
And the sunset was another one for the books.