Day: Wednesday, 21st September 2016
Miles: 2368.3 – 2390.6
Remote Camp 2369.3 – Snoqualmie Pass 2390.6
Our glorious friendly little shanty town of hikers camped along the old logging road was a hive of activity this morning, from an early hour. This was another pre-town-day camp, and so the idea of showers, resupplies, good food and civilization ensured that (almost) everyone was up and rearing to go at the crack of dawn. I of course was the exception, knowing it was just 20 miles to Snoqualmie and deciding whats the rush! Decamping in the shadows of a crispy September Washington morn was distinctly chilly, but waiting for the sun to warm up my sheltered patch was a futile exercise in wasting time (even for me, looking for an excuse to stay in my warm quilt just a tad longer). It was 9:20AM by the time I finally launched myself out of camp, and everyone else was long gone.
It was crystal clear today, with no clouds in the sky, and a thin sliver of frost coated the grass in the meadow just around the corner from camp. It was quickly dispensed with however thanks to the sunshine, and the pristine blues and greens of Washington once again became the color palette of preference for todays scenery.
Todays hiking terrain was similar to yesterday, with many undulating hills and gradual descents, but ever closer was the distant peaks to the north, and as we ascended the final series of hills towards Snoqualmie Pass, a number of pretty lakes ensured some variety. At one of the beautiful lakes we met a day hiker who had produced a veritable sugar-haul of home-made energy bars to give out as trail magic. They were delicious, and along with a coke, myself EnergizerBunny and FlyBy were hugely appreciative of the final sugar-spike to help us down to town!
Cresting the final pass, and we now had a clear line of sight to the high Cascades north of Snoqualmie, our next challenge to navigate. We passed some more beautiful lakes, and distinctly experienced the shades of Autumn, here in these northerly exposed spots. The seasons are changing before our eyes, and its really quite incredible.
As we started a long and steady descent, down to the pass, we could see the interstate far below. Sadly the traffic noise was disturbing the incredible alpine scenery, but I guess on some level it added to the dramatic steep sided valley, seeing the highway far far below. I was ill-prepared for just how much of a descent we would follow to drop down to the pass, partly because I could see exactly what we needed to climb up tomorrow on the far side!
The trail finally came to a plateau of sorts, and followed a series of trail signs that brought us to the top of the ski resort. It was exciting to finally see the little village ahead after 4 days of bad weather and still-life monotony in the hills of central Washington.
As I rounded the car park with FlyBy, we saw the iconic (in PCT circles) Pancake House as well as the Aardvark Food Truck, which every Southbounder had thoroughly recommended to us. I dropped in for an absolutely delicious feed of Asian fusion food, along with a refreshing beer to end out the day.
After the Aardvark, it was time to grab my resupply box from the refrigerator in the Chevron Station, before retiring to the Summit Inn hotel next door for some rest and relaxation in the form of extended hot tub time!
I checked out the brew-pub across the road in addition, with my old friend Pathfinder whom I had not seen since all the way back in Tehachapi, CA and travelled from home (in eastern WA) to say hello. In the Summit Inn hot tub I also caught up with Miyagi whom I also met way back in the desert. It felt really good to catch up to more of the great people I met all the way back in the desert!
All in all Snoqualmie Pass was a pretty efficient place to resupply. What it lost in charm it made up for in sheer convenience! Settling into bed, with clean laundry and just 2 more resupplies to go (Stevens Pass, WA and Stehekin, WA), life was feeling pretty good just now.