PCT: Day 145: Entering Washington

Miles today: 19.6

Trail miles sum: 1485

Trail location: 2167.3

Elevation: 1246

Spinning on the turntable: Foreigner: No end in sight: The very best

I left the Bridge of the Gods this morning and started hiking the Washington section of the PCT.

I hit the trail at 6AM and didn’t see another thru-hiker anywhere. There was a free thru-hiker breakfast at Cascade Locks but I’d rather hike. (As I learned a long time ago, there really are no free meals.)

Washingtonians sure know how to make a nice PCT sign!

Yesterday I spoke with one of the Brazilian hikers who returned to Cascade Locks from further up the trail in Washington. I was forewarned that the elevation gain today was nasty, so I was mentally prepared. When I hiked down 5,000 feet into Cascade Locks on the Oregon side I knew that the hike out was going to be tough.

It was fun to see a sign for Canada! (“Oh Canada, ……. ” Hey Canadian readers, what’s the next line of your national anthem?)

Anyway, up I climbed.

The elevation gain wasn’t that bad, it just went on and on for ten miles. The temp was cool and it wasn’t hot, so that was nice.

Hiking in this area is odd. Noelle and I have hiked all over in this area before, but I can’t remember the specifics of where we hiked. Maybe I’ve been here at this point on the trail, maybe not.

What I am sure if though is that this section of trail feels like home!

I almost stepped on this seven inch snail.

The snail was large enough that I was able to capture a side profile picture! Nothing says home like a big slug!

Once I went over the ridge line other mountains started appearing on the horizon. I want to say that this is Mt. Adams.

The flowers are great!

The air is thick with the smell of berries.

This is a Thimble berry…right before I ate it.

I’m not sure what kind of berries these are. Noelles the berry Queen and I just usually eat whatever she tells me is edible. I’m not so sure about these berries but they sure are beautiful to look at!

Today is my first day back on trail after five days off trail. We talked about what we wanted to accomplish during our time off trail and we both said “rest”. I think we came back to the trail more physically tired than we left the trail.

It was great to see our family and that certainly helped my morale tremendously.

As with most of my “returned to the trail” days, my ankles are angry. Tomorrow they’ll be ok, but today, first day back in the trail…Oh how they ache.

Myself and my brother in law Ben were helping Noelle’s dad get up off the floor the other evening (Parkinson’s, he fell in the bathroom) and I ended up yanking my right shoulder into an angry state.

So I’m returning to the trail in just about the same physical condition that I left the trail…beat up.

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