Miles today: 28.4

Trail miles sum: 1782.2

Trail location: 2464.5

Elevation: 4075

Spinning on the turntable: Podcast: Freakonics

Washington is certainly providing spectacular, panoramic, jaw dropping, in your face nature scenes. Washington is also making us pay for each and every view. Nothing is free. The trail is just brutal.

I’m doing an unofficial survey of thru-hikers about Washington. Most of us just want it to end. There are certainly those that are existing in a blissful state of trail-gasm, but that seems to be the exception. It’s an interesting juxtaposition compared to what I’m seeing on social media.

Today I received a message from Flapjack that he twisted an ankle and was done for the year. There aren’t any other older males in my current hiking bubble so I’m pretty depressed that he’s down for the count.

This was today’s trek. Five mountains to trek over. FIVE.

I started hiking at 5:40 AM in the dark with my headlamp.

The sunlight just beginning to touch the mountain tops is beautiful.

After two hours of climbing I reached the first trail summit of the day.

There are so many lakes. This is Hyas lake. There’s literally a lake in almost every valley. The water is beyond blue.

The picture doesn’t do justice for how big this section actually is, it’s huge. I managed to make my way across a fifteen foot water crossing without getting my feet wet. I can’t imagine the scope of this water in the winter.

Lots of water in this section so my water carries are light today!

I really like pictures where I can include the trail. You see what I see. Truthfully though, I spend a lot of time watching the ground for rocks that I’ll trip on. Speaking of which…

It’s amazing to look at, but this kind of loose rocks butchers my hiking speed. I carried exactly enough food and snacks to last up until dinner tonight. If I want to eat dinner today I need to pull big miles and reach the van.

I was happy to exit the rock zone and return to a more dirt based trail.

Glacial lake looks amazing! I see lots of fishing rods on day hikers backpacks.

I wrapped the day up by hiking until 9:45 to reach Noelle and the van. This was a very long day of hiking.

We’ll zero in Leavenworth tomorrow and prepare for the final push into Canada. I’m celebrating the zero by breaking out a new pair of shoes. Seems like I just replaced them but it was actually about 450 miles ago. The toe caps are shot and the sides are tearing out. I believe this will be my fourth pair on the trail.