TOWARDS GRIZZLY PEAK
PCT DAY 43: Monday August 7, 2017
Mile 2458.3 – Mile 2474.4
16.1 miles ( 25.8km)
One of the effects of the smoky haze that has come in from Canada is that it blocks out the stars at night, so the sky looks grey. Only one star/planet managed to shine through the haze in the Northeast sky early this morning. I hope this smoke clears so I can have one more night under the stars on the PCT.
I was awake early even though I didn’t need to be. I have less then 4 miles to get to Stevens Pass to pick up my resupply and recharge batteries. The store at the resort doesn’t open till 9am.
Since I was awake anyway I thought it better to wait by the store as I would probably have phone service. I was packed and on my way by 6am. Interesting to figure out where the shooter may have been last night. I soon crossed the gravel road right near the high voltage power lines. Scary when I think how close they were.
The trail crosses right near the top of the chairlift before descening down to the village. There was little traffic on Highway 2 when I arrived. I sat outside the store catching up on news and updating the blog. The store opened right on 9am. I picked up my parcel, plugged my devices to charge and enjoyed a toasted sandwich with a real coffee for breakfast. There was only one other hiker in the store. He is northbound hiking Washington and has passed me twice on trail in the last couple of days.
By noon I was ready to head off. I checked the weather for Stehikin where I am heading and the prediction is for 42°C (>100F) for the next 3 days. Yikes, I really need to pay closer attention to water reports. I was excited to be back on trail. Especially after uploading the blog posts for the past 3 days. Made me realise that I’m already missing sections of trail I’ve completed but keen to get to the end at the same time.
The afternoon hiking felt easy, despite the heat. I was rested, the trail was soft underfoot and was shaded by the forest for much of the afternoon. I passed a few day hikers including these two lovely women whom I stopped to chat with. They were were heading to Lake Valhalla and were dressed in head to toe mosquito netting. Quite something, I thought they may have made the suits themselves. But no they told me, you can buy them on the net.
I passed Lake Valhalla earlier in the afternoon. It looks like a great spot for a few days to escape the heat. While passing the lake I got the scare of my life when a fighter jet flew over. It made the most frightening sound. I remembered from the ones we saw in Southern California that they do their manoeuvres in pairs. And sure enough, the second one soon followed. The jet arriving long before the air splitting sound it makes. I had shivers after they passed.
By late afternoon I started the climb to the top of Grizzly Peak. I planned to camp just before the summit. It was hot and sweaty work for the couple of miles of uphill before the trail leveled off.
I was glad I picked up 2 litres of water from the beautiful stream I crossed before starting the ascent. The water was lovely and cold. I got to my chosen campsite just before 6pm to find a gentlemen had already occupied the spot. Glenn was on his way to Pear Lake, another 6 miles to the north, when he ran out of energy and water. Luckily there was another spot just behind where he had set up. The spot looked fine to me. I was pleased not to have to continue for another 2 miles to the summit of Grizzly Peak. I gave Glenn some water to cook dinner and warned him that I was an early riser. He said no problem, so was he.