LEAVING MT ADAMS WILDERNESS
PCT Day 9: Friday July 22, 2022
Mile 2240 + 22 miles today
Total Distance Hiked: 164 miles/264 kilometres
This morning was nothing short of spectacular. We broke camp around 6am on the coldest morning we’ve had so far. The cooler morning kept the voracious mosquitos numbers down but still not enough to chance making a coffee before we started.
It was an overcast morning with the top of Mt Adams peaking through the high cloud. Most of the morning we wound our way around the base of Mt Adams. Sunrise breaking through the cloudy mist illuminated its snow covered peaks. We had snow cover on large parts of the trail but enough trail was exposed to make route finding easy. The snow had good grip, it was firm and crunchy underfoot.
We though the sun would burn off the cloud and expose more of the mountain but instead a heavy mist rolled in closing out the view. With the mist above and snow underfoot it was quite cold. But this did not last the sun broke through, burnt off the mist and left a clear blue sky framing Mt Adams. What a fantastic view before the trail turned away from the mountain.
Two spicy creek crossings of Lewis River and Adams Creek and we were leaving Mt Adams behind. The Lewis River drains the Adams Glacier and eventually flows into the Columbia River. Fascinating to walk along the base of the moutain along huge laval fields and imagining the violent forces which shaped this landscape. It couldn’t be more different to the serene snow capped mountain we saw today.
From lunchtime until we set up camp at 5pm it was mosquito purgatory. The hungriest hordes lined the green tunnel as the trail wound its way up and down along lakes and snow melt swamps. The only brief highlight was a view of Mt Rainier and the Northern Cascades. We had to stop early to get the tent up just to get away from the mozzies. There is snow on the ground near us and we are hoping for a cold night to dampen their enthusiasm. It was a really tough afternoon after such a magical start to the day. Not being able to stop for a break has left us feeling quite trashed.
Our term for mosquitos is mozzies which implies almost a term of endearment, there was nothing endearing about these blood-thirsty missiles.
It’s mornings like today that reminds us you why we do this and it’s afternoon’s like this that really make you appreciate the comforts of the Big Agnes Hilton, our home away from home.
Those first pink flowers are called Pretty Shooting Stars (and several other names), the top left white flowers are Bulbous bittercress, the pink flower below it is a wandering daisy, and the red flowers at the bottom are Mountain Indian Paintbrush! So gorgeous!
Pretty shooting stars is such an apt name for these beauties.