PCT Day 13. Tuesday July 26, 2022
Mile 2394 + 16 miles today
Total Distance Hiked: 214 miles /344 kilometres
The Summitt Inn at Smoqualmie was much as it was when I stayed here in 2017 and Hammer in 2016. Airconditioning was a bit flaky then and it still is. It cuts out after 15-20 minute then rests for an hour before kicking in again. It was 38°C outside yesterday afternoon when we checked in and it was just as warm in the room through the night despite the air conditioning.
It was a warm, stifling nights sleep. So it was a relief to step out into the cool air this morning and get started.
The coolness of the morning was welcomed for the 3 mile climb out of the pass. As we ascended we had a great view of the pass below with the I-90 snaking it’s way through the pass.
We left the forest behind and spent much of the day on trails cut into the side of craggy mountains. Mt Rainier appeared on the horizon and stayed with us for much of the day shrouded in a heat haze as the day progressed. The trail was quite technical which needed constant attention to where you placed your feet. It was tiring.
The view was spectacular – distant view of craggy mountain peaks in almost all directions. Lower down a series of lakes, their emerald green water sparkling in the morning sunshine. And closer to the rail a profusion of spring blooms.
It was a very hot and sunny day. A hiker who passed us early in the morning said it was predicted to be the warmest day this summer. Lucky we are high up in the mountains where it is somewhat cooler.
It was daunting to see the path of the trail from across the valley. A line cut across the wall of the mountain and in full sun. We stopped at almost every mountain stream and splashed icy cold water on our heads. It felt amazing. We had a lovely breeze most of the day and hardly any mosquitos until almost the end of the day when we got closer to Spectacle Lake.
Hiking felt easy for much of the morning
but when it got hard it felt really hard. Time seem to slow down and it felt like we would never make the campsite.
It is surprising how much of the hard work we had forgotten. I seem to have memories of skipping along effortlessly and looking at the pretty flowers. Hammer just remembers the rain through much of Northern Washington. He is loving being able to see the distant views. I’m just happy my knee is feeling good. And while I’m not dancing along the trail, we are doing alright.
We are camped above Spectacle Lake, which looked lovely from above. If we were staying for a few days I think we’d make the effort to climb down to the lake to camp.
We got the tent up and got inside before being eaten alive. There is a lovely cooling breeze blowing through and the sound of water flowing down to the valley. The mosquitos are humming outside, lining up for the morning. We’ll be better rested then and can deal with them a little bit better.