PCT Day 20. Tuesday August 2, 2022
Mile 2532.5 + 24 miles today
Total Distance Hiked: 360.5 +miles /577 kilometres

Fantastic  views of distant mountains, behind a fog-filled valley was my morning view while having coffee. And even better it was mosquito free, so the view could be enjoyed without a screen.

The morning felt fresh and new and full of promise of a great day ahead.  We camped with a southbound Danish hiker who was awake by the time we broke camp. So no worries about disturbing others.
The morning dew on the plants saturated the lower parts of our clothing  as we left camp. It wasn’t unpleasant as the day was warming up already.

We descended towards Suiattle River most of the early morning. Hiking mostly through pleasant green forest which got a little bit more mossy as we got lower. Marmots whistled above and the river hummed below as we descended.  We were seeing a few more fresh bear scats. A couple of hikers we met later in the day told us there saw a bear yesterday not far from where we were camped.  Not sure what the bears are eating as the berries are still way off from ripening. And I ate the only ripe berry I’ve seen.

Walking was mostly easy and pleasant except for the numerous blowdowns which took a while to negotiate.  We made good time to the river where we stopped for breakfast. Despite having to negotiate the  blowdowns the morning hiking through the cool shade of the forest was quite pleasant.

I now have a better  appreciation  of the geomorphology of the landscape we’ve hiked over the last few days – we crossed three river valleys coming off Glacier Peak with ridgetops or passes left high by the rivers erosion. Yesterday Milk River valley was a particularly tight valley hence the steep ascent and descent. Suiattle River valley is a bit more open especially on the north side, hence a longer but less steep ascent. As they say, Washington has its ups and downs.

We reached Suiattle River mid-morning and crossed it on a huge bridge. It was milky in colour and roaring. Even standing on a bridge watching the flow makes me a little nervous.  From the bridge it was a 11.5 mile ascent to Suiattle Pass  rising 4,210 feet.  Even though it was uphill it was quite pleasant walking through shaded green forest with the gushing sound of the river below. We stopped a third of the way up for lunch at the lovely Miners Creek, which thankfully also had a bridge across it. 

The blowdowns were not so bad on this side, except for a section where the trail was covered by  avalanche debris. Broken and uprooted trees everywhere. It looked like chaos. We were spared having to  find our way through this tangle by following the trodden path of the hikers who gone before us.
We were in the shade of the most magnificent tall pines. Their tops slowly swaying in the breeze.   Occasional gusts  of a breeze would reach the trail and it felt wonderful.   I knew we were getting close to the top of the  pass by the appearance of colourful spring blooms.

From the pass we descended through a tallus rockfield into a fantastic tight valley surrounded by jagged mountain peaks. The sun was hitting the western side illuminating the sheer vertical rock
walls. We  camped at the base of Sitting Bull Mountain, hoping to see it lit by the rising sun tomorrow morning.