My last day in Oregon couldn't have been more perfect. I was originally switched onto the PCT by my friend and fellow tango dancer, Damek aka Atomic. He had hiked the trail in 2006 and suggested that I would enjoy doing it too about three years ago... and here I am! Atomic became one of my trail angels in Cascade Locks and hand delivered a very generous and delicious resupply of food to me. Wow! I am eternally grateful. Thank you so much!
Before leaving town I went up to Shrek's trail angel house and received a bandanna which was very nice. There were a lot of PCT hikers in town and it was great seeing the ones I knew and meeting a few new faces.
I then walked across the Bridge of the Gods which was an exhilarating feeling as I now only have one more state left to conquer.
By 07:15 pm I had done a significant amount of climbing and set up camp on a ridge.
The solitude up there was palpable.
From the ridge in the morning, I could see Mnt Adams, Mnt St Helens with her blown top and Mnt Rainier. I passed a few section hikers , one of whom thought I was from India and a couple of hunters with their crossbows.
A lot of climbing ensued as well as descending down to creeks followed by more climbing through "the green tunnel".
I enjoyed a wonderful lunch break at Rock creek and was joined by K2 who I hiked with for the rest of the day. It was great to see Stringcheese again, who was south bounding this section to get back to Cascade Locks for a hiking event called "Trail Days".
I eventually camped on the banks of the Windy River with K2. Madhatter and Wisdom. It's not really set up for camping at all but we found spaces for our tents. I hiked over 20 miles today. Gratitude is my main emotion.
Another great day spent hiking with K2. We left Windy River and mostly hiked uphill through fairly dry forests all day, gaining over 5000 ft of elevation. Once on the ridge of Huckleberry Mountain. We got spectacular views of Mnt Hood, Adams and later Mnt St Helens.
During the course of the day, we saw Apache, Mary Poppins and Blueberry south bounding, also to get to "Trail Days". We crossed paths with Wisdom, the other Apache and Ninja and ended up camping at Blue Lake after a long, tough day but felt good that we had made such good progress, covering 26 miles/ 43km of mostly climbing.
It's been a treat hiking with K2 for the past few days. It would have been a long, long walk in the woods by myself and at least we've had each other to talk to. I awoke at Blue Lake at 06:12 am and saw a mouse running over the roof of my tent under the rainfly. I'm glad I kept everything zipped up inside. It's really cold in the mornings and getting light later and dark earlier. After collecting and filtering lake water we set out, passing quite a few lakes initially and occasionally getting glimpses of the majestic mountains of Washington.
We stopped for a lunch break at Mosquito Creek which was rather pleasant and completed another 24 mile day at road R 23 where K2's parents were waiting.
They kindly gave me a ride to the quaint village of Trout Lake and I rented a comfortable room with a shower and laundry facility at the grocery store for $25.
After enjoying a wood fired veggie pizza and glass of Huckleberry wine, it was time to turn in and rest as I'm back on the trail tomorrow. My first encounter with the people of Washington state has been fantastic! Everyone has been so friendly.
Washington also wins the prize for having the most bridges over the creeks and streams on the PCT. Fabulous!