The morning after we arrived at White Pass, my mother picked us up at the inn and drove us to the nearby town of Packwood for breakfast, where my sister Kristin, her boyfriend Thomas, and Bob (a family friend) were waiting for us. It was great to see some friendly faces and eat a hot breakfast. But all too soon, we had to get back on the trail. Canada’s call is getting stronger and stronger.
We were planning to hike the 99-mile section to Snoqualmie in four days but only managed to do 16 miles on day one, after spending the morning with my family. We camped by a wonderful lake just off trail. Before setting up camp, I dropped my pack and ran up trail to check for any better campsites. I was jogging slowly when I was stopped by a large female elk in the middle of the trail. She glanced at me with an annoyed look, then jumped down into the bushes off trail. Shortly after that, I came across a meadow with four other elk milling around, including a beautiful male with a large rack of antlers. That night by the lake, we were continuously woken by the heavy steps of elk around our campsite and the sound of them splashing around in the nearby lake and creek. In the morning, as we packed up, we saw two more elk just next to our campsite. They didn’t seem to mind us too much, but unfortunately, they ran off before we could snap any photos.
The next day, we passed into Mt. Rainier National Park. There were stunning views of the mountain all day. The weather was much different from our last section. Almost every day passed without a cloud in the sky. And it got hot, sometimes too hot. Ashe even jumped in a couple of lakes, clothes and all, to cool off.
We’ve been really cruising since leaving the Oregon border, as we had a deadline to meet in Snoqualmie. Two good friends of ours are getting married on the 14th, so we had to arrive here on the 13th. For awhile, we thought about hiking in on the 14th and driving down to the wedding the same day. But we thought better of it, deciding that it might be a little too jarring, and instead pushed hard to arrive on the 13th. As a result, we ended up doing 250 miles in 10 days, and we’re pretty exhausted. We are planning to enjoy three much-needed zeros in Snoqualmie before Jonathan, Ashleigh’s brother, joins us on the trail from here to Steven’s Pass.