a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 2304.7 to 2325.7. Snow Lake camp to Sheep Lake camp.
Today is Benjamin Button's birthday. So when we all get up, Maya, BigBro and I surprise him by giving him the the two little cakes we got for him, including burning candles on them and sing happy birthday to him.
After a while Maya and I start hiking. It is pretty chilly today, but the sky presents itself cloudless and deeply blue. We hike all the way downhill in the forest towards a big river, which we eventually have to cross by walking across a log. On the other side there are several huge tents and we encounter some hunters (again!) strolling around their tents.
After some more minutes more we finally reach a beautiful meadow, glowing in the bright sunlight. We decide to have breakfast here and hang up our tent to dry. We have to do that every day now, since the nights are getting colder and colder now and therefore condensation water on the inside of the tent is really an issue.
To get back on trail we decide to take a “short cut” through the bushes next to the meadow. Well it turns out it is a real hustle and not a shortcut at all…After successfully earning new scratches on both arms and legs we make it back. BigBro and Benjamin Button for sure must have passed us when we were having breakfast in the meadow away from the PCT we both think, but after the next corner we meet BigBro sitting on the trail and smoking one of his selfmade cigarettes.
We continue together and soon reach a nice creek were we have planned to fill up our bottles. And we meet Benjamin Button again here. It is now about 10am and time for his second gift - a bottle of wine we have been carrying for him in a plastic bottle. So the four of us share the wine and are already getting a bit tipsy in the early morning.
The way now is a lot of up up and then down and up again. Soon we are quite exhausted and take several smaller breaks to collect delicious huckleberries and blueberries, which mother nature offers here in abundance, on every bush.
At lunchtime we meet the others again and spend about one hour together. It’s funny, we all have blue lips and hands today due to the huge amount of berries we’ve been picking and eating.
Since we are all already tired because of the ongoing climb we decide to only do 21 miles today and stop at a lake in about 10 miles. And the up up goes on until we reach the boundary to Rainier National Forest and for the first time see the famous Mount Rainier looking amazing covered in snow.
The path now is beautiful - all the leaves are turning into fabulous shades of yellow or red at this time of year. But it is also an unfriendly reminder that winter is definitely coming rather sooner than later.
We pass several gorgeous lakes. After the last one we do some pretty severe climbing for about 4 miles and then finally reach Chinook pass. There is a highway that passes right next to the pass and a small parking area with toilets and trash bins! That's one of the cool things hiking this trail, small things like trash bins instantly become a source of happiness. Why? Because we can dump a lot of trash there and the packs become lighter again!
Sadly there are several posters at the parking lot saying that a PCT hiker going by the trail name “Sherpa” has been missing in this area for two years now and has last been seen shortly before this pass. It is always very sad seeing things like that and one feels pretty down afterwards. But we always start looking for some signs of clothing or unusual things in the woods.
We continue our way and have to face a last climb to Sheep lake where we plan on sleeping. Only two more miles but it starts to darken now and the weather becomes worse. But then we make it. BigBro is already here and Benjamin Button arrives shortly after us. We are all tired and soon go to sleep without having a camp fire today.