Miles hiked: 12.2
Cumulative PCT Miles: 1518.5
Camped at: n/a, Cascadia Inn in Skykomish
The swarm of mosquitos which attacked as I broke down my tent at 5:45 this morning made me sigh and Deet up immediately though I still got about 7 new bites on my legs. Happily, that wasn’t a buggy portent for the rest of the morning’s hike out to Hwy 2 and Stevens Pass. Descending from the narrow ridge top campsite, I spied a sparkling lake far below and Journal and Contrail’s tents. I learned later that they saw me too – a speck on the mountain rapidly descending!
Mostly cloudy today and cool early on helped with several climbs – the series of ridge and valley/lake continued, a portent of the more rugged terrain to come in the Northern Cascades. I almost thought it might rain at one point, but simply a return to the mist and fog of several days ago – the humidity certainly continues. During the last climb which passed under power lines and ski lifts it was fun to see how quickly I went far above them – despite the fact sweat was pouring down it still amazes me where my legs can take me in relatively little time.
When I got to the parking lot at Stevens Pass I met a husband waiting for his wife who is section hiking, and he offered me a ride into town if I needed it – so nice! I waited for others to come out, and went with Journal, Contrail, and 300 (Katie) who I had last seen around Big Bear! We devoured sandwiches at the ski lodge, which now has some limited services including package pickup. My obsession with having an orange soda as my first town drink continues. We were quickly picked up by Fritz, a fellow hiker from Germany who along with his wife is hiking sections SOBO this year when he doesn’t have a rental car due to his feet needing to heal up. He took us into Skykomish where Journal/Contrail and I got the last 2 rooms available at the Cascadia Motel. Henry, the owner, is super nice and very helpful. Even though Skykomish is a few blocks and an actual town, unlike the ski resort resupply stops recently, I was disappointed to learn the nearest pharmacy is in Monroe, about 45 miles away, since I needed more allergy medication to make it to Canada. Happlily, Henry found out about the Skykomish Community Van for me – luckily enough it makes a trip to Monroe every Wednesday and is free! The only downside is that it takes a while as you have to wait for the other passengers to run their errands. Zero day for me then – with all the mold and wildflowers I’d be pretty miserable without my trusty AllegraD.
The local blueberry cobbler and ice cream I had for dessert was divine!