Day 144: 8/30/14, PCT Milemarker 2635.9

Miles hiked: 15.7
Cumulative PCT Miles: 1678.5
Camped at: foot of Tamarack Peak with random weekenders

The morning was misty, rainy, and even featured a misty rainbow! Despite the weather, I saw lots of great views before descending into Harts Pass, the last road crossing (not paved) on the PCT in the US, and on the climb out.

Today featured both a later than usual start and an early finish, both due to the rain. I was able to dry out my tent fly mid morning in intermittent sun, but otherwise the day was definitely cold and damp – and it’s not even September yet! For the first time on the hike, I kept my second, long-sleeved, hiking shirt on for the entire day. Most of the day I also had on my rain jacket – if not for rain, for the wind. However, before you think I’m complaining, I adore hiking in these conditions – makes the atmosphere so great, and it was a joy not to be soaked in sweat at the end of the day!

When I left camp this morning Journal and Contrail had decided to sleep in, I sure hope I see them again before the end of the trip. I saw lots of day hikers near Harts Pass trailhead, all of whom were interested in my hike. Ahh, Saturdays! Still glad to see so many locals out here despite the changeable weather. I met Mayor SOBO (flip-flopping) – he and I chatted for close to half an hour, AT reminiscing (he hiked a few years ago). Late Night and Milestone were at Harts Pass ranger station/campground; I never thought I’d see Late Night again after he hiked out of Snoqualmie ahead of me. Mystery solved – he hiked back to Harts Pass from the border and was waiting for a ride. They had a campfire going, and the warmth was much appreciated during my late lunch break. I also had some reassurance from Late Night – he saw trail crews fixing the washouts on his trip to/from the border, so hopefully I won’t run into any major obstacles trail wise in the last 30 miles! I encountered a few washouts in the morning, but nothing scary, which my mind had been conjuring since I saw warning signs at Rainy Pass trailhead yesterday morning. Otherwise, Plant also came back southbound from the border – I wonder who else I’ll see tomorrow!

Many thanks to Hardcore, Damascus Hank, and Siva for perhaps the last on-trail trail magic of the trip! The drink hit the spot before another bout of rain started :).

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