Tuesday August 18
My day of rest is over. It's time to finish the final leg of this adventure. I am so fortunate to have a wife who is willing to drive me to the trail. It is almost a four-hour drive to Rainy Pass on the Cascade Loop highway. On the way, we had a great breakfast at the Pancake House. I loaded up with carbs having a full serving of French toast and hash browns. It seems that I have more energy when I start my day with carbohydrates.
I am always nervous heading back out on the trail. Today was no exception. It felt like my stomach was in a knot. For some reason the North Cascades intimidate me. Perhaps it's because they appear so steep and massive. Also, I worry about the weather. There are supposed to be increasing clouds in the next few days. For today, however, the weather was perfect! Beautiful blue sky with temperatures in the 70s. We arrived just before 2 PM.
My goal today was to make it over the first ridge, a 2,000 foot climb. As I headed up the trail, I was amazed at how well maintained the trail was. It had a moderate slope and was well groomed. I was going to be able to walk quickly.
When I got above the trees, the views were absolutely amazing. In the distance I could see Glacier Peak. The nearby mountains looked similar to the mountains in the high Sierras. As the trail went over the ridge, all I could say was "Wow! This is amazing!"
I hiked until 5:30. There was a great campsite very near a stream. The view from the campsite was also fantastic.
So far I am really impressed with the North Cascades.
It is just over 50 miles to the Canadian border from my campsite. Assuming I can hike twenty miles each day, I should arrive on Friday, two and a half days from now. I can hardly believe it!
I am camped tonight at PCT mile 2608.9. The elevation here is 6,230 feet. I hiked 9.6 miles this afternoon.