Back In the Saddle

As mentioned in the last post, I woke up at 9am.  Jen fed me a bit of oatmeal, which set the stomach to flip-flopping again.  So I crawled back in the bag for a nap.

Once I woke up again, we started talking options.  We had to get to Stehekin by Saturday morning in order to pick up our resupply box that would get us to Canada. By this time it was mid-day Wednesday and we had 70 miles to go just to catch the shuttle to town.  That meant that we had to wait until Monday to collect our package.

Luckily, that meant some of the pressure was off, but it also meant a later arrival in Canada. We’ve already had enough of winter on this trip and every day we delay arrival increases our chances of seeing more of it.

Another factor was another storm forecast for Thursday. We were on an exposed ridgeline above 6,000′, with a climb ahead of us before we could descend.  Not exactly where we wanted to be if we decided to stay put for the day. 

Plus, any miles we got in today cut down the daily average we needed to cover through Sunday to get to town.

So we broke camp and moved up the trail.


Although we were moving, I was recovering from whatever ailed me the day before.

The scenery helped.


Autumn foliage in Glacier Peak Wilderness.


Silty glacial runoff.


Lots of fungi in this rain forest.  Not to mention molds.  Both get us to thinking about those classic ’50’s horror flicks.

Needless to say, we don’t poke or disturb them.


Jen demonstrating her short girl tree hurdle.  We are doing a lot more of this than we should be in this Wilderness.


We kept at it until we got to our goal campsite at the bottom of the next valley.  At least we would be warmer when the rumored storm arrived.

A bit more food to try to improve on my meager 1,200 calories for the day, then it was off to sleep.

The sprinkles began after midnight.

**For those trying to guess my ailment, your first guess, giardia, would be incorrect. Our first guess, a hygiene slip, might be incorrect.  At no time did I present any of the toilet issues that would indicate those ailments (except one singular system-clearing event 48 hours after the first problems appeared).  Just the nausea and fever.

Day 158 – 9 / 2,080 (2,508)

The overnight storm never materialized.  Just sprinkles for a few hours.

We woke up slowly, letting me feel things out.  No more nausea with breakfast, just a bit of stomach tightness afterwards.

Right away we decided that this would be a short recovery day.  Our campsite options were at manageable 10 miles or a big stretch of 18 miles with a 3,000′ climb in the last 4 miles.  Easy choice.

Plus, if I felt better, I could start to eat more to help with the recovery.

But of course, we had rain. And water.


Then there was this guy, guardian of the trail.

You haven’t lived until you’ve been bluff charged by the 15 lbs of fury known as a marmot.

He turned once we started laughing.

Good thing he didn’t ask us our favorite colors.


Fire Creek, Glacier Peak Wilderness. Yes, it is really this color.


Our destination for the night was Mica Lake, a glacier-fed lake.  This was the glacier, with a small collecting pool below.  It then flowed downhill, then down a cliff before filling the basin that is Mica Lake.


It was cloudy so we didn’t get the full color, but every hiker that went by agreed that it was the best lake along the trail in Washington.


Day 159 – 10 / 2,090 (2,518)

Not a lot to report on this day.  We got moving, had a significant descent into a river valley which earned us a significant ascent up the other side.

A cloudy, cool traverse across ridgelines and glacial moraines, then a long descent into camp well after dark.

But this did happen.


Only 550 (+9) miles to go!

Day 160 – 20 / 2,110 (2,538)

Please help us help the PCT Association as they work to protect and maintain this precious resource:


5 thoughts on “Back In the Saddle”

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