We had a long but gradual climb that would take almost all day, have us cross Rainy Pass (the last paved road we would cross until Canada), then entry back into the high Cascades.
By mid-afternoon it was obvious that I still hadn’t recovered from whatever ailed me the previous week. Although the 12 miles of climbing was not tough climbing, it took its toll on me and instead of a planned 23 miles, we called it short.
We knew we would pay for that decision later.
Day 164 – 17 / 2,170 (2,598)
We woke up to heavy frost and a few new holes in our food bags.
The little bears made a return overnight. Again, luckily nothing critical was nibbled on.
Our view from camp right after sunrise.
A short climb, a long descent, a long ascent, a long ridgeline traverse and a short descent into camp at Hart’s Pass, the last road of any sort we would see until we were well into Canada.
The landscape through this stretch was stunning. We were glad to have the views, knowing that a new storm was approaching and we would likely be in clouds and rain again.
This landscape was dominated by Western Larch, or Tamarack, a conifer that is actually deciduous, with its needles turning in autumn and then dropping. It’s a beautiful tree.
Jen taking it all in.
Day 165 – 22 / 2,192 (2,620)
From Hart’s Pass, the Canadian Border was in reach, just 30 trail miles away. For us it wasn’t reachable in one day, but very comfortably in two.
Except we had a planned meeting with a Canadian friend at the border for mid-morning the next day. That compressed our schedule a bit.
So we cranked out our most epic trail day yet. Heck, even if we turn out a higher mileage day in Oregon, it won’t have the vertical that this day had, so this will probably stand as our most epic.
With clouds threatening rain, and rain showers visible on the horizon as the sun set, we pushed past our planned campsite to another one an hour past. That meant we had an hour to push past sunset, but it would get us an hour closer to the border, which also meant we could wake up at our normal time instead of waking up an hour early. That was a trade we were both willing to make.
The data: 26.89 miles, just .10 shy of our 26.99 headed into Seiad Valley. However, today was +5,500’/-6,200′, where the push into Seiad Valley was a much crusier +3,100’/-7,900′.
Day 166 – 26 / 2,218 (2,646)
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