Leaving town is always rough, especially when there’s a seven mile long climb waiting for you.  In fact, it seemed like all day long was climbing and very little descending.  I had a hard time keeping my energy.up, but I had fun stopping alot and checking out My Adams, which we circled all day long.  And now Mt Rainier is coming into view.

I had breakfast with the local gentlemen’s gossip club and had a good time.  I learned all about huckleberries and elk and discovered that the one that bugled at me yesterday was definitely a bull elk.  They asked alot of questions about the trail and equipment and we of course had to talk quite a bit about the weather.  They said it was a tad cold for this time of year and the farmers almanac had predicted an early winter this year.  Great, now I really want to make tracks to finish before October.

Eddy showed up right at 7:30 like he said he would to have a hot chocolate.  I had two eggs, hash browns, bacon, the toast, corned beef hash, and coffee.  I was hungry.  I ran to the store to grab my pack and let the store owner know I was out.  The guy I shared a room with was looking for a ride so I asked Eddy if he had room for another and he did, so the three of us headed up the mountain.

We got to the trailhead just before nine and immediately the trail started a gentle climb.  I had not bothered to look at the trail ahead, by I stopped after about an hour and saw that it was seven miles of incline.  I had forgotten to fill my water bottles, but it was cool out so I didn’t need much anyway.  I had about a half of a liter.

The trail started out in tall pines, then gave way to huckleberries.  I was still full, but of course I had to stop and pick some.  They really do look like dark blueberries.  The trail then turned to a burn area and stayed that way for about ten miles.  The only plus was that it was easier to see Mt Adams, which we were climbing up the southwest side and would circle the beast before leaving it’s Northwest side.

I stopped for lunch after 1 PM at an overlook in a burn area where I could see Adams, Rainier, and St Helens all at the same time.  I sat and faced Rainier while I cooked and ate.

After lunch, the trail started to descend some, but I still could not get moving.  I must not have gotten enough sleep last night, because I had plenty of food.  Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

I passed a few hikers and hunters throughout the day.  Everyone was nice and I stopped to talk to all of them.  A couple late in the day took my picture in front of Mt Adams.  They make three day trips where they hike in day one, day hike the second day, then hike out on the third.  You could tell they love this area.

I hiked until 7:15 so I could descend and get as low as possible and be near water.  Where I camped there were alot of blueberry bushes, but no blueberries.  I ended up cooking dinner in the dark, then headed straight to bed.  I need some Z’s tonight.  I’m 46 miles from my next stop and want to be sure I get there while it’s still daylight.  That should be easily doable.