I awoke to cool temperatures and clear skies. The last weather report I got said four more days of rain. I’m glad he was wrong today. Late in the afternoon I had sprinkles, but I have dry socks and shoes and that’s what’s important.
I woke up at 5:30 and hit the tunes while preheating the clothes again. It takes about fifteen minutes and that’s perfect for morning music time. I was on trail by 6:45 and even though the ground and grass wat still soaking wet, I could not see a cloud in the sky. The picture was taken about a mile from my campsite when the sun finally crested the mountain across the way. The trail turned East and I almost stopped to get my sunglasses.
The grass continued to be wet until close to 11 am which seems like a long time for everything to stay wet and needless to say my shoes had no chance of drying. At about noon, I passed two other hikers who had stopped at the spring and had everything laying out drying. The grass was still putting out alot of moisture, so I was still waiting for it to dry out first. I had stopped for a mini lunch at 11:00 so I was hoping 2:00 would be a perfect time to stop for main lunch and a drying session. There were several power lines about that spot in the trail.
There was quite a bit of climbing and descending all day. At this point hiking is hiking and you just keep moving. But some of the grades today were pretty steep and hard on the ankles.
At one point in the morning the trail popped up on a ridge and Mt Baker was staring me in the face. And it looked far snowier than all the other volcano mountains gains we had passed so I am assuming the rain of the last three days had deposited fresh snow on the mountain. Yesterday seems the likely day since I had snow flurries where I was, and Baker is at least 4000 ft higher than where I was at the time.
As I began to hit the power lines in the afternoon, I was scouting for one that had rocks and not grass to stop on. The second one was perfect. It had three big rocks for sitting about 100 ft uphill from the trail. I headed straight there, got out my lunch food, then took off the shoes and socks and put the flip flops on. It felt great, and the blisters from yesterday were slightly worse on one foot and better in the other. I pulled the bandaids to let them dry. By the time I had eaten and headed out, both socks were dry and the shoes dry on the upper, but not the insoles. It still felt much better being dry.
Within an hour, the shoes were completely dry, and as luck would have it, that’s when it started to rain. I put the pack cover on, but the jacket was too hot. The area I was hiking apparently had gotten alot of rain, even though it was barely sprinkling on me. I was not getting wet, but my shoes were. I was using the poles to try to take the wetness off the grass and huckleberry bushes, but I was still getting wet. The tops were wet and I could feel the tops of my socks getting wet, but the sole and heel were staying dry. The heel was the part I was worried about because of the blisters.
Late in the day, the rain had stopped, but ominous clouds were all around. I spotted a lake on the map that looked where I would end up about 7 PM and would be about eight miles from Snoqualmie pass, so it seemed like the perfect target for the day.
I had to go up and over one peak before climbing into to the lake. On the previous downhill, my right foot started bugging me. Coming down this last descent, it was full on hurting like shin splints. There has been so much downhill, and I have been altering my step to protect the blisters, but apparently I have torched my right shin muscle doing so. I manage to get to the bottom, but had to stop twice to massage it.
The last climb to the lake was pretty steep, but only a mile long. The outlet stream crossed the trail three or four times, and at one point was a fairly large waterfall. I finally made the lake just before 7:00 and found a spot for the hammock right in front of the lake. It’s called mirror lake and fits it’s name perfectly. I got a picture that is a perfect mirror image except you can see one ripple from a fish jumping. At first I thought it ruined the picture, but the ripple is so perfect, it actually makes the picture better.
See, it’s cool with the ripple.