Tuesday 2nd August
Start: Lava Spring Bushcamp, mile 2247
End: Walput Creek Bushcamp, mile 2266
Yesterday’s sweat cloth is now my snot rag! It has rained almost constantly all day. Lucky for us it came out of nowhere in the morning and not last night as we slept without the rain cover on the tent.
No wonder Washington has so many mushrooms and other fungi growing. It is obviously a damp place. I just cannot believe how dramatically the weather changed from yesterday. It’s not just wet, it’s freezing. If I had a phone signal I would love to know the temperature right now. At one point when filtering water at a stream, Conrad pointed out that I was shivering. I had no idea, I had switched off my brain to conserve energy!
The plan for today was to hike a new record of 24 miles to a camp near the Cispus River, setting us up for reaching the next resupply point tomorrow. We kept hiking through the rain with perseverance, passing through the 400-miles countdown! Let’s just hope we walk them faster than the first 400. But 24 miles were not to be. I blame the weather – hiking with wet feet is not ideal. By 5pm we decided to call it a day. We needed to put the tent up and get inside it, and dry off as soon as possible!
Entering the Goat Rocks Wilderness zone we met and spoke with an increasing number of PCT south-bounders. My favourite today was a British guy from Burnley, who now lives in Australia. His trail name is ‘Decaf’, because he brought a bulk load of his beloved Tetley tea bags online only to discover on the first day of the hike that they were decaffeinated! Schoolboy error!
The scenery was not as colourful as yesterday, mainly because the sky was white, followed by grey, and the mountains were veiled in fog. A couple of hikers warned us of a potential storm this evening. At that point we gave up hope that it would ‘blow over’ and suddenly get sunny.
Tonight Canada is 384 miles away. Our ‘extraction’ point (the end of the hike where we find some civilisation), is 8 miles further. So we go to sleep tonight hoping that the sun returns tomorrow, and that by some minor miracle we make it to White Pass so I don’t have to camp! Only 26 miles away… Oh and how does one know whether they have trench foot?