June 20 (~11:45 – ~17:25)
Cascade Locks – Dirt road after Rock Creek Road (14.0 mi / Total: 2172.9 mi)
Total PCT miles: 1072.9
Weather: Rain and fog. In the afternoon there are moments of sun and it stops raining. Temperature is quite cool even though it’s sweaty.
I set my alarm early and find myself waking up to rain. I turn around. Next thing I know is someone calling from outside. When I properly wake, it seems too much time has passed to call back. Sometime after the two other hikers from yesterday pass. It’s still raining.
I don’t enjoy hiking in the rain so I take my time as I get up. According to the forecast, the weather in town was supposed to get better in the afternoon, and I hope it’s the same in the mountains. By the time I leave it’s 11:30, and I tell myself I can do a short day again – it’s okay. I’m in no rush. And if I camp at the dirt road some 14 miles away I can use the mobile phone reception to write and upload another blog. That would make it a productive day after all.
The day is quite uneventful. As I leave, the rain has mostly stopped, although a fog keeps the air damp, and rain falls from the trees. I find the path overgrown with plants the size of myself, and I feel the thick raindrops soak though my shoes, quickly absorbed by my socks. It doesn’t take long to be completely drenched.
It remains chilly, and I’m afraid Washington is going to stay like this the whole time I’m here. Cold and wet. At least the forest benefits from it: it grows even more lush from yesterday. More moss, more plants, more romantic streams crossing the path. The views are similar to yesterday, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I listen to music for a change and try and find a faster pace, but it gets lost in the ups and downs of the day. I begin to daydream about the time I have left here, and do a quick calculation of the mileage I’ll need to do to finish the PCT before my visa runs out. Solid 20 mile days, or more likely, in the lower-20s. Can I do that in the Sierras? I’m not sure. And what if the snow doesn’t melt? It’s snowing again in Northern Washington. I clearly don’t have time to wait for the snow to melt at all. I need to stay on trail.
Towards the end of the day I leapfrog with the two section hikers from yesterday and we all stop at the dirt road. I crawl into my tent to look at the snow map, once again. Should I do another section before heading to the border? Is there anything left?