PCT Day 102 : So Close…

July 15 (~06:50 – ~18:45)
Before Methow Pass – Windy Pass (26.3 mi / Total: 2627.7 mi)
Total PCT miles: 1527.7
Weather: Nice hiking temperature, although at times chilly and windy at high elevation. The skies kept changing, from overcast to thick grey clouds to some sun in the afternoon.

I’m the first to leave the tentsite. It’s been a while since I camped in the vicinity of others, and their faint early morning fuss provides me with the incentive to get moving myself, and it feels great to get going early, and walk alongside the quiet mountain views. The panoramic is wonderful, skirting around at high elevation until I reach Methow Pass, which marks the starts of a long descend through the forest.

Once again I’m a little spooked by Washington, the forest is thick and seemingly endless, so I try and pass through it as fast as I can, unsure when it will end – if it ever will. As I get lower, the chill disappears, and I take off my leggings during a quick rest, and see how my shorts are slowly disintegrating. Everything I’m wearing is slowly starting to fall apart. The end of Washington may mean a bit of a shopping spur to replace some items.

When the trail finally leads me out of the valley I’m thrown right into a long path up, overwhelmed with brush, a messy sight if anything, until the path clears, making way for a grassy mountainside with endless switchbacks and big views.

I have lunch here. I carefully consider how much I can eat, counting the slices of bread while sitting on a rock. Then I continue the switchbacks past Glacier Pass, up towards the windy and overcast heights, finally affording me some great rocky views as I move towards Harts Pass.

I walk along a ridge here, skirting around the dry mountainside as it changes into a colourful slope filled with wildflowers. It’s mostly level here and easy to walk, and just before Harts Pass I have a second lunch, a few more slices of bread while I look out over a small burn area. From Harts Pass there’s only 30 miles left to Canada. I’m so close now.

After the pass the views change. Suddenly the landscape rolls, green flowing hills with families of trees clustered here and there. It looks a little like the UK. Now I’m rolling towards Canada. The sharp snowy peaks in the distance pose a stark contrast with the green grass, which from a distance seem perfectly manicured.

I realise I’m doing great with time, and I’m happy I got up early enough to do this many miles before 7. Im enjoying the challenge of doing 25 miles days to finish up Washington, and hopefully tomorrow will go smoothly as well. I end my day at Windy Pass. There’s something a little dark and uncanny about the tentsites, but there’s a small stream and I set up anyways. One day left to Canada!

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