WA PCT 2015

Sept. 13, 2015

It was windy and foggy when we woke at our usual 5 AM time. It was a bit dark when we started out so we wore our headlamps hoping to avoid any mistaken identity by the hunters. Barely into the hike we heard a male Elk bugling . We stopped and listened to him as he was making his presence well known. Due to the thick brush we were not able to see him. It was a great start to the hike. Elk signs are everywhere, but so far have only seen one. As the day progressed we were becoming quite adept at clothes changing. The weather went back and forth between rainy, windy, cold and then hot. We were able to fill water at some great springs. The trail went thru terrain ranging from old growth forests, burned areas, logged areas and a mishmash of logging roads. We did not see anyone on the trail till we hiked out to the road at Tacoma Pass. At the junction of the road and trail a beautiful wooden sign carved out the words Magic. At first we were hesitant to stop, but then Bert motioned for us to come over. Here was an amazing set up run by 'Not Phil’s Dad'. His son had hiked the PCT in 2009 and ever since then he has come to this trailhead to spread trail magic during the week after labor day weekend. He brought hot dogs and various beverages to share. His friend Bert had just come from a church picnic and they had given him all the leftovers. We had our fill of fruit and pastries. Not Phil’s Dad had been keeping a record of hikers passing thru.  There had been close to a 100 the last 4 days. Bird and Chug were there as well as Legolas. It would have been fun to stay longer, but the trail was awaiting and we wanted to camp by water for the night. We found a spot on an abandoned logging road and were soon joined by Stargazer and Mailman.  Stargazer was hiking the entire PCT as a retirement celebration.  He had been on the trail since the end of March and he was ready to be finished. It has been a good day.

Mileage 19 miles-Almost to Stampede pass