The sun woke us up. Sleep is a good thing! It is quite dry in this state. In fact many sections of the PCT in WA are closed due to fires. We are hoping that as we head North the sections will be reopened. Nothing we can do about the fire situation and the trails are opened where we are going now, so up go the packs. We hiked down to Rock Creek and had breakfast under the wooden bridge. If it had been warmer,a refreshing pool looked inviting, but not this early in the morning. The first person we saw on the trail was running towards us. She was a trail organizer for a 50K that is going to be run tomorrow. She marked the trail with ribbons and a white powder, probably baking soda to point out some interesting landmarks. Fortunately we will not be on this section tomorrow. It would slow us down even more. We are carrying more water than we need to, as there seems to be more water than is marked in the data book. Our map reading continues to be lacking. WA does not do a great job of naming creeks and we once again put us ahead of where we really were. When the trail didn't start a serious up hill we had to reassess our position. Our moral was a bit dampened at that point, so when we saw a cooler marked trail magic our spirits got uplifted. The cooler was full of fruits and drinks. Even though we were only on day two, the crisp Granny Apple tasted good. Now we knew our location as the trail and map agreed. It was time to start the uphill. First came the rain and as the trail became steeper and higher the rain turned to hail. Lots of Hail!! Our umbrellas helped and we made slow but steady process up hill. At this point some of our slowness was due to Don’s painful feet and Donna’s painful knee. We began looking for a flat spot, but there was not to be had. Finally we saw a ridge that had potential. There was a spot that would work. Right now that spot was a 5 star. Only enough for our tent, but that was all we needed. We quickly set up the tent in the rain and safely cooked in the vestibule. Lesson learned today was to put on the rain gear early. By the time we made camp we had some pretty wet clothing. Sore knee and feet are going to make for an interesting hike tomorrow.
MIleage 20-Past Panther Creek