It was a warm night with the stars twinkling. We got up about 5 to cook a hot breakfast in preparation for the hike over Goat Rocks today. We were on our way by about 6:10, passing several tents along the way. As we neared the ridgeline we had to cross a slippery icy snow field. Two people that were crossing it seemed to be having difficulty so we took a higher route thru the borders which seemed to work fine. The trail and views could not have been better. We had heard horror stories of this section when the weather is bad. Glad we did not have to experience that. This was a day of going up 1000 feet and then down a 1000 feet, then up another 1000 feet and back down 1000 feet. Not an easy trail for sore appendages. Lutz lake provided us much needed water. Sometimes it seems hard to think that we are in WA when we have long stretches with no water. As we approached White Pass we came across the first ski area. Signs and chairlifts made it obvious. Last year, due to lack of snow, several of these areas never opened. We had planned on camping at Gilote Lake and arrived there near evening. Several groups of elk hunters passed us today.We were in our tent when we heard another hiker come by. She introduced herself as Firecracker and said that she had seen numerous eyes in the dark and kept hiking till she had found some other campers. She did not feel safe camping by herself. We had heard Elk in the area so assumed that she had seen their eyes with her headlamp. As we see more thru hikers the norm seems to be group camping. Hikers usually do not hike in groups but have a predetermined camp for the night. Switchfoot, Siren and Not Yet passed us late afternoon. They were going to camp at a campground near White Pass, The good news is that the trail is now opened all the way to Canada. With all the rain that we have been having it is unlikely that the trail will be closed again.
mileage hiked 21 miles-Gilote Lake