PCT WA Section J

Sep. 17: A lot of water

I had arranged to camp at the bottom of a climb as I prefer to do. I also made no effort to get up early to begin said climb. By this time, I had a certain set date to arrive at Snoqualmie Pass and it was going to be useless to arrive any sooner than that date–indeed, to even arrive early on that date–so I had no reason to wake up before the sun.

But I did wake up shortly after it and got some views of it rising as seen through the haze of the smoke from distant fires.

The hike began with a climb over a ridge near Cathedral Rock, a descent to the outlet creek of Deep Lake, then following that creek to just above where it met the outlet of Waptus Lake. I stopped at a random place here to have lunch and observed a fuzzy caterpillar. The trail then worked its way along the lush side of a ridge overlooking said lake and down to the Waptus River, where I stopped to collect water.

I wasn’t alone here. Dozens of people converged here somehow. The entirety of Sherlock’s tramily came through when I was here. And then there was this pair who let me use a brand new Sawyer to collect my water quickly and easily. I tried to remember their names but failed to write them down. I do remember that the guy grew up in fish hatcheries and explained to me the difference between a fry and a minnow. Turns out a fry becomes a minnow when it has eaten through the food sac it hatches with.

From here it was nothing more than a climb out of the river basin to get to where I intended to camp. I couldn’t find the sites depicted on Guthook, so I squeezed my tent onto a slightly denuded spot on what can only be described as an island in a dry meadow. It had a rock nearby to sit and cook on. It was far enough off the trail that several people hiked by without even noticing I was there. I had stopped early enough that I was in bed before it even got dark.

Total distance: 17 miles

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