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PCT WA Section H

Oct. 8: The Slug

As previously mentioned, the fog that rolled in overnight covered everything in condensation. My tent was soaked and the trees were dripping like rain. In fact, I thought it was rain at first, and stopped to put on my packa shortly after leaving camp. The sun was only just coming up and I was walking out under headlamp light.

Coming around the lake to the PCT, I made a wrong turn and wound up in a campsite with a single tent. The man inside, probably half asleep, shouted “Too warm!” I snuck away the way I had come in and tried not to make any noise, but I was thinking “If you’re too warm, you ought to come out here. I’m freezing!”

The first little bit of trail was pretty annoying, following the side of a ridge with frequent deadfalls across it. Some required climbing the hill to get around. I was glad to see the trail turn and begin descending from the ridge.

After 4 miles, I stopped at a tiny pond called Green Lake to collect some water. At this point, it was apparent that our was going to be a warm sunny day, so I put up my packa. Then the trail wandered along on a level, through some meadows, past a trailhead with a pit toilet (hurray!), and alongside a vast lava field to a tiny spring with a pipe stuck in it pouring water onto the trail. I stopped here for lunch and incorporated the spring water into said lunch.

Soon after this, I encountered my first full size Washington slug. It wasn’t as big as a banana slug, but it was big enough that you would want to eat it on a bun instead of a toothpick if it were made of beef. Apparently the slugs in Washington are just like that. I’m surprised I hadn’t seen one sooner.

The trail then climbed back up onto a ridge covered by taller, thicker trees. It remained like that for the next 9 miles with only the occasional nice views. I had to play games with myself to keep me hiking at full speed. Eventually, I stopped to dry camp in a tiny nook beside a little used dirt road. But the important thing was that I would be able to arrive early at my pickup point the following morning. Wind River Highway was only 6 miles away.

Total distance: 20 miles

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