PCT Day 90, SoBo Flip Day 9!

July 11
Mile 2265.1 to mile 2242.8, no measurable off trail miles, 22.3 miles total
PCT Miles: 767.1
Running total: 870.2

The onslaught of mosquitos (aka our day) began around 8:25. We decided to start in our rain pants for dual-purpose: bug protection and ’cause we knew the path was overgrown and the plants were all wet from the day before.

Leaving mosquito-hell campsite
I refused to pee this morning- more skeets in the pants??!! I just couldn’t! After walking for a few hours I thought it was safe to pee. Would you believe those blood-sucking opportunistic fucks found me AGAIN?!? Ugh. Washington, I’m trying…
Toto, we ain’t in SoCal anymore! Look at these baby pinecones!

For comparison, a SoCal pinecone!!
The day was not too different from previous days in the trees, except for a few miles of bushwacking through overgrown plants on the trail- I was thankful that we were wearing our rain pants! We got wet up to our waists!!

Random saddle on a tree
Frogs are the lizards of Washington!
A duck?

Tried to capture all of the mosquitos that swarmed Matt when he stopped for water. Next time I’ll video.

We cruised through the terrain making pretty solid time. We had hoped for a 24 mile day, and 11.6 miles into our hike, around 12:45, we crossed a dirt road that had sun AND didn’t seem too buggy, so we decided to stop for our first break of the day. We set out some of our gear to dry while we attacked our food bags.

This yellow jacket made himself at home on my shirt…
While sitting there a guy passed who told us, “I’m sure you guys have been warned, but in about 10 miles you’re gonna come across Adam’s Creek- the log bridge people used previously to cross is completely submerged. Definitely feel free to scope it out yourselves, but we recommend heading downstream- less rapids.”
Ummm, nope!!??? And greaaaaat. I hate getting wet and I am not a strong swimmer- river crossings scare me. Now, I grew up on the ocean and can the ride waves and hold my own, but I find these rivers SO much more powerful and intimidating- ughhhhh.
After lunch, as we began walking again, I started to feel like shit. I think I was dehydrated and overheated in my rain pants, but I was stubborn and didn’t want to stop to take them off until right before our next climb. After 3 miles we stopped at the Lava Spring, (a spring that flows out of lava fields, go figure!) where I took a short break, ripped off my pants, and prepped for our 1,600 foot climb (over 9 miles! Such a nice, gradual climb!! Yesterday we did 1400 feet over 2.5 miles.) I definitely felt better after my water break!

Biggest ant hill that I have EVER seen! The entire thing was moving with ants

We passed a bunch of rivers with glacial runoff- the water was milky and gross looking!

Had to get something out of my shoe

As we climbed we had amazing views of Mt. Adams- I couldn’t stop staring at it! SO BEAUTIFUL!

Although slowed down by my constant photos of Mt. Adams, we eventually made it to the dreaded creek- andddddd, it was gushing…like, unsafe to cross gushing. I asked Matt, a white-water kayaker, which class those rapids might be classified as- he estimated class 3…out of 5. Fuck.

Just to compare, this was when our pals crossed about 10 or 11 days prior:

Photo credit: Arc
As we were told, the log bridge was submerged.
The log bridge was somewhere under there…

Downstream there were less rapids but it still looked deep with a strong current and there was no way of us knowing just how deep the creek was, and neither of us felt like experimenting- nothing like a steep drop off mid-crossing to knock you off your feet and send ya down that raging waterfall just a little farther downstream…yep, nope!

We walked around a bit to try and find a safe place to cross (hence my unmeasurable miles), and Matt even took off upstream to scope that area out. Nada. Meanwhile, young boys (12 maybe?) were playing around the creek and trying to cross unstable log bridges that they had tried to make themselves- you better believe this helicopter-nurse/parent-but-not-a-parent went off on them, telling them that they better not to try and cross that creek and to stay away from the water!! (The next day when I was trying to talk to a man across the creek, both of us yelling, I realized that the boys could probably barely hear my voice and just saw a crazy lady with crazy braids shaking the “no-no” finger at them!)
When Matt returned from his adventure upstream, we made the safe decision to cut our day short by 2 miles and set up camp. We hoped the creek would be a bit less swollen and calmer the next morning so we could be more confident in our crossing- with creeks and rivers directly fed by snow melt, the morning is usually the safest time to cross, before the sun of the day melts the snow! Ovennight the snow doesn’t melt and so the rivers tend to drop a bit.
We dined outside, tied up our food, and fell asleep to the sound of the roaring rapids.

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