Today was magical and wonderful to the point where nature made me cry at its beauty and Turkey D and I (Quiz) wouldn’t go to bed because view from camp was so incredible. Just as a tid bit here is my view as I write this post.
We started our day in forest and with a lil view of Mt Rainier for breakfast through some trees. The trail briefly burst onto a rocky summit and we got some excellent Adams and rocky peaks views but then dived back into forest till just before lunch. This was unfortunate as the solar eclipse happened at about 10.15 but we all hunkered down in a patch of sunlight and took turns looking through my eclipse glasses. The forest gradually went dark but all the colours were still very defined and all the birds stopped chirping for the darkest hour/10 minutes.
Just before lunch the trail began to climb and climb, which turned out to be our main activity for the whole afternoon. We headed alpine and the skyline opened up and we all busted out a loud rendition of Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag. We ate lunch by a stream full of frogs and wildflowers and shared cheese as we are all running low on random food groups. Day 6 of 7 and it feels like we have been out here for a lifetime of chocolate rations (I’m serious).
We continued our climb through a breathtaking valley in Yakima Reservation to Cispus Pass. Apon crossing into Yakima Valley I started to cry, sometimes it’s just so overwhelming to toil for hours up a slope and then suddenly step over the brink into the middle of a pristine picturesque scene complete with a huge waterfall, craggy mountain peaks crumbling into steep forested slopes. The green trees are juxtaposed next to red and yellow rocks, blue and orange wildflowers. Some of the cliffs are formed with pillars upon pillars of hexagons thrust in multiple directions by forces long ago.
How could the day get better!? We cross the Pass and walk into yet another amazing valley of red Crags and high meadows. To set everything off the sky is a brilliant blue today too. I won’t describe this one I’ll just add a ton of photos.
We reached our last watersource of the day, a waterfall of course (!) and loaded up. We had a final steeeeep climb up to high camp and funnily enough passed about 4 unmarked streams on 0.5 miles before camp. Stubborn as I am I didn’t let out any of my 4 litres to tempt fate. Despite my back sweat literally filtering below my bum I powered up the last climb feeling strong and gaining strength from the environment and from every person we passed saying how great camping at the top would be. And it is fucking amazing!!! We can see mountains for miles, 3 volcanoes, 3 lakes one hanging in an old glacier cirque with a huge ice burg in it and a waterfall cascading off one side. I was the first to camp and picked out the best locations for TD and Mushy and I. We spent a lot of time just sitting a staring and slowly others rolled into camp. TD and I stayed sitting up on an outcrop watching the sun set till it was nearly dark, we both agreed it was our best sunset/rise since TDs bday during our AAWT hike (Day 19 of the AAWT hike, check out some nice photos in the archives). We are camping without the fly so we can pretend to stare at mountains all night long.