PC and I (Quiz) attempted our first cowboy camp since Hat Creek Rim last night without success. At 2am I woke to light rain on my face so we quickly pitched the tent in the dark, light rain continued off and on for the rest of the night. Poor PC couldn’t get back to sleep and even though I did our morning alarm was still a rude shock.
Mist and swirling rainy cloud was everywhere when we got up. It had been such nice weather the day before it’s always a bit of a shock. We packed up and set off in the dark noting that it’s getting light later and later now. It was cold and windy and it felt like we had been walking forever when I found PC stopped by the side of the trail having breakfast. I joined her and later Mushy arrived and we made coffee. We had gone 2 miles but it felt like at least 4, these packs full of 150miles/240kms of food weigh a ton.
Thankfully it was all downhill for a few miles after breakfast and we could cruise through forest to Rock Creek, our first water source for 11 miles which is strange considering how wet and green and full of mossy gullies Washington has been so far. Rock Creek had an excellent swimming hole but it was way too cold to even consider it, what a waste!
We started our only climb for the day up Mowich Butte right after the creek. I am one for long climbs and quite enjoy them but the others who are down hill folk complained, but only a little. It seemed as soon as we started climbing the sun finally cleared up the mist and started beating down on us instead. By the time I had reached the top of the steady 5 mile climb I was covered in sweat. We snatched a few obscured views of Ranier but the mountain is doing a good job of being elusive, it’s just teasing us and building apprehension I guess. At the top I took a poop break and waited for the others, Mushy rocked up and we chatted for a while before we realised PC was in front of him and must have powered past ages ago. We set off down the other side but never managed to catch her, by the time we arrived at Trout Creek for lunch PC had swam and done her laundry. A SOBO Hiker offered us his dates while we were eating lunch but he said ‘who would like a date’ and PC thought he was cute and immediately answered yes!
With only 5 miles left after lunch we all took it pretty leisurely at our own pace. I stopped at Wind River for a swim because I was hot and it just looked too inviting. We walked next to some paddocks briefly and through forested rolling foothills till we reached the side road to Panther Creek Campground. With the eclipse so near its unlikely they had a spot for us, which was true, but they did have potable water so we cameled up for our dry section tomorrow and made do with some flattish space right next to the trail by the bridge. PC and I had another wash and we are now all having a lil nap nap before dinner. Ah the good life!