It sometimes seems hard to believe that we’re about to start Washington, the final state on our hike. I think it’s that, most of the time, I’ve mentally treated the PCT as if it were infinitely long — I mean, obviously I knew there is an end to it, but it’s so far that trying to actually think about getting there will just frustrate you. And yet suddenly here we are, poised on our last state border with only (“only”) a little over five hundred miles to go. It still seems a bit unreal.
Having said that, Washington is decidedly not for the faint of heart. The terrain is much steeper, the days much harder, and the weather quite a bit more serious. We didn’t get rained on for a single moment in all of Oregon, but I don’t expect that to continue in Washington whatsoever. It’s a famously wet state, of course, and so we’re prepared for rain; there’s also a chance we’ll have to contend with snow, too, particularly as we make our way close to the Canadian border and it gets later and later in the season.
There is, however, a beautiful tradeoff for all of that: Washington is also supposed to have some of the most spectacular scenery on the entire trip, along with the High Sierra. I’ve never backpacked, sightseen, or really even been, in any serious way, to Washington. I’m looking forward a great deal to seeing what everyone says is so beautiful, and so different, from all of the hiking we’ve done so far.
This year, it seems like half of Washington is …