Day 153: Mood: +1,000,000

I am so, so much happier now than I have been in days. Why? Blue skies. We woke up this morning and looked outside — clouds, but they seemed about to clear off. By the time we were ready to go, about 11 AM? Sun! Blue sky! After nine days of rain, it feels incredible to get actual sun, to be able to go outside and hike without getting wet. It’s amazing.

Where do I even begin? Tonight, I didn’t have to climb under the tarp

Day 152: Coming In From the Rain

Guess what we woke up to this morning? Yup: even more rain. While the rain seems to have dwindled over the past few days to what my stereotypes of Washington expect — all-day, on-again-off-again drizzles, rather than absolute downpours — it’s still nearly constant, and keeps everything permanently wet. (Sometimes, I feel like I might mildew if I’m not careful.) We changed clothes under the tarp, again, made breakfast under the tarp, again, packed up our packs under the tarp, again, and put on our rain clothes under the tarp, again, before heading out for the day.

Elevation and temperature around here seemed to be intimately linked, because we’ve been crossing the

Day 151: Snowstorm on the Knife’s Edge

The hail blew against my face so hard it felt like I was getting sandblasted. The wind made a racket blowing the fabric of my clothing, and I tried hard to just put one foot in front of the other, watching carefully to see where rocks stuck out of the snow. On one side of the trail was a thousand-foot dropoff into a valley…and on the other side of the trail was a thousand-foot dropoff into a different valley. When I picked my head up and looked around, all I could see was white — white from the clouds and white from the snow, sometimes blending into each other so well that I literally could not tell where the horizon was.

This is the Knife’s Edge, a long hike across an exposed high ridgeline here in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. But it isn’t supposed to be like this.

Day 150: This is Getting Old

It all started out so well. We woke up to actual blue sky above our tent this morning, which was downright shocking after the week of miserable weather we’ve had. It even held as we got ready and continued walking the road detour around the PCT fire closure — boring, but fast hiking. We even got a chance to see a view of Mount Adams, the spectacular volcano we’re slowly hiking around, in the distance! (We’re supposed to have been getting views of Mount Adams just about nonstop for the past week…but that’s assuming there aren’t rainclouds everywhere blocking your view.)

And it was right around noon that it all completely fell apart.

Day 149: On the Road Again

Road walks suck. It may not immediately be obvious that hiking along a road is so much worse than being on a trail, but it absolutely is. Most obviously, pavement is a lot harder than dirt, and so your feet hurt a whole lot faster. Also, you don’t really get to see much that’s all that cool from roads, because they’re cleared so far to either side. Walking roads is incredibly boring, because you can see what’s coming ahead for ages and ages — even on the twistiest of roads — when going at hiking speed. Traffic can be a concern, although the road we were on today had so little of it that it really wasn’t an issue at all.

We were on a road today because

Day 148: Escape From the Rain

We woke up this morning to yet more rain. In fact, it rained literally all night long last night; I woke up often enough to attest to that. As you might imagine, this gets really, really old soon enough. The fact that it not only makes hiking (and camping) a whole lot less fun, but also prevents us from seeing any of the scenery around here — at least, anything beyond a short distance from where we are — makes it all the more of a bummer.

It didn’t really stop raining for very long more or less the whole time we were hiking today, either, but one big thing made this a lot easier to take:

Day 147: A Reprieve? Well…Only Sort Of

This marks our fifth straight day of rain. I thought, most of the day today, that we might actually get lucky and be coming to the end of the wet spell we’ve been having; it didn’t rain at all during the day today, although everything around us was still really, really wet most of the time. But then, this evening, just after we made camp, it started coming down again…and so I’m typing this, listening to the rain patter down on the tarp above. It’s kind of a neat feeling to be warm and dry while it rains outside, truth be told, except that the knowledge that we’ll have to go outside again tomorrow morning makes it decidedly less fun.

It’s possible we’ve had more rain in the last five days