Mileage: 0, 7.2, 14.2, 20.1, 15.1, 14.5
We were planning on getting out of Snoqualmie Pass without zeroing, but it quickly became apparent that Caitlin needed a hotel recharge so I caved and we got a room at the Summit Inn. It was worth it. Caitlin was happy and we both got to recharge our batteries (both literally and figuratively– hey we’ve got a lot of electronics!).
Unfortunately, the next day brought terrible weather, but we needed to get out of town, so we trudged out of Snoqualmie Pass in the rain.
It got colder, wetter, and windier as we gained elevation, and soon, it was downright miserable.
We ended up stopping very early for the day (only 4:30pm) because we were both getting very cold and I was losing dexterity in my hands. Sometimes you have to know when to call it, and this was one of those times. We camped in the wet, but we found a decent place with good drainage to set up our tent. It took quite a while, but we finally warmed up. We weren’t very hungry, and just skipped dinner. I knew we’d need another day to do this section now anyway, so saving an extra dinner was a good idea at this point.
It rained all night, but luckily stopped around 9am. We got a late start due to the continuously miserable weather, but it was alright. We wore our long underwear for the first time while hiking because it was so cold (probably in the 40’s-50’s and damp).
Eventually things lightened up a little bit, and I even found a rainbow. Needless to say, I got pretty excited by the change in weather…
The next few days were characterized by lots of amazing views, and gobs and gobs of weekend backpackers (what I call “civilians”). It seems that everyone and their brother from the Seattle area hikes the trail from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass if they are looking for a week long trip (note: thru hikers do this section in 3-4 days).
Nevertheless, it was an incredible stretch of trail, and it’s not ours to lord over anyway (even though it feels like that sometimes… see Thru-Hiker Superiority Complex for more details), so I don’t mind sharing it (ok, maybe a little bit, but it’s fine).
We also encountered the most enigmatic creature on the trail (maybe on earth?): the American Water Shrew. Look it up. It’s totally real. And yes, it walks on water. And it dives underwater like a pro. Seriously, I’m not even kidding. The world needs to know about this incredible mammal!
Anyway, enough jibber jabber… here are some pics:
We finally made it to Stevens Pass and hung out on the balcony of the main lodge building (it was vacant at the time). Luckily they had electrical outlets nearby and plenty of table and chairs around, so we charged our phones and chatted with friends and family while we cooked dinner on one of the tables.
After dinner, we set up our tent behind the ski school building, which looked like it wasn’t being used during the summer. It was a flat spot and there was an outlet nearby to charge our electronics… what more can you ask for? Life is good.