Friday, August 24, 2018 – 16 miles
The morning was cold and foggy with low-hanging clouds.
The PCT climbed up Blowdown Mountain. On this viewless day I didn’t bother taking the spur trail to the summit. A thru-hiker named Kris Fowler (Sherpa) went missing somewhere along this stretch in October 2016, and with the thick mist, the area was creepy in a most-cliche-of-horror-movies kind of way.
I met fellow hikers, researchers collecting spiders for the Burke Museum since they’re easier to catch in the cold, and race organizers who told me that an ultramarathon will be using 40 miles of the PCT tomorrow and hikers are welcome to partake in the vittles at the resupply stations. I passed on word to another hiker and was surprised when he was unenthusiastic about it. Along with not being excited about the food, he thought it would be annoying to be passed by a large number of people. Ah, as someone who’s passed by a large number of people every day, it’s not that bad.
We also discussed the endgame. The PCT is essentially closed from Rainy Pass to the Canadian border – I believe that you can walk to Hart’s Pass, but the road there is closed so you would have to backtrack to Rainy Pass to exit the trail. The PCTA has suggested a detour but it’s logistically trickier, requiring a bear canister/bear bagging and backtracking or a potentially expensive boat ride, and doesn’t end at the PCT northern terminus. He was considering not doing the detour and ending his hike. I would definitely consider the detour but not if the smoky conditions continue.
I missed recording today’s mileage, so it’s just an estimate.