Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 89: Clearer Skies

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 – 9.70 miles

Today I received my first mostly clear views of Washington! It was good timing since the PCT followed a scenic route up into the mountains and along the Kendall Catwalk, which was blasted into the cliff face with dynamite in 1978. The trail wasn’t unusually narrow or in bad condition, but the hiker luck that’s constantly saving us all from death was weak on the Kendall Catwalk this year – two people fell off, one of whom passed away.

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The scenery reminded me of a less impressive version of the Russian Wilderness, but the different season makes a firm comparison difficult. Pikas and marmots were everywhere. eTrails includes some fun descriptions of animals, like for pikas: ‘the smallest member of the rabbit family, with charming bunny ears on a hamster-sized body’, for marmots: ‘growing up to 2.5 feet long and dragging a heavy belly as it gorges….’, for ptarmigans: ‘The plump, noisy, poor-flying bird….’, for quail: ‘Quail are fat, fleshy, none-too-bright birds that tend to live on the ground and run or fly loudly and inefficiently’.

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I was aiming for an established site today, but a couple passed me and took the spot. I ended up camping on a ridge beside the trail and was treated (?) to singing from passing hikers as I ate my supper.

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