Day 1 of Cascade Locks to Trout Lake

The day to actually begin hiking came and my ability to pretend patience was nonexistent. It’s not that I was in a rush to get out the door, I just didn’t have any desire to wait around once our to-dos were to-done. My hiking pack, plump with supplies and sitting lazily on the edge of the bed, was laughing at me. It was the kind of deep belly laugh that can only come from an antagonizingly evil piece of hiking gear.

~The 3 hours time difference must be getting to my head.

Conselation Prizes

Today’s hike was awesome. It would have been really cool to start at the Canadian border as we had originally planned, but starting at the Bridge of the Gods was no second place. The bridge is free for pedestrians to cross, but there are no walking lanes. Cars swerved around us at slow speeds as we walked over metal grates large enough to swallow a dropped phone into the river below. My body was tense for the first few minutes, deathly afraid my phone would pop out of my pocket, but was eventually able to relax and enjoy the views.

Unlike other hikes, Brianna and I will be hiking with a lot of other people on the trail this year. We met a couple from Canada, all loaded up with their packs on, right before starting the cross over the bridge. Nice to meet you, Jupiter and Hanna! They are taking it at a slower pace than Brianna and I, because Hanna is new to the hiking world. Two of many people we will meet on this journey and quite possibly never speak to again.

Trail was fairly easy hiking today. Lots of ups and downs paired with some overgrown paths that were mostly well maintained. There is so much poison oak out here that I’ll die of a surprise if I don’t already have it. My knee-high socks and shorts have saved me from poison ivy during our previous hikes, there is just too much of it here. I’d recommend full pants to anyone planning to come out this way, which would also help with the stinging plants I encountered.

One thing I have already noticed about the PCT, as compared to the NCT & IAT, is that there are very few trail markers in Washington. The Ice Age Trail had yellow blazes on what felt like every other tree.  The North Country Trail had blue blazes at least every quarter mile, even in the most remote regions. The PCT has metal signs every once in a long while, but no blazes whatsoever.  A lack of blazes is not a big deal when the trail is as obvious as it has been today. I can definitely see how people get lost in the snow though, if you can’t see the trail… you’re screwed… or you’ve got a GPS app open all day long.

Tonight is the first night of Brianna sleeping in her own hammock tent and me solo in our large Triplex. It’s weird. We’ll see how it goes.

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