Day 2 of Cascade Locks to Trout Lake

No matter how many king hikes I do, it takes a while for me/us to get back into the on-trail groove.  Brianna and I were up at 0500 this morning and quick to jump on our morning chores. Starting to work was about the last quick thing we did, doing the chores took much longer. To top it off, we tried a new vegan biscuit and gravy meal for breakfast that was the blandest of bland. We each choked down about half the serving, which was a couple of cups worth, before giving up and throwing them away. “Throwing away” on the trail means we put them in our garbage bags and carried them with us for the rest of the day – not ideal. We were on the trail by around 0645.

3 miles of steep inclines greeted us immediately after beginning the trail this morning. Several tree blowdowns blocked our path, preventing us from getting into a proper rhythm. The going was slow, but we knew that if we could just make it up the hill, there would be 6 miles of mostly downhill afterward.

Head In The Clouds

Dealing with overgrown brush is part of a normal hiking day, not a big deal. Today’s overgrowth turned into a special kind of evil as we hiked up near the 4,000ft range of elevation and into the clouds. Having my head in the clouds is nothing like they made it seem to be when I was a kid. As an adult, I’m learning that having your head in the clouds means that everything is wet and cold. Every time my body heat warmed me up, cold water from overgrown plants would splash a chill back up my spine. The next time you feel the urge to tell someone to get their head out of the clouds, look to see if they are waterlogged and miserable before making such wild claims.

Hiking in the clouds means you’re socked in from admiring any of the many far-out views you’d otherwise have from the side of a mountain. Looking at our feet all day gave us the opportunity to see something more present than the distant views, banana slugs! I’ve followed a lot of people hiking a lot of trails and never do I remember anyone mentioning these 4-6 inch long slimers. They are so plentiful that I find myself watching as a means to not squish them.

All-in-all, the first couple days of our PCT adventure have been a success. Two more days until I expect to see snow. Shit’s about to get heavy —> insert Eminem quote.

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