We met our first hiker in 24 hours by mid-morning. "Are you hiking through?" she asked, eyeing us both. I nodded. "Then you must be Heather and Sierra!" she declared. Leslie had read our journal while preparing for her southbound hike. She is only the sixth southbound hiker we are aware of this season.
We continued hiking through damp forest for most of the day. Moss covered downed stumps, logs, rocks, and much of the forest floor. We crossed several forest roads, and received trail magic at one of them by a man who not only provided fresh fruit and cold drinks, he also told us a little more about the area we were passing through.
Reaching Wapinitia Pass (3,910 ft) on Highway 5, we were greeted by my father and a virtual welcoming committee: Subway Steve and his wife Steady were providing trail magic to One Ton, Clutch, and a host of other hikers. We enjoyed talking with them, but did not linger long before hiking on. One Ton hiked with us most of the way to our camp at Barlow Pass, and the miles went quickly.
Itchy, Scratchy, and several other hikers came through as we were getting ready for bed. Some of the hikers had hiked 47 miles or more in the hopes of reaching Timberline Lodge in time for breakfast! We fell asleep dreaming of waffles.