Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 147: Stevens Pass to Boulder Field Near Crest

After a delicious breakfast, we returned to the trailhead. Itchy and Scratchy hiked into the parking lot just as we arrived, anxious to get into town to pick up their resupply. As we were pulling out our packs we heard a voice "Do you remember me?" It was Orange Pacer, one of the day hikers who had shared treats and encouragement on the rainy day as we were hiking near Tacoma Pass. Masa and Kanji, two Japanese hikers, were also waiting near the trailhead, hoping to get a ride to town to pick up their resupplies.

From the trailhead, we crossed over to the north side of the highway. From there the trail disappeared into a green tunnel of trees, huckleberry bushes, ferns, and other plants. A variety of fungi also grew near the trail.

Although it is easy to forget what day of the week it is when you are hiking, crowds of day hikers reminded us that today was Saturday. Deer hunting season had also just started in the area, bringing even more people into the woods.

We spent much of our day climbing from one ridge to another. Each time we popped out above treeline, Glacier Peak loomed ahead, towering above the other mountains in the area. The view of glacier and snow capped Glacier Peak across a beautiful ridge carpeted with golden green grass dotted with white puffs of dandelion seed pods and other wildflowers was a highlight of the afternoon.

It was getting dark when we reached the Pear Lake trail junction. Although we had planned to camp near the junction, with no camping in sight, we decided to press on. But as the trail climbed another ridge and traversed a steep hillside, we still could not find camping.

The trail passed through a huge boulder field as it traversed the steep hillside. Reaching a large, flat, platform-like boulder, we decided to camp for the night. Our rock provided an excellent view of the night sky, and promised more views of the surrounding area when the sun rose in the morning.

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