Although North Cascades National Park encompasses high alpine terrain, with steep, rocky ridges and peaks, the PCT remains at lower elevations as it travels through the park. The trail passes through old growth forest of mixed evergreens and deciduous trees. Our favorite is the Western Red Cedar, a towering giant with a massive trunk covered by peeling red bark. The largest cedar we passed had an estimated trunk circumference of over 30 feet!
Despite unseasonably warm weather this past week, signs that the seasons are changing are everywhere. Fall, to be closely followed by winter, is on its way. Many of the leaves are changing colors, providing a brilliant display of reds, oranges, and warm golden tones. The thimbleberry vines are turning brown and dying back. Most of the berries are gone, although Sierra discovered four ripe thimbleberries on one of the dying vines. She brought them to me, sharing a last delicious taste of summer.
We reached Rainy Pass (4,855 ft) in late afternoon. There we met my mother and collected the final resupply of our journey. We are now carrying everything we need for our final push to Canada.