Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 154: Spring Near Tatie Peak to Spring Near Crest

The sun rose, a giant red orb behind a curtain of smoke. The golden larch trees shimmered as their needles caught the morning light. Rich green heather mixed with deep red grasses and leaves carpeted the ground beneath the trees. We met several day hikers as we slowly hiked to Harts Pass (6,198 ft), all of them out enjoying the unseasonably warm, Washington weather.

Signs announced trail magic at Harts Pass as we approached. Although we did not plan to stay long, we stopped to say hi. The trail angel was out replenishing supplies, so we sat down to talk to another hiker who had just returned from the border.

Two rangers walked up as we were talking. "Are you Sierra?" they asked. Bill and Patti, the volunteer rangers at Harts Pass, introduced themselves as friends of Coach Lindsay, one of Sierra's skiing coaches. What a small world!

After they left, Slick (PCT '08) returned and cooked up some delicious food. Sitting down, eating, talking, relaxing, we no longer felt the same sense of urgency to move down the trail. Two hours later, we finally started hiking again.

We spent the afternoon traversing a series of beautiful but indistinguishable passes: Buffalo Pass, Windy Pass, Foggy Pass, Jim Pass, Devil's Backbone. We enjoyed warm weather and a rich array of fall colors as we walked.

It was getting dark as we approached Holman Pass. An icy fog cloaked the pass and the valley below. Unable to penetrate the cool mist, our headlamp beams reflected back at us, rather than illuminating the trail. We climbed out of the fog and finally found camp near a spring high above Holman Pass.

1 comment:

  1. Holman Pass?!

    Wow! You only one day to monument. You guys are probably there as I write this. I realize it's a bit early but, congratulations!

    Monkey - Your courage and ability to stick with it to the end amazes me. Well done. I hope your story shows others your age that you really can do anything you set your mind to. =]

    Mama Bear - I wish I could have given my boys such a gift. You have done a wonderful, wonderful thing here... I don't even have the words... Speaking of which, thank you for writing this and sharing it with all who care read it. Your descriptions of the flowers, the trees, everything you saw around you, the ups and the downs (figuratively and literally) made me feel like I was there. I look forward to your final posts.