The Rainy Snoqualmie Area
Pacific Crest Trail Quest '08 - Page 28
I woke up to a freezing, miserable, wet morning. It was too cold to sleep, so I started
hiking. The trail was downhill, and by mid-morning, I had descended out of the awful mist
and it was just cold and cloudy. I ran into a few people on horseback. They were friendly,
but didn't share any food with me.
My afternoon was awful. The trail climbed back into the thick mist and into a patchwork of
clearcut. The clear cuts were overgrown with chest high, soaking wet bushes. I was
soaked. I was mad. I was miserable. To make things even worse, I got lost for about an
I finally climbed back down out of the fog, soaked to the bone. I hate that the trail runs up,
because it's not raining. I'm just walking through a cloud. If there's one thing I've learned
today it's that clouds are best viewed from afar.
I stopped early tonight and started my first campfire of the hike. It's nice to be warm and
dry, but the smoke brings back unpleasant memories of California.
It was raining when I started my hike, but the rain soon let up and I had only the water on
all the plants hanging over the trail to keep me wet. By lunchtime, even the plants had
dried out, and my hike was rather pleasant. The sun even came out for a while.
My left shoe is starting to come apart after several days of being soaked and I'm getting
blisters on the tops of my toes. My left foot is also the one that's been giving me trouble in
general, so the blisters are not what I need right now. I also don't have any dry socks to
I made it to the resort town of Snoqualmie just after 5:00. I went to the bar and asked if
they had a happy hour special. There is no happy hour in Snoqualmie, so I ordered an
overpriced beer. A group of construction workers came in a few minutes later, and after I
had talked to them for a while, they offered to take me to a better bar a few miles down the
We drove about ten miles to a tiny town that had nothing but a bar. I bought everyone a
drink and ordered a chili cheeseburger. The waitress asked if I wanted onion rings and I
said why not. A few minutes later, I had more onion rings in front of me than I could ever
eat, so I shared them with everyone. Then came the chili cheeseburger. It was huge!
There was at least a pound of hamburger covered in tons of chili and cheese. I managed
to eat it, but it stretched my stomach nearly to the bursting point.
I drank more beer and had a great time. At the end of the night, the waitress gave me my
bill. She must have had a soft spot for PCT hikers, because I had expected the bill to be at
least $100, but she charged me only $10. I left her a big tip, and the construction workers
gave me a ride back to my campsite. It was a great night!
I had too much fun last night to do any hiking today. I spent most of the day in the tent
reading. I went to the overpriced grocery store and stocked up for the next section of the
hike. I had a pretty good pizza at the pizza joint.
I'll hit the trail again tomorrow, and there's only 250 miles to go. It's weird for me to even
think about. I hate all this Washington rain (it's raining right now), but hiking has become
a way of life. I want to go, go, go, and I want to savor every last mile at the same time. It's
always a strange feeling when I'm almost done with a trip.
I packed up my stealth camp and walked to the gas station for a bite to eat before I hit the
trail. I also ducked into the bathroom to wash my overly greasy hair. I was sitting on the
curb eating my breakfast burrito when I realized I left my sunglasses on the soap
dispenser. I finished eating and went back to get them. Someone took my sunglasses
from a public bathroom. I looked in the trash. They weren't there. Someone in
Washington is wearing bathroom sunglasses. I had to buy a really crappy pair at the gas
station that will surely break before the end of the trip.
My sunglasses count for the trip is up to five now. There was one pair in California I didn't
mention. I bought a really cheap pair to replace the ones I lost in the brush, and they
broke two days later. My new pair is of similar quality, so I'm not holding out a lot of hope
The trail today has had tons of huge climbs, but the views are worth it. It's actually been
sunny all day. I finally got to see Mt. Ranier.
The highlight of my day came when I was climbing over a pass at the end of a long deep
valley. A fighter jet came screaming through the valley about 1,000 feet below me so that I
was actually looking down at it. Then it pulled up and passed not more than 200 feet
above my head. Unfortunately, it all happened way too fast to get a picture.