Day 119 (August 17): PCT Mile 2,182.6 – 2,208.9

Be Here Now

Beginning Elevation = 900
Ending Elevation = 4,800
Elevation Range = 900 – 4,950
Weather: Cloudy, foggy, high of 70°F

Rather than go through the whole days activities in detail, I think I’ll try shortening things up again today. So here we go…

The morning consisted of a big climb out away from Panther Creek up to Big Huckleberry Mountain. A lot of it looked like this…

Eventually, we got a few spots where we could see out.

At one such spot, we had our breakfast stop.

Check out the dino’s in my oatmeal…

More forest and some foggy clouds rolled in.

I saw a Snickers hiding in the trees!

Near the first “peak” of the day, Big Huckleberry Mountain, I observed a message from a wise hiker before me. ” Be Here Now”…

What a great reminder for all of us. I may have just passed by without really thinking about it, there’s quite a few messages that other hikes have grafiti’d after all, but it stayed with me since recently I’ve been distracted. I’ve been thinking a lot about after the trail and whats next for me. I don’t think this is bad at all, but I think it was consuming my thoughts just a tad too much and so today I made a little more effort to be present in the moment!

Soon afterwards, the trail began descending and did so for another 5 miles. We had lunch at a trailhead sitting at a picnic table and then set off to go up once again. More views looking out once up a ways

Even got to see Mount Adam’s (I think)

And then after a bit the trail decided to drop down again. That seems to be how Washington is, well I suppose most of the trail is. Up and then down. I made it to the beautiful Blue Lake…

This was the start of seeing many day hikers and weekend campers. I also began seeing quite the array of fungi!

Passed by Eunice Lake too…

And then made it to Bear Lake, where we intended to camp. Since I’d been ahead of Snickers for a while, I drew a little pictograph in the trail with an arrow leading down the side trail that I’d taken in hopes of finding a spot to camp. Turns out that finding a spot was more difficult than anticipated! There were folks tenting everywhere around this lake, every available spot was taken. I went the whole length of it and then following advice from some folks I’d talked to, curved my way around until there was a little path leading away. It was a haggered spot. Slanted and bumpy, but I was exhausted with searching and so accepted it. I doubted Snickers would find me and if he did, wasn’t sure where he’d go.

After I was set up, I took my dinner stuff and sat by the lake to cook/eat.

When finishing up, I saw Snickers traveling down the side trail following in my footsteps. Problem was, I’d left the trail and so he had no way to know where’d I’d gone. I could have yelled across the lake, but A, I don’t think the other campers would’ve appreciated the disturbance on their scenic getaway weekend. And B, I didn’t even have a spot for him. So, I watched as he turned around and searched for a site himself. We’ll catch up tomorrow and be able to chat through it.

This was a very beautiful area, Indian Heaven Wilderness I think it’s called, and it was easy to see why so many weekenders were around. It was a good day.

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