tiffany's pct journal

Washington Section J: Highway 2 (Stevens Pass) to Interstate 90 (Snoqualmie Pass).

Days: 15 - 18.
Dates: July 18 - 21.
Trail mileage: 188.7 - 259.5.
Distance: 70.8 miles.

It was here that we hit 10% completed! Not only that, but we were through the North Cascades, and halfway done with Washington. Well done, us.

hikers at camp
Getting good at tetris-ing tents at camp

In 2018, I went on a backpacking trip with a good friend of mine from grade school. Katie and I spent a weekend hiking to Jade Lake over in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and along the way, we walked by a PCT junction, where we hiked along about 25 meters or so of the trail. I took a photo next to that sign. It was fun to walk by that sign again and remember that moment.

me next to the sign in 2018 the sign in 2019
The sign didn't change in that year, but I sure did (no more carrying those heavy Nalgene bottles)

I got to cross my first water crossing where my feet got wet here. To be honest, I could have definitely tried harder to find a rock-skip path to make it without getting my shoes soaked, but I was lazy and the weather was nice, so I knew my feet would dry throughout the day. I happened to meet up with Oli here, who tried to help direct me on how to get across and made sure I made it alright. Yeah, my trail family was pretty awesome.

crossing a log bridge
This was a different water crossing, but the point is we got good at crossing water in Washington

One night, we got to camp in a nice meadow next to a few ponds, and this is where we started to see the mosquitoes. And they were pretty bad.

view from camp in the morning
I like to be the first one awake at camp

At some point, Yahtzee came back from one of the ponds and said to the group, "Did you see the little fish that was in there that looked exactly like the world's tiniest eggplant?" I found it funny enough to write down in my journal.

view from the trail
Always love the parts where I can see the trail up ahead

Somewhere around here, we also started getting our first glimpses of Mount Rainier, which was very exciting. Since I live in Seattle, Rainier is a very familiar face to me, as we can see it from the city. It was like seeing a familiar face.

Kendall Katwalk is an extremely popular hiking trail near Seattle, and it was the last 6 miles of our hike into Snoqualmie Pass. It was an absolutely gorgeous descent with Rainier just getting bigger and bigger in the distance.

It was also a Sunday so it may as well have been a Costco.

a rock that looks kind of like Washington state
I found this rock that looked kind of like Washington

Hiking etiquette dictates that uphill hikers have right of way. That means that even though I knew I was only a few miles out from town, it took me hours just to get down to the parking lot as I was constantly yielding to other hikers. Every 10 feet, I had to stop for one of the hundreds of day hikers and trail runners taking in the lovely Sunday weather. At least I could just stare at Rainier whenever I had to stop.

Rainier in the distance
So happy to see this beauty

Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to see people getting outside. But I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to get into town. My partner was coming to pick me up from Snoqualmie Pass because it's only an hour away from Seattle, and I was going to get to sleep at home that night.

morning sun
Woke up early so I could get to town earlier; town is very motivating

When I got to Snoqualmie Pass, my partner still hadn't left Seattle, so I went to the cafe. I found Oli at the Chevron nearby, and we got snacks (they had refrigerated grapes!) to relax and celebrate completing 10% of the trail.

Now we only had to do that 9 more times. Bring it on!

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