On our trip to Portland I bought a Rite in the Rain all weather pocket journal. I like it a lot so far. I bought it because I wanted to write these blogs with better detail. Sometimes it can be difficult to sit down and recall everything that happened over the last few days and put words to paper that do the trip justice. So I’m writing the following paragraphs from the present tense.
Made it to the top of Islip Peak. The views are excellent. Lots of cloud cover below, but we are above it all. It was a very enjoyable hike in. Only a little over 2 miles to the camp and another mile to the peak. There was a fairly good sized storm that passed through the last couple of days. It rained down below, but up here it snowed a fair amount. Worst case scenario, we can collect some of it and boil it up at camp.
We passed a group of people on the trail with enormous packs. Must have weighed 75lbs a piece. They were friendly though! Almost everyone on the trail is though. You have to love that about coming into the woods, if nothing else.
The Next Morning
I hate sleeping in a bivy sack. I bought it last year when we backpacked into the Grand Canyon. I thought I would get used to it, but that hasn’t happened. When you close it up, it’s too hard to breathe. They make them so they are waterproof, so that prohibits airflow. Knowing that, I vented the bivy (unzipped the waterproof shell halfway) and it was still horrible.
I fell asleep and a short while later woke up panting as if I was sleep jogging. I opened everything up after that. It was freezing, but at least I didn’t suffocate.
Now after breakfast, we are hiking a short stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
The Trail to Throop Peak
We met a very interesting man on the trail today. As he was passing us on the trail he asked where we were headed and we told him we were headed back to Islip Saddle where we parked. Callie then asked him the same question to which he replied, “Canada.”
When we got back to the saddle where the car was parked, he was there. He came up to us and struck up a nice conversation about hiking and whether we were going to hike the full PCT. We asked him how long it took (5 months), how many miles per day he hikes (25 miles). We thanked him for the conversation and mentioned how nice everyone on the trail is.
I’m paraphrasing, but I’m not making this up. He said he hikes because of the beautiful serenity of the faces on the trail, because we have been given the freedom and ability to enjoy the trail, and that he didn’t have to destroy anything but his fear to make it happen.