Leaving Bling

Day 149 – 9/7/15
In the trees below the Goat Rocks
Miles – 12.1
Total Miles – 2355.0 (PCT 2278.6)DSC08107-9-7-15 Everyone had breakfast, the car was loaded, and we hit the road by 8:00. We drove up to White Pass so we could pick up several packages, mainly our box of new shoes and a new tent for Bling and Little Crow. Since Bling was going to stay with his cousins, we do not need the second tent right now. The re-supply box we left, we’ll pick it up tomorrow when we hike thru. At the store we saw Treeman and Hedgehog. They were surprised and happy to see us. We told them of our plans. They will be leaving White Pass today thus we will be a day behind them. Next we drove to where we met Randy who agreed to drive us to the trailhead, which is back up 17 miles of dirt roads. All this time my (Mama Raven) stomach had those annoying nervous butterflies that you get before major dental work, surgery or an oral report. However today, it was due to the fact I had to say good bye to Bling. Papa Raven felt the same way. When we tuned off of Hwy 12, Randy was waiting there. We moved our packs to the back of her car and said our good byes. We have never left Bling like this before and it was very difficult to say good bye to him. It just did not feel right going off without him. Already, it feels like a very important part of us has been taken away. There is simply an empty void. It was a teary eyed departure for all. We had a good ride to the trailhead with Randy.  Once at the trail head, we unloaded her car and started on the last minute packing. Off at one end of the packing lot only one horse trailer was left, from the group that was here when Bling was rescued. It was Joe, one of the horsemen who was there when we came down off the mountain. He was surprised to see us. We explained about Bling. Since it was noon, we had a small bit to eat before going out. We retraced the path we took several days ago when Bling was carried out by horse and worked our way back to the PCT. It did not feel right hiking without Bling. Mama Raven was especially unhappy and uncertain if we were doing the right thing. We are going to have to get use to having three in our group instead of four. The trail headed up above timberline. We had great views in all directions. To the south, was Adams with a ring of clouds about its middle. To the west, we could look down into the valley we had just hiked out of. To the east, was Old Snowy, a scraggly mountain shooting up above us. And to the north Mt Rainier our next objective. The trail soon climbed up to the Packwood Glacier. New trail had been built above the glacier so you do not have to hike across it any longer. Clouds came and went as we hiked. After the glacier, we came to the highlight of this section, the knife edge of the Goat Rocks. Bling was so looking forward to this part of the trail. This area is a favorite of thru hikers. It is several miles of narrow trail with 1000’+ drop offs on both sides. The wind was blowing pretty hard and the temperature dropped as we headed out onto the edge. Mount Rainer stood proudly in front of us. Mountain goats were grazing on the green, grassy hillsides below. The day was getting late as we got to the end of the knife edge, so we picked up the pace and headed for the trees. More mountain goats could be seen in the hill tops above. We found a good campsite between two big pine trees. For the first time ever, we will be trying to sleep three people in our tent. It’s a good thing that Little Crow is small. It will be a tight fit but it should work. Tomorrow we will make it to White Pass. Right now there are elk calling to each other near our tent. We wish Bling was with us to hear the bugling sounds of the elk! We miss you Bling!!!DSC08012-9-7-15

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