Trail Magic at Tacoma Pass

Day 154 – 9/11/15
Tacoma Pass
Miles – 23.8
Total Miles – 2439.1 (PCT 2361.6)

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Since we are so far north now, we no longer get up at six because it is pitch black.   7:00 is are new normal time.  The sun was just rising.  That is a big difference from just a month ago.  With the days getting shorter, it will get harder and harder to make good miles.  We will have to cut back on our breaks to make up for the loss of daylight.  The trail dropped for several miles. It made an easy beginning for the day. We worked our way down until we got to Government Meadow and Ulrich Cabin. The cabin sits on the edge of a large meadow.  It is a one room cabin with a loft. There was a lot of junk in and around it.  Sadly, it is not the most appealing place to stay.  It is not how we remember it when we were here twenty years ago. There were two people doing some trail angeling there. They also were trying to clean the cabin up.  We took some chips that they gave us and went on our way. Once we left the cabin, the trail started to work its way up. Some of the climbs were quite steep although they were not long.  We were surprised how much climbing we did.  When we past through clear cuts, we were fully exposed to the sun and it was hot. This was not enjoyable.  It was much more comfortable when we hiked within the shade of the trees.  Most of the clear cuts had been been replanted.  Many of the young trees were only 15′ to 20′ high.  Not enough to shade us.  One area we hiked through was burned back in 1988 and it had almost no new trees, just the silver skeletons of the burned ones of long ago. The burned area had been left to grow back on its own.  We had bumped into Nightshift and his friends at a stream. His face was severely swollen. His eyes were barely visible through slits of his skin.  A yellow jacket bit him on the nose and this was the result.  Papa Raven was bitten three times on his leg earlier in the day and Mama Raven once the other day.  The bees have been bad for the past few weeks.  Someone said that the bees know winter is coming and are desperately looking for food before they die.  We finished the day with a big down. This was good except it hurt our feet.  Feet take a pounding on downs!  When we got down to Tacoma Pass, there was a trail angel. He cooked hot dogs for all of us.  Half Time and Double Time showed up for hot dogs too.  It was nice to sit in chairs and eat and drink “real food”.  It was a great way to end the day.  Thank you Not Phil’s Dad for the the unexpected trail magic.

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