Day 12 – 7/18/16
Miles – 19.0
Total Miles – 209.7 (PCT 2349.2)
It was a rough night. The angle of the campsite had us sliding into the side of the tent. It was hard to get comfortable. Also, we camped at 6100′ and it was cold. When we got up, we had a beautiful view of Mt Rainier with a cloud wrapped around is summit and low clouds blanketing the valleys below us. We packed up, started hiking toward Scott Pass and the morning sun. As we descended from the pass, we came to a nice spring in Big Crow Basin. We filled all of our bottles from it. We do not filter spring water so this makes our water collecting much faster than when we have to filter. The trail left the basin and wrapped into Little Crow Basin. Little Crow liked this name, of course. We had a long contour out of the basin and took a short break at Martinson Gap. All morning, as we hiked, the clouds were thickening. After leaving the gap, we heard thunder very close to us and then it quickly began to rain. We are on the edge of a big thunderhead but we could not tell for sure because the sky was a uniform drab gray. The rain varied from light to heavy and it lasted for hours. Needless to say, our packs got soaked and of course our feet did too. Our upper bodies stayed pretty dry thanks to our rain skirts, coats, and umbrellas. Our only problem was staying warm. As the day went on, we dropped in elevation and about mid-afternoon we came to Urich Cabin. By this time the rain had stopped, all the plants were wet, which made walking a very soggy endeavor. We walked past areas that had several inches of hail. The cabin was a dry refuge. We decided to take a lunch break in it. Little Crow wanted us to light a fire but that would take too much time. Finally, we left the cabin and hiked toward an old burn area. This section was burned back in 1988. Most of the old burned trees are still standing after all these years and have turned to a weathered grey color. Forest like this are referred to as a grey forest. For many miles leading up to the cabin and through the burned area, we had many, many fallen trees we had to find away around, over or under. Because the logs were wet, they were very slippery. Many of them were a large pile up of multiple trees. Being on such a steep mountain side, finding away around them became tricky at times. Both Bling and Mama Raven sled down the muddy hillside resulting in their legs being completely covered in mud. This section has not had anybody come in and cut the down logs. The PCT association depends on volunteers to clear trails and volunteers are hard to come by. The few crew teams we have talked too, said that strong wind storm come through last November over the entire length of Oregon and Washington resulting in five times more blow downs than normal to clear. The unlogged trees make hiking very hard. Despite Bling and Mama Raven’s difficulties, Little Crow had the hardest time because of her short legs which made climbing over hard. Late in the day, we came across a spring with a good campsite we decided to stop early. The Ravens were cold, soggy, muddy, and tired! The sun also came out this afternoon but low foggy clouds kept rolling in. Right now we are in a thick cloud and it has been sprinkling on and off. We are going to have wet tents tomorrow morning. The Ravens are officially tired of the wet weather!
Day 12 – 7/18/16