Catwater

Day 24 – 7/30/16
Camp in a ridge
Miles – 21.0
Total miles – 352.6 (PCT 2492.1)
We all sleep well last night and we did not want to get up this morning. Our tents were dry and warm. Just after we finished eating breakfast, two southbound hikers past us. As Papa Raven crawled out of the tent, he saw another one coming toward us. To his great surprise, he recognized who it was. It was our good friend Catwater. The Ravens hiked with her last year through Oregon. Mama Raven and Catwater quickly became good friends. Catwater is from Alaska and is an anthropologist and a snow board expert who travels the world setting up snowboard tracks for ski resorts. We had heard that she would be trying to SOBO (southbound) the PCT this year, but we did not know if she was really on the trail. Over the last few weeks, we have asked SOBO’s if they had seen her. None had. And here Papa Raven climbs out of the tent and she walks up. Quickly she and Papa Raven give each other a hug. He pointed to the open tent. He took her poles and she moved to the tent entrance. Mama Raven saw only a pair of hiking shoes and the bottom of a black skirt. Instantly, Mama Ravens popped her head out and yells with joy, “Catwater!” Bling and Little Crow get out of their tent to greet her. For quite a while, we stood there talking. She could not believe how much the kids have grown over the winter. Come to find out, that the two people we saw earlier were Catwater’s husband and her friend Jackie. We meet Jackie last year in southern Oregon. She mailed the rocks Mama Raven’s had been collecting home. We were sorry to have missed her. The two of them are hiking Washington with Catwater.  Eventually, we had to say goodbye. It was a sad goodbye to an old friend.  We told her when she gets closer to San Diego on her thru hike, we will meet her and deliver her some trail magic!  With great excitement having bumped into Catwater, we left camp and, within a few minutes, past Janus Lake. From there, we started out on our first big up of the day. We worked our way up onto a ridge and then over to Grizzly Peak. The landscape was beautiful. The clouds had moved into the valleys and they were being pushed up over the ridge. It was cold.  As the trail turned north, we hiked out into sun and warmth. Most of today was taken up hiking along a ridge and then dropping down to a pass and then going back up to the top of a ridge again. We did this over Wenatchee Pass, Saddle Gap, and Cady Pass. We talked to a day hiker who said there is no rain in sight for the next ten days however during the night clouds are supposed to move in and will not burn off till late morning. That is OK with us, just so long as there is no more rain.
Towards the end of the day we ran into a Forest Service trail crew. 6 men and women, working in pairs, cutting up several massive downed trees. They had been working on this all day. We are in a Wilderness area which means no power tools are allowed in the back country.  Therefore no chain saws! They had to use old fashion saws and axes for the job. It is not easy work cutting trees that are 3 to 4 feet in diameter, by hand. We left them and headed to Lake Sally Ann but every camp site was filled, so we hiked on. We were hoping to camp on top of Wards Pass. When we got there, we found one tent. We started to look for a camp farther down the ridge when we heard someone calling our names. It was Jeromy. We thought that he was behind us, come to find out he left Stevens Pass first thing in the morning yesterday. We ended up camping with him. The wind has been blowing over the ridge and the clouds have moved in. It is going to be a cold, wet night.

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