What! Rain! Who ordered that?

Day 27 – 8/2/16
Cedar camp
Miles – 25.1
Total Miles 420.2 (PCT 2559.8)
It was a warm night and everyone slept well. We poked or heads out of the tents to see the sky and we could not tell what the weather was through the tall trees.  Was it the blue gray of clouds or of pre-dawn light?  Quickly we packed up and got ready to hike. The weather reports we have gotten said there is no rain in the forecast,  thus we did not take the time to pack for rain. Just as we headed out, we came to the conclusion that the sky was covered with clouds. The down to Suiattle bridge went by fast because the trail was almost level as it meanders through forest of cedar, fir, ferns and plush moss.  In one area, we walked through an area of ancient, and beautiful old growth trees. It was a privilege to walk amongst such old souls. The Suiattle (Indian word for Seattle) bridge is long and connected the two river sides via an island. The bridge was built here 5 years ago after the last one washed away further up stream. After a short break, we started hiking toward Suiattle Pass. This was a very big climb, about 3300′, and it took a good part of the day. The trail is well graded and we were able to hike many miles without stopping. During the only break we took on the climb, it started to mist. We decided it was best to repack the backpacks for rain, just in case the mist turned into rain. We hiked the rest of the way to the pass without any problems, then we started down. It was not long before the sprinkles started. We got out our umbrellas and rain skirts. As we descended, it started to rain. The temperature dropped quickly as the rain came down hard. The trail down went into two big bowls each devoid of trees but covered in thick flowers and ferns. The plants were our biggest problem. They had grown thick and tall over the trail. In some places, they towered over our heads and we needed to push our way through. It felt like we were swimming through the plants. Everyone’s feet got soaked. The rain lasted for 3 of 4 hours and it made the hiking very hard. We stopped only once for a quick tortilla with peanut butter which we ate while we hiked. It was too cold for anything longer.  Finally, about an hour after the rain stopped, we reached the bottom. Since we lost so much time with the rain, we decided to continue hiking down the valley as long as light permitted. We came to Crater Camp about 8:30 and had just enough light to pitch our tents. It is not the best camp but we are only 9.6 miles from High Bridge and the bus to Stehekin.

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