Day 128 -129, 2320.4 – 2370.8 Chinook Pass

Day 128 8/15/18

2320.4 – 2347 26.6 miles

Above: Smokey morning at Dewey Lake, this is a popular 3 mile day hike from the Chinook Pass Parking area.

Above: Bud Light left camp about 5 minutes earlier than me and came across a bear cub climbing a tree. I assume he initially scared the cub up the tree when he approached. Soon he heard a larger rustle in the brush and mama bear showed up. Rather than continuing along the trail we backed up and circled around through brush to the right and back onto the trail. At the time this picture was taken we couldn’t see the cub but after looking closer you can make out 2 cubs. This was confirmed later by Ferrari and Peanut Butter who saw the trio walking away.

Above: This is the summit of Chinook Pass and entrance to Mt Rainer National Park, the PCT crosses this bridge. Below: Remains of the Norse Peak fire from this time last year. Strange being here because Sarah and I hiked this section about 6 days before the fire started.

Day 129 8/16/18

2347 – 2370.8 23.8 miles

Last night we set up our tents behind this cabin. One thing I’ve learned so far is to not sleep in cabins on the trail because mice will surely come calling at night. This cabin is open to the public and mainly used in the snowmobile season. There has been so much Elk track and urine on the trail today I can’t believe it, mostly near Crystal Mountain Ski Resort. I haven’t seen or heard an Elk yet which is disappointing but I told the guys to watch the meadow here in the early morning. Sure enough I was right a herd came through that Ferrari saw before any of us were awake! It was his first time seeing Elk. At least my intuitions are right.

Below: I was the last person out of camp this morning at 7:00am because I just wanted to enjoy my coffee from the cabin porch looking across the meadow. It was great!

Above: The next few days are going to be a bit lower mileage(low 20’s) and relaxing to split the 70 miles up before getting to Snoqualmie Pass. This is a lunch break near a stream.

Below: Ferrari, Black Hole and Peanut Feet. One of the rare occasions we made camp at 5:00pm! With at least 2 hours of daylight left it’s hard to just unplug. This day will probably go down as one of the best so far in recent memory, a relaxing lunch, early to camp and great conversations. All that could be missing is gazing into the hypnotic flames of a campfire. This campsite is where Sarah and I camped last year as well. Tons of huckleberries here, so much so that Ferrari left for about a half hour and picked a 1/2 gal ziplock bag full.

Another Q&A from troop 3616, Makenzie writes:
How do you detect if a plant is Poison Ivy and how do you treat it?

Hi Makenzie!

Poison Ivy and Poison Oak have been pretty common on the PCT. One day I asked my wife Kelly to text me pictures of these plants so that I could identify them better. Most of the time it was easier to get a text message than being able to get information myself online from my phone. Anyway, most of the time I wore shorts which left my legs exposed to plants rubbing me. So far I’ve walked the trail without getting a rash on my legs from plants even though I could see these plants and most likely did rub against them. Some people are allergic to these plants and some people are not, maybe I’m not allergic!

I did not bring any treatment on trail with me for these plants. If the oil from these plants got on my skin and caused a rash I would likely try to wash it off with water. I could even warm up water with my stove. If that treatment didn’t help I would buy some medical cream or see a doctor the next time I was in a town. Here are some pictures of Poison Oak and Poison Ivy.

poison-oak-identify-treat3249415035043547960.jpg

Above: Poison Oak

Below: Poison Ivy

Thank you for the question Makenzie!

BaZinga 😉

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