September 1, 2017
Sand Lake – American Ridge Trail Junction (2295.16-2314.67)
Well, this morning went pretty well. The elevation profile was nice and it was a pretty uneventful morning. We were in the woods the whole time, but we had breakfast by a nice lake and lunch by a nice creek. After lunch is when things started to go downhill. I just felt totally sick and exhausted, and of course that’s just when the long climb of the day began. I don’t know if I just ate too much crap at lunch, or if the heat was getting to me, or if my body is just totally rejecting the things I’ve been doing to it, but I did not feel good.
We ended up lying in the dirt for over an hour partway up the climb, and I felt a bit better after resting for a bit. Near the top of the climb, things started to get really pretty. We came out of the woods and had nice views of the surrounding mountains and ridges, as well as Mount Rainier itself. We had wanted to make it to a lake to camp tonight, but with the long break and the slow-moving afternoon, we ended up stopping just shy of it.
Tomorrow we just have to hike 6.5 miles to Chinook Pass at Highway 410, where the trail is closed because of the fire. At that point, we’ll begin our hitchhiking adventure up to Snoqualmie Pass!