September 5, 2017
Mile 2416.26 – Deception Creek (2416.26-2441.7)
Much to my dismay, the smoke did not disappear overnight. We awoke to find everything covered in a fine layer of ash, and the world still hidden from view by a white wall. Despite this, spirits were high as we left camp. We quickly finished out the last mile of climbing up to a beautiful alpine lakes area, where we stopped for a breakfast break after just a couple of miles. The autumn colours are really starting to come out in the shrubs up here, painting the hillsides with splashes of red and yellow. It’s beautiful.
The day was fairly uneventful, as we walked through smoke all day with nary a view in sight. It’s a shame that we’re missing out on the beauty of this section, but I was in a much better mental space about it today than yesterday, and was able to keep my mind occupied for most of the day.
We passed by a bunch of nice creeks again today, and late in the evening, just as it was starting to get dark, we had to cross a raging stream cascading down a talus slope. This involved scrambling along some rocks and walking across a precariously perched log, which was fun.
Earlier in the day, we had committed ourselves to doing 25 miles today no matter how long it took, since we wanted to give ourselves a fighting chance of getting to town before dark tomorrow. And so we hiked into the night. Of course, as soon as it got dark, my mind immediately filled with thoughts of how there’s supposedly a population of like 10 grizzly bears in northern Washington. Oh, the Nighttime Brain.
Log crossing at cascading stream
When we got to our planned camp spot, we had trouble finding the campsite in the dark, which is precisely when I noticed exactly how tired and hungry I was. We eventually found it, quickly set up the tent and ate dinner, and headed right to sleep, looking forward to town the next day.