PCT 2007 – Day 139 – Panther Creek – Junction Lake

Day 139 8-11-07 Tarp Tent 4730′
Panther Creek – Junction Lake
24.6 miles; 2215.9 (77.46) total miles; 4082.9 trip miles
70’s, sunny
Days camped alone 20

Critter Tour General Category
Deer count is 126
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 23
Slug count is 13
Pika count is 8
Bear count is 7
Rattlesnake count is 6
Badger count is 1

!!!The Slugs were at it and today. They had a strong showing yesterday with 6 points and today took another 5. If they keep it “moving”, they might catch the Elk!!!

Mt. St. Helens

As usual I slept in, but was able to get going by 7 AM, just barely. My foot hurt a lot in the first half of the day and then felt better after lunch. Once I crossed over Panther Creek, the trail went up. It was a tough climb that just kept going, Before I got to the top, I caught Slim Jim, Mona Lisa and Mother Goose. I spoke with them a bit then went by at my normal fast pace. I passed the side trail for Cedar Creek; and not much further along I got to the top of the climb and passed the summit trail to the top of Big Huckleberry Mountain. I finally got to descend some which was nice but somewhat tough on the foot. I got to a small campsite and a spring, where I filled up with water. I also got some yummy blueberries from the bushes next to the spring. I hiked on to just before Road 60 and had lunch next to the edge of a huge lava field. This one was much older than the ones near the Sisters. It had large trees growing on top of it and actual soil up top.
I took an hour for lunch and then headed north. On the way up the next climb, I passed a family where the mom was hiking in flip flops. I heard the noise as she went by so I turned to look after she went by and she turned around to look at me right then. She probably thought I was checking out her ass. I also met three other people coming down who I spoke to at length. The gentleman gave me his card, his name was Bill. He had just had a triple bypass this year. I passed another family, some horses and one guy, too.

Slug

Towards the top of the climb I got views of not 1, not 2, but 3 volcanoes, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams. (PS – There was a fourth one, too.) It was my first time seeing Mt. St. Helens ever. It blew me away to be standing in the center of three massive volcanoes after what I have seen they can do.

I passed two shallow ponds, but didn’t get water at either. I held out for something a bit deeper. I descended to Blue Lake which was quite nice but crowded. I thought I was at 26 miles so I did 2 more to get to Junction Lake. So now I’m thinking I did 28, but after doing the math I found out I only did 24.6. It seemed like an easy 28. I met a girl named Jamie camping with her dog Journey. I hung out and talked a while then decided to camp with her. She was really interested in doing a long hike sometime so she bounced all kinds of questions off me. She had just spent 4 days in Alaska where a momma and baby grizzly followed them at length. She said it was kind a scary.

Mt. Adams

I laid here and did the numbers and figured out where I’m going to stay the next 8 days so I can be to Snoqualmie Pass when Sam arrives there to met me. It looks like a pretty easy schedule so I’m happy about that.

Scatman 2011- I recall parts of this day but not what happened between them.  The first climb, lava flow/lunch, and the final climb.  The further I hiked today the more obvious it was I was headed towards a volcano.  You could tell without seeing them in the distance.  The amazing part is how far the lava flows travel and their height.

I was especially blown away at being surrounded by volcanoes during this section.  You truly feel small when you see first hand the power these mountains. Then to think as them as “sleeping giants” adds to the feeling as you hike their lower slopes.  Though we have the technology today to predict eruptions you can’t think what would happen if the mountain started to blow.  No I don’t have a death wish or depression issues.  Just an active imagination.

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Scatman

Get out there!

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2011 Starcrossed Press Release, http://ow.ly/5Yed4 @raleighbicycles @mfgcross @stanley_PMI @ministryofnuun

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