PCT 2007 – Day 146 – Road 784 – Stirrup Lake

Day 146 8-18-07 Tarp Tent 3500′
Just past Road 784 – Stirrup Lake
24.3 (.5) miles; 2388.3 (79.36) total miles; 4232.4 trip miles
60’s, sun with clouds
Days camped alone 25

2007 PCT Critter Tour General Category
1- Deer count is 132
2- Marmot count is 100
3- Elk count is 65
4- Pika count is 34
5- Goat count is 20
6- Slug count is 14
7- Bear count is 7
8- Rattlesnake count is 6
9- Martin count is 1
10- Badger count is 1

I had a visitor during the night. Just before I went to bed, there was an animal not too far off in the thick trees making a grunting sound of some kind. It lasted for about 10 minutes. It was dark so I never saw a thing. I heard it move off to the south.

I got going at a decent hour and passed Green Pass, then started an ascent of Blowout Mountain. On the way up, I spooked a herd of elk. I counted nine that I saw but there were many more. On the other side of the mountain while still climbing, I spooked a second herd and saw just one of those. Again it was a good size herd; I just couldn’t see them in the thick trees.

Moving away from Rainier

Once to the top of Blowout Mountain, I started a long descent to Tacoma Pass and then Sheets Pass. I got water at a nice creek which isn’t in our PCT books; but Yogi has it in hers. I got nice views of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area and also Mt. Stewart.
All day the clouds where low, but they didn’t look like rain clouds. I had my doubts though, since I’ve dodged so many crappy days.

The blueberries are out!

I lost my data sheet for this day and I’m going on memory. After Sheets Pass, I climbed and saw my first people of the day. They were doing a small section. A little later I ran into a couple with 3 white German Shepherds. They were beautiful dogs. The husband gave me a cookie, which I happily accepted. I continued to climb after meeting them and topped out on a ridge that had been clear cut.

I crossed a few saddles and multiple clear cuts and then descended to Stampede Pass. I had an older gentleman back up after passing me to ask if I was hiking the whole way. Out of Stampede Pass I had a brutal climb. It slowly tampered off but it started straight up, AT style. Once to the top, I traversed through more clear cuts and then descended to a nice creek where I got water.

This way

After getting water I was going to only go a short distance to a flat spot I read about but it was out in the open and exposed. I moved on and went through Dandy Pass. I traversed around the side of a mountain and finally ended up at Stirrup Creek. Stirrup Lake was only a half mile side trip, and since I knew I had an easy day the next day, I went to camp there.

As I got close, I smelled smoke. There was a father (Brian) and daughter (Allison), and a husband (Rich) and wife (Anne), who were related to the other two. They were super nice people and we talked all night. Anne even gave me two pieces of olive beard with butter and fresh mozzarella. It was so good! It was Allison’s first camping trip so when we heard noises we teased her and told her it was a bear.

Berries

At one point a pack of coyotes started barking across the lake. It was cool to hear since I haven’t heard a pack like that in while. Anne and Rich went to bed and the rest of us followed shortly after. The rain had finally come so it was time to get in the tents.

Scatman 2011- This was a day spent in clear cuts or dense forest, which equaled boring compared to most days.  The potential for rain didn’t help shed light on the mood of the day.  I did get to sample lots of blue berries as they were ripe and ready for the picking along a lot of the trail today.

I also had a sense of belonging as I could see the Alpine Lakes Wilderness which I considered my backyard.  I had been seeing it for a few days now and the closer I got the more I felt the end drawing near.  I also knew my friends who be meeting me at Snoqualmie Pass.  Being that I had hiked this section before I had a sense of well being.  I knew what was coming and just how beautiful it would be. 

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Scatman

Get out there!

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