Tonight I sleep within 300 miles of Manning Park, the place you walk to after finishing the PCT at the border.
My day started when I woke to a light drizzle. It was 4:30am and rather than put up my tent for just a couple of hours I got on the trail in the dark. The drizzle became rain for just a minute or two and then stopped before I reached Chinook Pass. In the 15 minutes or so that I sheltered under trees putting my pack cover on and preparing for a wet day, the world began to appear and I no longer needed my headlamp. Yesterday Squatch had said the next 20 miles were easy and most of them were. The climb up to Sourdough Gap was one notable exception. The clouds were spilling over the ridge at an incredible rate. They dissipated on the east side but unfortunately I was headed to the west. Up there on the hill I wasn’t getting particularly wet, just windswept and a bit cold. So on I went, seeing one southbounder and a fresh set of northbound tracks.
I paused at the head of Crow Basin and watched as the clouds lifted to reveal a wonderful little spot. True to it’s name several small flocks of crows were swooping majestically across the basin, passing through a copse of trees as if neither really existed. I continued. Driving myself on with a plan to make it as far as I possibly could and maybe catch the Noodleheads. In the end I didn’t find them, though they can’t be far. I passed Tag a few miles back, already inside his REI tent by 5:30. So once again I cook and camp alone. I’m quite happy this way but hope to regroup tomorrow and see how far the lot of us can travel together. It’s a real shame Speedstick is taking it so easy. She’s a bundle and a half of laughs.