to Oregon border 500 miles
Pass to Snoqualmie
26th June We arrived at
Washington and checked into a motel to clean up, find Martina a doctors
surgery and replace some of our gear. After our last few days in the
wet, misty, snowy mountains it felt slightly surreal to back in town,
particularly Leavenworth which had adopted a Bavarian theme- even
McDonalds! Martina found a dressing for her snow burns and left samples
for suspect Giardia condition.
is a microscopic parasite which can be picked
up from polluted water supplies and has symptoms of diarrhoea,
upset stomach and nausea. The parasite lives in the guts
of mammals (including humans and beavers- hence the other
name 'beaver fever') and is passed on through water. To
counteract the possibility of picking up Giardia, we carried
a water filter device with us which should have filtered
had a rest day here where we dealt with some post, shopped for the
next 75 miles to Snoqualmie, cleaned the stove, I bought new boots,
coated the tent seams with waterproof sealant and in between just
relaxed. Martina would not hear her results for a week so she decided
to just walk onwards anyway.
Sweet's friend Kathy picked us up the next day and took us with Brian
and Marathon Man back up to Stevens Pass to start hiking. It was lovely,
warm and sunny which filled us all with optimism for the hike however
we had extra food with us in case we hit more hard snowy going.
Away from the road we entered 'Alpine Lakes Wilderness' and it was
obvious to us that there was much less snow here- maybe about 20%
of the trail being covered which was a delight to hike on. Stopping
for lunch at a flowery meadow in the hot sun was just what was required
with extensive views to snowy peaks in the clear air.
was feeling queasy the next day and Marathon Man and Brian Sweet hiked
on ahead of us as we started slowly in the morning. The hiking was
still pleasant though and we made 18 miles to Waptus River in this
delightful area with no other hikers around.
a junction we spotted a note from 2 other hikers saying that they
had been advised by park rangers that the next trail section was impassable
and that they had returned to the nearest road. Martina and I had
a chat and both agreed we would carry on hiking and make our own mind
route now entered a glorious alpine region around Spectacle Lake with
spiky peaks and a lovely high viewful trail. We dropped to Park Lakes
intending to camp at a high pass above but couldn't find a spot for
the tent so proceeded onwards on steep mountainside slopes and hard
snow patches. The fact this was our longest mileage yet on the trail
at 25.6 miles despite some of the hilliest terrain could probably
be attributed to our enjoyment of the high mountain scenery. It was
particularly noteworthy for us as Martina seemed to have bounced back
from her illness.
the first time we glimpsed Mt Rainer to the south rising up as a shimmering
white cone on the horizon as we stayed high amidst splendid scenery
past semi frozen Alaska and Joe lakes. We are both keen outdoor swimmers
but the water conditions had been too cold for us high up in the mountains
even though it is now 1st July - but we held out hope that
our alpine lake swimming time would arrive soon!
made our way gradually down in a descent to Snoqualmie Pass where
there is a small shop and Post Office. Here there was a gathering
of 5 hikers and with their opened mail boxes sitting outside the grocery,
the place looked like a hiker bombsite!
Next Snoqualmie to White Pass