Total Miles: 2442.2
The old PCT we'd been following since Snoqualmie Pass yesterday came to an end only 6.5 miles into the morning, but not before we'd been treated to seeing the first rays of sun warm the very tips of the summits far above us. The price of this beautifully clear morning was the clear and cold starry sky of the preceding night which had left a thin layer of condensation on my tent and sleeping bag for the first time in quite awhile. Fortunately, with sunshine in abundant supply, drying things out during lunch would take no time at all.
Waving goodbye to the old PCT and saying hello to the official route once more, it was a day with frequent ascents and descents and a bright cloudless sky studded by the rocky ramparts of high ridges and peaks whose gray granite was the backdrop for a landscape dotted with increasing amounts of red and yellow vegetation. Back under the canopy of the forest, the smell of decomposing leaf litter was unmistakable at times while huckleberries, salmonberries, and thimbleberries still managed to surprise us with ripe fruit from time to time.
Overall, it was quintessential Washington hiking on a beautiful fall day. As beautiful as it was, there was good reason to be looking ahead to tomorrow. With a hard 5pm deadline to pick up our resupply packages at Stevens Pass ski area tomorrow afternoon, a good deal of today's energy was spent positioning ourselves to have a manageable number of miles left for tomorrow. Somewhere amid the clock-watching and forward progress, it was easy to forget to look around once in a while and take it all in.