day 4...

07/09/2010

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from milk creek i headed back up into the snow where i found some footprints, but they didn't last long, only about a half mile or so and went into some trees on a steep slope, i checked the gps and continued on higher up on the slope and didn't see prints again for quite awhile, not until descending toward vista creek did i see them again.  i was really hoping meet up with some other southbounders, but it wasn't meant to be.  it truly was the 'hans solo' journey as i didn't see anyone until getting to high bridge for the bus to stehekin the next day.
the sun tried to peak out this day, but still no views of glacier peak.  quite a bit of snow traversing and then headed down toward the creek.  now i knew that there was supposed to be a section of 2-3 miles just before getting to the suiattle river that was covered with old growth blow downs, although i didn't have a clue if i was going to make it to the suiattle today or not.  
as i went down, i had to climb over a few trees, i feel a couple of times, but in the back of my head i didn't think they were too bad at all, i knew that it was supposed to get really bad.   each of the trees had a path around them and never gave me too much trouble, i just tried to keep forward momentum.  vista creek had a log across it at the water level and some flagging tape where the trail continued.
it was so nice to be walking on trail and not snow.  the section between vista creek and the suiattle river was beautiful.  a few down trees.
as i made my way to the suiattle, i was pretty excited to see the 'log' across the river.  we went to the ranger station the day before i left to try to find out about trail conditions, which of course no one knows about since no one has been out yet this year.  the ranger said to take the detour because the log across the river was 30 feet high over the raging water and not worth the risk.  when the river came into view, i was slightly disappointed, it was not raging, it actually looked like it could be forded if you had to.  i found the 'log' and it was not 30 feet up, it was angled slightly and i was easily able to walk across it.  my near side was at about water level and the other side was maybe 10 - 15 feet up from the water. 
once i was across, i made my way back to the trail and finally found the official detour signs and maps, although i'm not sure why they were where they were, but it was so nice to look at a map for awhile and it even had an elevation profile.  i looked at it for quite awhile, and then continued on thinking that i would see another one where the official detour starts at the buck creek trail.
the trail was amazing through this section, lots of creeks and it was sunny, although i was in the trees and couldn't see much.  when i arrived at the buck creek trail junction, i looked for the official detour signs and there was nothing there, nothing mentioning a detour, nothing mentioning the old pct, nothing.  i guess that nothing had been marked this year and the signs must have disappeared from last year, odd.
i felt partially accomplished knowing that i had made it on the old pct route around glacier peak, wow.  God had not given me any more than i could handle, i felt so humbled.
i knew from the elevation profile on the other sign that i only had one more pass before the heading down the valley to high bridge and i thought that if i could make it over the pass this evening, it would make the day easier tomorrow, so i pushed on.  the trail was mainly clear up to suiattle pass and i got my very first view of glacier peak off in the distance.  better late than never i suppose.  once getting over the pass, there was quite a bit of snow on the other side, but i was motivated.  my camp for the night was on a bare spot of trail probably a mile or so down from the pass.  it was a clear sky, the stars were spectacular an
 


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