7-23-10    White Pass to Trout Lake (Rd23)
Sitting in KJ’s Café in Trout Lake.  The worst part about this section was not the snow or the mosquitoes, or trying to watch for a ride for over 2 hours before walking and then getting picked up, or the blisters, or sore feet, or jogging back a mile looking for a lost bug net (found it); the hardest part was walking by all of the huckleberry bushes and not having any ripe berries to pick!  It was torture!

I was really excited about this section, the goat rock, the famous knife’s edge, Mt. Adams, lava fields.  It didn’t disappoint, it was my favorite section so far and that’s not just because it was the shortest.  The views went for miles and miles, the lava field maze in the snow was really fun. 

My thoughts focused a lot on the fact that we are almost all the way through Washington and the fact that we are really doing it, and doing it together, and enjoying it and enjoying each other.  God is giving us a real gift by allowing us to travel this journey together.  We have been so dependent on Him just for strength and support, the reality for us has been that He has not given us any more than we can handle.  We met others that turned back because of the snow, but we have been cultivated through earlier sections and felt prepared.  There are so many analogies to life and marriage out on the trail and yet they are so easy to forget once you are back in the comforts of the “real world”.  I’m glad we’ve still got around 4 months to let them sink in.  

Oregon here we come!!
White Pass to Trout Lake
July 23 – Sitting at the Trout Lake Diner, waiting for breakfast!  It’s a beautiful morning, it’s a great little town, and I have coffee to drink!  It’s been seven days!   And I slept in a bed last night and it was sooo nice!........Sitting at White Pass, I was nervous going into the next section…”There’s lots of snow still up there!”  The locals were giving us the updates…Ugh…snow…what are the alternate routes?...just in case.  Well, there’s not a whole lot.  So we’re just like, “Well, we go out and see.  We won’t know until we get there.” 

So with an anticipation that was heavy on me, we left the store around 5 PM and started our trek up the mountain…and I mean up!  I was not feeling it.  At all.  I probably could have crawled faster.  And it was warm and I was sweating so much.  Faithful Jason – He naturally goes faster than me on up hills, and he especially could have been running past me on this day, but he stayed right behind me – acting as my cheerleader…I love that when I’m having a hard time, he sticks by me, and doesn’t just abandon me – being wrapped up in his own agenda.  This is our journey!!  Together!  I love my hubby!! 

We ended up walking in about seven or eight miles and found a flat spot next to the trail to set up camp.  Alright Trout Lake….we’re coming to getcha! 

Day Two (or one and a half) July 24th

Well it’s always lovely running into people going the other direction who say they’ve turned around because the conditions made the trail undoable…But we looked over maps with this gentleman, and he saw that we had ice axes and a GPS and said he thought we could make it.  OK.  I’ll take that.

We crossed several sections of snow before we got to the Knife’s Edge. (Nice name.)

Nothing terrible.  We still were using our trekking poles…  This “Knife’s Edge” tormented me because I knew from description that it was an exposed piece of trail…on the edge of a mountain, not very wide in places.  If it was going to have snow on it, I probably would pee myself!  And let me tell you, that feeling I had when in the distance I could see that the trail was clear of snow…Sheer Thankfulness!  In the purest form.  It was still sketchy, but really, really, pretty.  We could see all the way down to the left and right.  There were goats off in the distance!  The weather was perfect…couldn’t have asked for more….

Well then the snow came.  We pulled out our ice axes and from there, just carefully made our way over everything.  Totally doable.  I felt that God had prepared us for this… He’s so good!

For the most part, this was one of my favorite sections so far.  Goat Rocks and Gifford Pinchot.  Seeing Rainier, Mt. St. Helen’s and Mt. Adams all the time was so awesome.  The weather was great the whole time.  Boot skiing!  Goats, my first lava fields, springs, waterfalls, pretty sunsets…the mosquitoes were HORRIBLE, and going up and over snow is so tiring and makes my feet and knees hurt more than usual.  But other than that, we made it to Road 23 with a great sense of accomplishment.  One more section and we’ll be done with Washington!  Cheers to a continued journey!  We love and miss so many of you all! 

We saw a big group of people out there (NOLS, Outward Bound maybe?)  Met Frostbite – a gentleman heading North outside of Trout Lake a few miles.  Also Kristina Franklin and Travis Arket – first Northbounders!  They are doing Oregon later. 

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