Day 19 (121)
The day started as most have: under clear skies and a sun warm even at 8 a.m.
We stayed high on a ridge most of the morning with spectacular views of mountains on mountains for miles. That’s one thing I love about the PCT versus the AT. On the PCT, when you have a view high on a ridge, it’s of nothing but wilderness; mountains and rivers and trees.
On the AT, these vistas are rare and when you get them, you see mountains and rivers, but also roads and buildings. There’s no wilderness to it. Even the 100-mile wilderness in Maine, hikers share with loggers.
As we got to the top of our big morning climb, it was fun to see the big, glacier-carved bowl beneath us that we got to hike down in to. It was like being back in the Sierras in California. But on a smaller scale.
Even after the glacier bowl, we kept going down following the glacier-feed rivers into the valley.
Then came the afternoon climb. Up the switchbacks we went until we ran out of trees and it was just rock. The final mile or so, the clouds that had been moving in all day finally took over and it rained. We got to camp in the rain. Set up in the rain. Cooked in the rain. Ate in the rain.
It was the coldest, wettest night we’d had in a couple hundred miles.