Goat Rocks Wilderness

Day 8 (110)

Miles: 20

Mileage: 2,282.2

Today was, by far, the most beautiful day we have had in Washington. It was also the most rugged and physically challenging. Those tend to go together.

We spent the morning climbing up through open tundra meadows overflowing with wild flowers. We had multiple views of Mt. Adams to the south and east.

We woke up in a fog, but quickly climbed above it to clear blue skies. That was exactly what we were hoping for because we knew the trail would take us way above tree line on an exposed section that could be anywhere from unpleasant to dangerous depending on the degree of poor weather.

We had pretty good weather. So clouds did start to move into the area as we reached the top of the ridge and started down, but brought no precipitation and only a moderate breeze.

While the climb up resulted in heavy breathing and a lot of sweating, the climb down required careful footing. Going both up and down, I was hungry most of the day. Oh, hiker hunger.

It was nice to be down off the piles of slate and cantaloupe-sized rocks that made the trail on the ridge. Those conditions require concentration and reflexive footwork to catch you if you start to stumble.

With sore feet, we made it down. At camp, we made dinner and inhaled it. Tomorrow we resupply and indulge in a fried food lunch.

Richard and Mt. Adams.
Up, up, up into the Goat Rocks Wilderness.
That pile of rocks behind Richard? Yeah. That’s the trail.
Hiking on the Knife’s Edge.

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