Both Molly and I were excited for our first full day in Washington. As we left camp we could see Mt Hood standing tall behind us and Mt Adams before us. A small climb started the day followed by a long descent that took us down the equivalent distance we had climbed the night before, a little frustrating but it’s just how this last state would be.
Crossing a beautifully clear river we then began yet another large climb which seemed to take up the rest of the morning. Dripping in sweat, we finally reached the summit where we reunited with Cornflake and Milkshake. We walked with them for the majority of the afternoon, stopping at a river or two for rest before coming across another hiker, Sour Patch, right before the days last climb.
Collecting our last water at the gorgeous Wind River, we couldn’t help notice how diverse the forest was and how ancient it all appeared. Some trees were literally wearing coats of thick orange moss while others were draped in strands of lichen. Huge ferns sprouted from between their trunks and copious fungi made the most of the damp soils and decaying flora.
From Wind River we began the climb whose slope was to consume the next 10 miles of trail, though we’d only do 3 of those this evening. It was crazy steep at first, but flattened out to a steady walk which we finished among a dense section of forest for camp. The rest would come tomorrow morning, but it seemed that we were all adapting to this new routine quickly.