The morning started with mottled skies and a long walk through a burn area whose scorched ground was giving rise to wild strawberries. The burn lasted all morning until we climbed a hill with sparse woodland to a view point of Mt Rainier. We had lunch here with Will and Audrey, and were sparked into deep discussions of US gun laws after all passing a day hiker with a large pistol strapped to his belt.

It was safe to say we all agreed on our points, but Molly and I felt bad about our fast judgments of the guy in question when later on in passing he offered us a bag of grapes with light chat about the area. We also were handed a beer each by another hiker named OTC (Oh That Craig) who was the mastermind behind one of the many PCT planning sources we used before the trip.

We had heard of potential magic just down the line, so we bid them both farewell and marched the next few miles in an attempt to reach it. Alas, by the time we had reached the junction the magic had all been packed up for the day leaving only tire marks and a crushed beer can. Given the magic of late we weren’t too destroyed by this, though after the steep climbs on our way there fresh fruit and drinks would have been welcomed.

Onwards we trekked along the ridge lines past hunters and labour day campers, rushing to camp in fear of incoming weather. As we set up with the others, Sour Patch now with us again, the clouds moved into the canopy around us. No rain fell that evening while we ate dinner in a huddle between our tents.