Sunday August 16
Start: beyond Kennedy Creek
End: Pass Creek
Miles: 21.4 miles
Listened to: book- Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony; Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
I was up at 5:20am and on trail by 6:15am. I made a good pace for the first half of the day and then slowed down as the hot sun and heat of the day became oppressive and my heavy sweating lead to some chaffing.
I had a nice chat with a dad (‘Quaking Leaf’) with his two kids (‘Scrunchy Face’ and ‘Sleeps In’) on my way down Red Pass. They’re hiking from Stehekin to Stevens Pass, took a trail zero at Mica Lake, and planned to spend tonight at Lake Sally Ann. Originally, my plan had been to hike to Sally Ann and hang out, swimming and making dinner there before heading down the creek.
I made it to Lake Sally Ann by 1pm and desperately wanted to stop and take a swim, but the black flies relentlessly pursued me, crawling all over my skin and in my eyes and ears, making it impossible to stop for more than the time it took to filter water and wolf a quick snack. This has been the case for the last two days and it’s interfering with me staying hydrated and well-fed, and making my hike more irritating overall. This black fly infestation has also conveniently overlapped with one of the most challenging sections of WA, based on terrain and elevation gain.
Within a mile of my campsite for the night, my left nostril began hemorrhaging blood, dripping down my face and into the dirt. It took almost 10 minutes but it did finally stop, around the point that my handkerchief was fully saturated. Thankfully, I was able to rinse out my handkerchief in the creek before my blood dried.
I arrived at the campsite by 3:25pm and had a debate with myself about whether to keep going or not. But the next campsite is at least 3-4 uphill miles away without steady water and then it’s another 3-4 miles to Pear Lake, so I set up camp here. I anticipate that I’ll be in town tomorrow evening, after a 25 mile day. Tomorrow should be at 7-8 degrees cooler than today, which I’m happy for. I set up my tent, had a quick wash in the creek, filtered some water, and dove into my tent.
I enjoyed a leisurely evening lying around in my tent, reading, drinking, and eating. I have at least 2 days extra food from Stehekin (I arrived there with only a pack of crackers), but we’ll see what I can consume between today and tomorrow.
Setting up my bear hang, I very narrowly avoided hitting myself in the face with my rock-filled bag and then I managed to get it well-and-truly stuck in the V of the tree trunk. I pulled down part of my tent to grab my trekking pole, extended it fully, and managed to get the line out of the tree and properly set up. I was, of course, pursued by black flies and mosquitoes the entire time.