Mile 2513.2-2541.9 (28.7)
The moon woke me up twice last night: once when its silver light flashed out from behind the mountains, and once when it became a golden orb sinking toward the horizon. Both times I got up and out of my tent and stood for a moment in its glow. In the morning I felt recharged. When my alarm went off and I opened my eyes, the sky was bathed in a pale sunrise, the mountains still in shadow. I want to feel that good forever.
In the morning, I crossed Pumice Creek and climbed to an exposed pass with incredible views. Jagged mountain peaks in all directions. I started down the other side, passed Mica Lake with its alien blue water, down down down past blueberries and salmon berries and lots of blowdowns.
The mountain slope was steep and overgrown and more than once, searching the bushes for edible fruit, I stepped slightly off the trail and fell. Once I caught myself with my other leg, and once I nearly fell down to the switchback 30 feet below except for a lucky grab of a spiny plant. I did this all day. Got my head in the clouds, can’t keep an eye on the trail.
Crossed Milk Creek at started immediately back up to the next ridge. Drop 3000 feet, climb 3000 feet. The ridge walk was worth it. I could walk those few miles back and forth for the rest of my life. Mountains, wildflowers, clear streams, grassy knolls, conifers. Paradise.
Then a final long descent, 3500 feet. Walked a few miles alongside the Siuattle River, crossed it on a very long wooden bridge, walked a little further. Camped tonight by Miners Creek. Down here in the valley the forest floor is all moss and pine needles and the air is warm and stagnant. Next to the creek it is a little cooler and I am so thankful for the occasional breeze.