Monday, December 23, 2013

Hiking to Stevens Pass---Josephine Lake--2013

We had our last breakfast on Saturday, September 7th, and I packed up some great meat sandwiches and other goodies to eat on my way to Stevens Pass while the rest of the WTA work crew headed back to the trail head some 8 miles away.

My plan was to hike so that on Sunday, I would be within 10 miles of Stevens Pass so I could catch the Amtrak Bus that stops at the pass if you have reservations. My reservations are at 7pm, but if I get close to Stevens Pass and my cell phone works, I will try to change the reservations to 2pm.
Again I am hiking in my rain pants and jacket as the rain continues as I make my way up to Cathedral Rock and Pass. From there I headed down to the much feared Swift Creek crossing. Here the water can be fast and deep as it rushes down an avalanche shoot from Mt. Daniels that is now obscured in rain clouds.

As I began the crossing, I tried several places to hop across the rocks rather than wade into the rushing water like many of the hikers had reported doing. It wouldn't have mattered if I ended up wading since my feet were wet from all of the rain, but I enjoyed the challenge. I made it across OK, but the ending was on a sloping slab of granite where I had a small ledge for my foot and another for my left hand juust above the rushing creek. One last step and I was back on the trail.

Just behind me was another hiker picking his way across the boulders. He even found an easier crossing. We stopped and had some snacks and it turned out he was a thru hiker with a trail name of Heather. He was a Swede who was a ski patrol/EMT who worked in Norway. I felt pretty safe hiking with him for a while. He was trying to get to Stevens Pass today so after a couple hours of hiking with me, he powered his way on. On the Pacific Crest Trail they have a saying of "hike your own hike"--HYOH, and that's what Heather did.

Since I got off to a late start, it was begining to get dark before I got to Lake Josephine. It was still raining as I pulled out my flashlight and I found myself slipping a lot on the muddy trail. After a couple hours hiking in the dark and rain, I finally reached Lake Josephine overlook. I stopped to put up my tent and while I was doing that, the rain finally stopped. The clouds began to clear and the stars appeared as I headed to bed after covering about 23 miles today.

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