Mazama to Rock Pass

Mission Accomplished

Every step of the previous post went exactly as planned. My cousin Jeremy is a man of his word and of my own heart. He told us we would be out the door a little after 9am and we did not fuck around getting our stuff together and on the road. It turns out that his birthday is this weekend and he used our cry for help as an excuse to go camping in Winthrop for a couple days. Jeremy, Dione, and Payton are great people, cousins, and new best friends.

Friends and family have always been abstract concepts for me. We are raised to believe that family comes first and have inherently more value than friends. This never made much sense to me as an independent child and makes even less sense as an adult. My approach has always been to make friends with a person, whether family, co-worker, or hiker and build from there. If you can accomplish this, family hangouts become more like a party. Relationships built on trust are naturally reciprocal and have a higher ceiling to continue growing.

Day 1 – Planning

Day 2 – Drive to Richland


In and Out Burger

Marty haircut

Day 3 – Drive to Mazama, WA

The next logistical obstacle we will need to figure out is how to get to Cascade Locks or Portland from Trout Lake. If you well remember, Trout Lake is as far north as we could go, because of the snow, before having to flip back south through Oregon.

To Harts Pass

Wes from Methow Motion Shuttle Services picked us up in an olive green Honda Pilot at around 7:10am this morning. We were ride sharing with two ladies from the Seattle area, Hanna & Cali. The ride up the rocky one way forest road was not nearly as bad as people describe it. We even saw a family of white goats climbing up the mountain as we passed. Conversation with Hanna and Cali was great, they are on a 3-day section hike down to Rainy Pass, the 40ish minute drive flew by in no time at all.

(If you are reading this, we had a Pad Thai in your honor last night.)

It would be difficult for northern Washington to be any more different than southern Oregon. Highs here are in the 60s and 70s, lows in the high 20s and 30s. The ground here is moist and soft instead of hard and sandy. Oregon was beautiful and terrible, particularly with the heat waves and fires.

My new Hoka Speedgoat shoes hurt for the first mile or two, but are now feeling free as a child after an exorcism. I didn’t pick these shoes based on research. The Speedgoats were the only trail runner shoes REI had in stock for my 11.5 size, so the decision was that simple. With new shoes, you never know how your feet are going to react. I’m sure I’ll get new blisters in unfamiliar places, but that’s all part of the game. Only time will tell!

A PCT permit is not required to hike most parts of Washington state. Washington allows people to self-permit at trailheads, which is pretty cool. The easy permitting process, and the fact that it’s Friday night, means Brianna and I have met all sorts of hikers on our way to touch the northern terminus: day hikers, section hikers, PNT hikers, northbound finishers, southbound starters, flip-floppers.

Finishing the entire trail is a big deal. As such, we have been making a point to ask people if they have just finished the trail. If they answer, “yes!” then we shower them with applause and fist bumps. Brianna would probably bake every single one of them a cake if she could, but alas, fist bumps and cheers will have to do.

Tonight we camp next to a cold spring, surrounded by many other hikers. The trail in is not difficult at all, though the climb back out will take a little bit longer. We are excited to meet all the new people and start hiking in the same direction as some!

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