Mountain Camp (2280.5) to White Pass / Hwy 12 (2295.9)
Today was most likely my latest hiking start ever. It was past 9:30 when I hit the trail and started hiking. Having had a big day yesterday I slept in and got up when everyone else at the campsite was long gone.
Slowly I made my way down the mountain. But it wasn’t downhill for a long time. The trail descended down into a beautiful valley with good camp spots just to go up again for a little while. My arms were hurting from being burned and I thought about asking some incoming day hikers or weekenders for sunscreen. But every time I met someone I just forgot. However, the damage was done and I kept hiking. The trail descended down into another valley and very soon I was in between trees and had some much needed shade. I had planned on doing the Shoe Lake alternate and stay there for lunch. At least on the map.
Arriving at the trail junction I felt too tired and decided to stay on the PCT. High up the trail crested along a mountain side and provided some great views of Mt Rainier again.
Up an over a ridge following the trail I could get a glimpse of the shiny blue and emerald green water of Shoe Lake. It must be nice down there!
The trail went up the ridge again and followed the mountainside. One last time creating along and providing some great views.
Eventually I started descending towards White Pass. I bumped into Sunrise again who was picked up by her dad. My initial plan was to stay one more night at Ginette Lake before I got off trail to hitch to Packwood and then hopefully all the way to Seattle. Hiking down the mountain I started seeing signs of the White Pass ski area. Turning around another bend I realized that Sunrise and her dad might be a chance to get out of here and back towards civilization. I sped up and caught up to them again. We talked about where they go and it finally worked out fine. We met at the Kracker Barrel Store and they would take me with them. All the way to Camano Island where I could sleep on a proper couch in a wonderful ocean view home. The trail provides!