Day 155: Signs Of Fire
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 7:26 pm
Location: Forest Service Road 68 (2187.1 miles)

My first full day in Washington state started off humid, which I’m hoping won’t (but probably will) be representative of the trail in Washington.

Rock Creek
Rock Creek

The first water crossing today, shorty after Rock Creek, was not over a bridge, thus breaking the bridged crossing streak from yesterday. That said, it really wasn’t a large enough creek to warrant a bridge.

For the most part, the trail was heavily forested this morning. The few times the forest parted, smoke obscured the distant mountains.

Uniquely, there were signs calling out some of the history of the forest: when different sections were logged, burned, and replanted. Those signs, fallen over and covered with moss, dated back to the 1970s.

A little before noon, I briefly stopped to check out a short side trail, which led to a rock outcrop overlooking a deep valley. A creek with a waterfall coursed down the middle of the valley.

The trail was almost entirely under tree cover from my last break, so there weren’t many views. There were only a few places where you could see off into the distance, and about an hour before the Wind River, the trail passed through a dry, brown meadow.

After crossing the somewhat wide Wind River via a bridge, I stopped at a secluded campsite and cooked dinner. The river produced nice, cold water, which was quite refreshing in the heat.

Shortly after the river, just up the hill at Wind River Road, there was trail magic. Unfortunately, it was empty, all the soda that was there already drank.

The trail this afternoon went through a pretty thick forest with plenty of ferns. It almost looked like a jungle.

After 3.5 steep uphill miles, I stopped for my last break of the day at a dirt road crossing that had a pair of campsites. I contemplated stopping there, but decided that, since it was only 6:30, and because there was another campsite about a mile and a half ahead (at another dirt road crossing), I would push on to that second road. This had the benefit of getting another mile and a half of the uphill — nearly ten miles in total — out of the way for tomorrow.

As I left, the temperature dropped a little, assisted by a light breeze that blew as I wound my way up the mountain. I made reasonably good time charging up the hill, doing 1.4 miles in 35 minutes.

I was surprised to see a small water cache next to the trail, but it was by no means unwelcome. There was even a note with a phone number on it to let the cache’s maintainer know when it runs out. Also unusual was a stack of U-Haul moving boxes leaned up against a tree.

The night is starting off fairly warm, possibly even the warmest it has been at night in a while. Hopefully that will hold through till morning; it’d be nice if it wasn’t cold overnight.