Mile: 2508.8 to 2528.3 (19.5)
Almost 8000 feet of climbing. Throw in the rain all last night and the horrific trail conditions all morning, this was a tough day.
We awoke to a soggy camp but at least the rain had stopped. We broke camp and started our first big ascent of the day. We walked in the clouds pretty much all morning which was very depressing. The trail was in as bad a condition as any we've seen in 2500 miles. Many, many blowdowns some having been there so long that a complex use trail went around them. Others were impossible to go around so had to be climbed. The overgrown vegetation was terrible with trees growing in the trail that were between 5 and 10 years old. Come on Congress, how about some funding for maintenance of a National Scenic Trail that you created. What a disgrace. By lunch we had barely made 6.5 miles.
The trail and weather improved in the afternoon as we cleared Fire Creek Pass and made the 3000+ foot descent to Milk Creek, passing Micah Lake along the way. We finally got some views of the immense Glacier Peak we've been circling for two days.
And since our legs hadn't been beat into total submission, we tackled the 3000 foot ascent back into the high country and a camp above 5000 feet elevation for the night. We had to get the miles in but this will be a cold one. It was already below 40F when we camped at 7pm. The views coming in this evening were spectacular, we have hope for more tomorrow.