Mile: 2457.4 to 2471.4 (14.0)
up/down: 2700/3100 feet
New trip bird: Golden-crowned Sparrow and Northern Saw-whet Owl.
From our camp to Stevens Pass Lodge took us over the ski mountain. Nothing like a nice thousand foot climb for breakfast. While trudging up the hill we kicked up a mixed sparrow flock in the blueberry bushes and found a few Golden-crowned for a new trip bird.
Waiting in the hiker parking lot at the pass was super magic trail angel Coppertone. A 2006 thru hiker himself, he is a legend among trail angels traveling up the trail all through spring and summer positioning his RV at the peak of the herd and doing magic. Since we've been ahead of the herd from the start we never met Coppertone. No more. As we get closer to the finish we are being absorbed by the herd. The number of hikers remaining is much smaller than earlier so we really haven't noticed all that much difference. We are meeting some new people and that's always fun. We had coffee/tea and donuts with Coppertone and talked trail for a while. It was fun meeting the legend. Thanks Coppertone for the food and company!
We got our box, charged batteries, and ate a bunch more food at he lodge. Then it was time to hike. We had the rest of day to make 10 miles up and over a high ridge and get to Lake Janus at lower altitude. Tonight and at least tomorrow morning are supposed to be pouring rain and I want us safely off the high exposed ridge. The lake here is nice and we're tucked in some trees for protection. We brought extra food and will sit out this storm in the tent as necessary tomorrow. If the forecast holds the rest of the week looks decent, at least for Washington in the fall.
As dusk turns to night we hear the unmistakable call of a Northern Saw-whet Owl and he's going nuts. No idea what set him off so late in the year but we will take it. Another new trip bird.