Mile: 2588.9 to 2617.3 (28.4)
up/down: 6650/5100 feet
Our longest mileage day in the trail before today was 25.8 going into Mt Hood and the Timberline Lodge. When Hummingbird found out the distance that night in camp she was disappointed at not going marathon distance. Well she got her wish today, her first ever marathon distance hike. With the storm looming on Saturday and numerous passes over 6000 feet in elevation still before us, we pushed hard all day for big miles. With all the up and down thrown in it was a monster effort.
The day started out rough with another wildlife encounter. Shortly after leaving camp we came upon 2 young hikers from Europe (German or Swiss?) who were freaked out and warned us of what was ahead. There was a ground-dwelling hornet nest in the trail and the bugs were fired up. The young men stumbled into the area not understanding the written notes on the ground. By the time we got there the hornets were swarming. With little time to think of an action plan we ran for it - straight through the swarm. Susan was completely covered in the chill morning air and got through unscathed. Me, not so much. I was wearing shorts and two of the bastards got me on the legs. Boy howdy did that hurt. And they still hurt now over 12 hours later.
Our first ascent got us up to Cutthroat Pass and the crest where we stayed all morning and into the early afternoon passing through Granite and Methow Passes. Beyond, we dropped down several thousand feet to the Methow River then traversed the valley before climbing along Brush Creek to Glacier Pass. With our legs weary from many miles already we were treated to another 1500 foot climb back to the crest. Ouch. We ran out of daylight with two miles to go to our chosen camp so walked in the beautiful full moonlight for most of an hour. So besides doing our biggest day on the trail we also night hiked for the first time.
We are aiming to repeat our effort tomorrow with another 30 mile day and get over the high passes before the storm hits. If all goes well we will camp at the relatively low Castle Pass, four miles from the border.