Monday, September 5, 2016

The Final Exam

Day 149 - September 1
Mile: 2390.6 to 2408.9 (18.3)
up/down: 6200/5200 feet

It's Finals Weeks and time to see if we earn our Hiker Badge. The test: 250 miles of remote wilderness hiking in the Northern Cascades. Add in some of the steepest and rockiest trails between the borders, daily ascents and descents that make your worn out legs scream for mercy, and rain. What would this part of Washington be without the rain?...  

We waited out the first hard rain of the day from the comfort of our motel room. After scouring the weather forecasts and waffling back and forth or taking another day off (or two), we headed out the door. The morning was okay with fog and occasional views but dry through lunch. 

Fog can be helpful for the acrophobic- there is an 800 foot vertical drop on the right.  


The rest of the afternoon was not so good with a continuous soaking drizzle. We started with a monster climb in the morning to above 6000 feet elevation and wanted to get back down before we camped. Luckily there was a creek and camp just past 18 miles at below 4000 feet that fit the bill. We got in late after the slow morning start and difficult and slippery walking in the afternoon. But we're snug in the tent and our bellies are full. Tomorrow doesn't look any better for rain and the test continues. 

We passed 2400 miles today - woohoo! 


  1. Gorgeous scenery and glad the dropoff was obscured, which honestly might freak me out more. Maybe only two more weeks and then home!

  2. Finals Week is wonderfully, graphically true and you WILL have earned your badges, your stripes, your certificates and Tall Tales rights.