|Beautiful Mount Adams!|
|A helpful sign. Water was still scarce on this leg.|
Oh. About that time, the mosquito horde attacked. Flash and MG were better off, having opted for long pants and long sleeved shirts. I walked at high speed, frantically spraying "Natrapel" as I went. It made no dent in the buzzing insects. You are only supposed to use Natrapel once a day, but I figured I'd worry about cancer later. The bugs were unrelenting. If anything could drive me off the trail, mosquitoes would definitely be it.
Hunkered in our own rain gear, we sat at a beautiful campsite with a lovely waterfall (and ten Boy Scouts). Despite the hordes of both boys and bugs, I couldn't deny that the trail was pulling me in once again. There was no place I would rather be.
|This river does not look like it, but was incredibly scary. And cold!|
We did our first 20 mile day the next day, and after that entered into a magical place. The Goat Rocks Wilderness! There were goats! And rocks! And Mount Rainier! And Mount Adams! And little streams and flowers and gorgeousness! We walked the famous Knife Edge, where a fall would be fatal, under stunning blue sky. And we found the most incredible campsite ever.
|Darn that smudge on my lens! All of my Goat Rocks pictures are ruined. But I included this one, so you can see just how great it is. Go there. Now.|
"Are you a thru-hiker? Want some candy?" a woman exclaimed. I could only figure that I was starting to look like I had hiked 2,000 miles instead of 200. We saw more people in the Goat Rocks than we had all trip so far. It made sense.
|I don't think I've ever had a more beautiful campsite.|
We were now closing in on White Pass. Resupply! Pizza! Showers! Still, those amenities could not compete with the scenery. As we approached the ski area, the mosquitoes gathered their strength for another attack. Practically running, we pounded down the switchbacks. As we trudged up the highway towards salvation, we realized: we still didn't know what poison oak looked like.