I woke up late. When I peeked out of my tarp I saw a winter wonderland – 3 or 4″ of snow over everything. I was warm and cozy in by bag, but I knew that would change when I started hiking. I yelled over at Jewel Thief to see what he wanted to do today. He was already set to bail out and it didn’t take much convincing for me.
Reluctantly, I crawled out of the bag and packed up. Putting on the cold, wet shoes was the worst part. I had basically all my clothes on. It was still lightly snowing as we started moving. The trail began to drop elevation down the side of Mt. Adams. As we dropped below 5000′, the snow changed back to rain. Before very long everything was wet.
By 11am we reached the only road in the section. We warmed up in a hunter’s truck and he took us a mile down the road. We started walking and hitching. There wasn’t much traffic at all, but we finally got picked up by another hunting party. They drove us to the diner at Randall where we OD’d on hot coffee and called in the Cavalry – Raindog and Hitching Post.
By early evening we were back in Tacoma taking showers and drying everything out. The weather tomorrow is supposed to be nicer, so we will head back to the trail then. This episode has underscored a major difference between the AT and PCT – the lack of shelters on the PCT. On the AT you could at least count on a dry place to sleep if you became waterlogged. I’m just crossing my fingers that this is the last multi-day precipitation we run into.