September 1, 2015
Crest Horse Camp – Trout Lake (2205.8) to Deer Lake (2216.7)
10.9 PCT miles today
2253.7 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 2,149 ft, – 828 ft
It only took us 2,200 miles and 4 months to finally figure out how to make the most of a nero. In the past, we’ve almost always taken afternoon neros, where we would hike in the morning, be picked up between noon and 2, spend the afternoon and night in town, and then get back on trail the next morning. But just recently we’ve started taking morning neros, first in Bend, then in Portland, and now today. This nero was our first of this kind with Mama Bear and we loved it. We got picked up at the end of our day yesterday, had the night to eat, get clean, relax a bit and sleep, and then had all morning to sleep in, make breakfast and sit around feeling refreshed and being incredibly productive. Our afternoon miles flew by and now we’re back in our tent, feeling rested, clean, and more than ready to face the next 86 miles to White Pass.
I cannot get over how comfortable the bed was in last night’s cabin. I asked Mama Bear to find out what it is when she gets back because I think we might just have to buy the exact same mattress when we get back home. Both Pickles and I slept like rocks and this morning we “slept in” until 6 and then laid around and dozed for over an hour before getting up. When we did finally get out of bed, Pickles made us all coffee, turned on some football as background noise, and then he, Mama Bear and I all sat around the table getting our individual tasks done, passing around our 2 phones and one computer, and swapping information and stories. It almost felt as if we were at an actual coffee shop, and it made me feel equally enlivened and inspired. At some point Pickles got up and made us breakfast (Eggo waffles that we had purchased at the store last night), and we continued our work while we ate.
At around 11am, after hours of relaxed productivity, we all agreed that it was time to close up the computer and get ready to go. We spent an hour taking another shower and packing our bags before saying goodbye to our adorable cabin and heading to Trout Lake’s diner-style cafe for lunch. Lunch was just as tasty and fresh as dinner had been at Trout Lake’s only other restaurant and we all left full and a little sleepy. Mama Bear braced herself for another hour-long drive on a bumpy gravel road back to our trailhead, and Pickles was passed out in the backseat within minutes.
We pulled into our trailhead 15 minutes ahead of schedule. We felt great and weren’t at all intimidated by the 11 miles that we needed to hike before getting to camp. We said our goodbyes to Mama Bear, whom we’ll be seeing in 5 days at White Pass, and started up another climb. For some reason it feels like all we do in Washington is climb. We’re not sure how it’s possible that we keep going up, and it’s not exactly supported by the elevation profiles, but every few miles we’ve felt the need to point out that we’re in fact still climbing. Today’s hike reminded us more of Oregon and it was neither ugly nor spectacular. We were still in the forest so that made us happy, but most the lakes we passed were all dried up and the fog and mist came in thick and cold toward the end of the evening. We found this nice tentsite right at Deer Lake and got in our tent just before the mist turned to an actual sprinkle. Our gear, including our tent, is finally all dry so we’re seriously hoping that this rain isn’t here to stay and we don’t wake up to another wet, cold day like before. Of course, if we do, we’ll just have to deal with it and look forward to our next opportunity to be warm and dry when we get to our next nero with Mama Bear in White Pass.