August 18th, 2021
Mile Marker: 2198.9
Miles Hiked Today: 26
Ahhhhh… I slept in till almost 6 this morning. With the river below and the dense forest keeping the sunlight out, it was easy to snooze away.
Around 7 we headed out with a relatively short climb and an easy first 15 miles.
The miles were drifting away and I was enjoying the deep green forest and ice cold rivers we could soak in.
It was crazy to me how we could cross the Columbia River and feel like we were in a whole new world. It may have been from the fires in Oregon the previous year that caused this, but regardless, I was loving Washington.
Also, so far in Washington I have seen a ton of these fat slugs. They are HUGE! Every time I cross one on trail, it takes me by surprise.
Around 2 we headed to Panther Creek Campground for lunch. From here we could decide to take an alternate route and see Panther Falls or we could continue on the PCT with no real views.
Naturally, we picked the alternate. Like I said, I was a fan of taking something different if it meant seeing something gorgeous. I’m still walking to Canada and that’s all that matters.
We headed out once everyone had arrived around 3:45. Later than expected but we wanted to make sure the whole crew knew we were taking the alternate. Plus it was only 10 miles to get back to the PCT.
We started along the road walk together. We had 4.5 miles before we would reach Panther Falls.
It was an easy walk. Slightly uphill, paved road, great company. We talked some about further down the road plans and a little bit about post trail plans. It’s crazy how we only have a few weeks left and this will all be over.
We made it to a little side trail to Panther Falls. It felt like a gap in the forest, a secret place. We took the side trail down and were pleasantly surprised with the falls.
I feel like waterfalls are always so jaw dropping. How powerful they are, how soothing they are.
We ended up not staying extremely long and headed back up to the road and walked the rest of the way to the camp site.
I plugged in some headphones and jammed on finding some late evening motivation.
We arrived at the campsite and found a man sitting at a picnic table giving out trail magic to PCT hikers. His name was Horse and had hiked the PCT in 2019. We loved trail magic that was so unexpected! We grabbed some beer and a camp spot for the night.
We then sat at our own picnic table that we love to have and made some dinner.
While eating, Horse came around with a skillet filled with an egg dish and scooped them out to who wanted them. He then joined us and shared stories from his time on the PCT.
It was a solid day. Unplanned like typical PCT but it always works out in the end.
Iz and Oz