Pacific Northwest Trail; mile 658.8

Tuesday September 10, 2019; day 52

Devin stoked the last of the glowing embers for a morning fire. I hung my damp socks directly over the stove, for one last shot at drying.

Water was boiled and I was told I could use as much as I liked. Thrilled at the notion of hot coffee in the morning, I was only slightly phased when my peanut butter container began to melt. I watched as it sadly sank into itself. Folds of plastic and a newly rounded bottom left it unble to stand on its own. I sipped slowly and with delight. I enjoyed two cups.

Soon Devin and Doug departed. I set out shortly after.

I wear my rain skirt as a cape. My spirits are lifted by the haunting beauty of the fog and cold.

The climb towards Cathedral Pass was beautiful .

I continued long the Boundary Trail.

I made the fording of Ashnola River before night fall. The water level was quite manageable. I retained a bit wetness through the fabric bunched around my knees.

In just under a mile after fording, the trail dropped into a ravine and crossed a creek. The bridge had been destroyed and laid in shambles upstream. I followed a path that crosses downstream, and hugged the steep muddy banks as I belly-climbed back to the trail.

The night is clear, but presents a heavy chill.

Many trails branch off in the grassy brush. I take the clearest one, they alleventually head west.

I move along the alpine meadow of Sandy Ridge and collect water from a stream.

Then, the trail disappears within areas of burn. By the light of my headlamp, I struggled to continue. Knowing that water follows the path of least resistance, I tried following faint impressions of water streams in the mud. Concerned that I may venture too far off track, I hiked back to wear I lost the trail, and tried once more.

Unable to move forward with confidence, I determined it best to set up camp. I moved back and forth along the trail in search of a tent-site. The region was full of either dead and hazardous trees, or delicate alpine meadow.

I found a flat spot, just before the trail became unclear. I set up amongst the sturdiest of dead trees I could find. It is not ideal, but I am not left with much choice.

It is very cold, but I am dry. My sleeping bag is a fluffy pleasure. I snuggle within the fabric and quickly drift into sleep.

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