End: Wolf Jaw Lean-To
Peaks Climbed: Cascade, Porter, Big Slide
First of all, I'd like to wish my sister Molly a happy birthday. (This won't get sent for a few more days, and she probably won't get a chance to read it for a few more weeks, but today is her birthday.) So happy birthday, Molly!
This morning, I tried to get a ride from the Loj to the trailhead for Cascade Mountain. I sat by the end of the road, and the first car that drove by stopped for me. It turned out to be the people I stayed within the bunkroom last night (the mother and daughter). They dropped me off about 8 miles up the road at the trailhead for Cascade Mountain.
The climb up Cascade wasn't too hard. The summit was great. It was rocky and open, and had views in all directions. It was also very windy at the top, and I actually got cold. There were a lot of people on the trail and at the summit; it's a popular peak for day-hikes because it has great views and is only 5 miles round-trip from the road.
At the summit of Cascade I met a "summit steward". Summit stewards are volunteers who go to the top of some of the most popular peaks. They tell hikers to stay on the marked trail or open rock, so as to avoid stepping on the fragile plants that grow in the alpine enviroments near the summits.
From Cascade, I continued to Porter Mountain, just a half mile away. Many people turn around after climbing Cascade, but there were some people on the trail and at the top.
On Porter, I got talking to one guy about my trip, and he told me that he once hiked most of the Appalachian Trail in the 1970s. He started in Georgia and got off the trail in Vermont because his wife was pregnant. He named their daughter Georgia Maine. I thought that was a cool story.
Then I descended Porter and climbed over the Brothers, a series of three rocky peaks leading up to Big Slide Mountain. There were great views from the Brothers and the top of Big Slide. From Big Slide, I descended to a valley and arrived at the lean-to around 6.
Nobody else is here now, but there are several backpacks in the lean-to. There was probably a group who left their stuff here to do a day hike. But it's almost dark now (8:30) and they're not back yet. I stayed up waiting for them but now I'm tired and just want to go to sleep. Tomorrow is a big day - going over the lower range with full pack.
During my hike today, I realized that it's my seven-week anniversary. I remember the first week seemed to go by so slowly. Now, the days go by and I hardly notice how long it's been; it all seems so natural.