Glacier Peak Wilderness - Day 7
We woke up to a beautiful view of the mountains and glaciers around us. The first thing Diane said was 'Happy Birthday, I didn't get you anything'; today was my 33rd birthday and it would have been too heavy to carry any gifts. Soon we passed the stream I had visited yesterday and filled up our water bottles once more. We walked closely past the glacier and ended up in a grassy high plateau. We saw several marmots running away and I managed to get a photo when one was really close.
We met the first people of the day. By now we were used to all the hikers with completely purple lips. They had been eating blueberries as well. We entered into another forest. There were many trees blown over the trail and we continuously had to climb over or under them. That was fine for the 'normal' trees, but in case of the 1.5 meter thick redwoods, it took quite some effort.
According to the map, the trail would run relatively straight down the mountain until we would reach a large river. We figured there would be a campsite there and planned to quit early. Oddly, the trail just kept going and going. I tried to get a better idea of where we were, but because of the thick forest we couldn't really see where we were and my InReach Mini GPS had surprisingly poor reception in the valleys and forests - even though it had been working great during my 2019 Greenland trip. It took over an hour longer than expected but we eventually reached the river and a huge bridge. We figured we had been walking slower than expected because of all the fallen trees and our map didn't depict all the switchbacks, similar as yesterday. We definitely hadn't succeeded in stopping early, but at least it was still light out. According to some hikers, the next campsite was another 3-4 km away and uphill, so we called it a day. While we were setting up camp, several PCT hikers walked by; they all seemed to be traveling from sunrise at about 6:00 to just before sunset at 20:00. Around 19:00, a couple came down to our campsite below the bridge to get water, but they decided not to camp yet. I think many of the thru-hikers often just camp on the trail itself.