Day 7: Powerline Corridor to Mirror Lake (13 miles)
Day 8: Mirror Lake to Snoqualmie Pass (8.3 miles)
Hiking one-hundred miles in one week feels pretty damn amazing. It’s a feeling of strength, both physical and mental. A feeling a being able to conquer pretty well anything. Plus, the combined elevation gain was nearly 18,000 feet! Calves of steel!
Perhaps understandably, the last two days for this section passed in a bit of a blur.
On my last full day on trail I awoke pretty early and hit the trail quickly. After a short climb I came to the first of three sets of powerlines. The only good thing to be said about those corridors was that they opened up the view a bit.
As the morning wore on I crossed a handful of dirt forest roads and worked my way through the Douglas Fir forest. I took my first good break about 6 miles along the trail, stopping in a meadowy campsite to make my morning oatmeal. After that the trail cruised up and down, through old clear-cuts, crossing more logging roads, and relieving the heat with some shady forest travel.
I took one more break at a creek before tackling my last big climbs of the day. The first climb was up and over a ridge to then drop into Yakima Pass, bordering Seattle’s watershed supply. Once through the pass I had my last mile of the day, a 600-foot climb to Mirror Lake.
I made it to Mirror Lake just after 1:00 pm. I pulled up a log near the outlet and got to chatting with a couple backpackers while devouring my lunch. Once they moved off it was time to find a campsite, rinse off, and wait for the best part of my day: hubby’s arrival at the lake! Yup, my husband was hiking in to meet me and spend my last night and day on trail with me. Even better, he was bringing in a fresh dinner for us to enjoy.
We had a wonderful evening together as we filled each other in on our week’s adventures.
The next morning we woke to a grey world. The lake basin was misty and cool as we broke camp, had our breakfast, and hit the trail.
Our first mile of the day was a bit of a climb to get out of the lake basin. After that it was a gradual descent through a cirque, passing by snowmelt ponds, through rocky slopes, and over a couple cool streams. We started to see lots more day hikers at this point. The trail dropped into the forest, then opened up to a clear-cut area before reaching a forest road with lots of cars parked along it.
By this point the sun had come out and the heat of the day was setting in. We took a short break at the road for a snack and to later on some sunscreen.
The trail beyond the road was a bit quieter, passing through a pretty meadow, crossing more forest roads, hugging a talus slope and then giving us some relief from the sun in a shady forest.
The last three miles of the morning were surprisingly hard. It seemed that my body realised how tired it was. It also started to get a lot more hot and humid as noontime approached. I was incredibly grateful to reach the Snoqualmie Pass ski area. The view was great, the wildflowers were lovely, and I knew I had less than a mile to the car.
I was pretty relieved to see the car. I was also incredibly proud of myself. I had a great feeling of accomplishment, much better than when I’d finished my previous section on trail.
Next up was a few nights back home, and then some cross-country travelling to visit my sister in Ottawa, and some good friends in Newfoundland. But the PCT adventure was far from over. I’d be picking the trail back up and heading north from Snoqualmie Pass on August 10th.
Keep an eye out for occasional trail updates on my Facebook page, and more tales from the trail in September!