Miles: 23.94
Camping: Ginnette Lake PCT mile 2300.89

I woke up from the deepest sleep I’ve had in a long time, wondering if the lack of sleep as of late is responsible for my dizzy spell yesterday. I felt great this morning and was super excited to hike through the Goat Rocks wilderness today. After the Sierra, people always talk about Goat Rocks as one of the most beautiful sections of trail. It includes the infamous Knife’s Edge, a precarious section of trail that follows a narrow ridge. At least my bout of vertigo was on flat ground, and not on the Knife’s Edge.

The hike started by climbing up to an open vista, the trail winding through a crest in the mountains. I stood on the mountainside looking across valleys and peaks endlessly spread out in front of me. The mountains were diverse, some with rocky and jagged peaks, others rolling along, Mt. St. Helens in the distance. It was a breathtaking scene as the trail followed the side of one mountain to a pass. Going over the other side was just as awe inspiring and I could see the trail unwinding like a ribbon around the ridge, waterfalls cascading from the tippy top to the very bottom of everything. It reminded me of the Sierra though it was almost more precious in its own way. When I came around the hillside, I looked back to views of Mt. Adams getting farther away as I moved north. I felt like I was in a different world, a beautiful world. I never want to lose this sense of childlike wonder. The moments of awe where I feel as small as a grain of sand in this amazing wilderness. This is so big, so grand.

After walking through some mountain meadows I came upon a large snow field that I had to traverse. We did it all of the time in the Sierra but haven’t seen snow in ages at this point. I still love the way it crunches under my feet as I walk. On the opposite side of the snowy traverse there lay the razors edge, a section of trail that you can see unfolding across a ridge line, steep slopes going down on either side, Rainier looming large on the other side. I could see the trail for a long distance and it climbed up to the top of the ridge, dropping to the other side. It is amazing to stand on a piece of trail looking forward, seeing what lies ahead. I started walking the razors edge and the wind howled around me. The trail was incredibly narrow in parts, incredibly rocky, beautifully designed. You really feel like you are on top of the world standing up there; Mt. Rainier holding up the horizon, everything on such a grand scale from so high. I stopped in a wide spot to have second breakfast and take in the view, amazed at the world we live in, blessed to be able to have this intimate experience with nature.

After the razors edge, the trail descended through a glacial meadow where I collected water from the glacial melt. I love being able to drink water straight from the source without treating it, it feels right to fill up and tip back, topping off after a healthy swig or two. I made lunch and continued hiking. I was happy that I had experienced the dizzy spell yesterday instead of today, as this is much more precarious terrain and so beautiful, I’d hate to miss it. Everything about today was wonderful and I hiked with a big old smile on my face most of the day. I got myself just 2 miles from White Pass where I will go in for my resupply box and of course, a hot meal. There is a weekend backpacker named Cole here, and we are camped by a small lake. We chatted over our respective dinners as his dog lay in the brush, resting after a day of chipmunk chasing and mountain climbing. It was a cozy camp feeling, and I feel really good. Town again tomorrow, one out of four remaining…a notion I just can’t get my head around.

I also passed the 2300 mile marker today, but somehow missed it. I guess my head was in the scenery. Only 3 more of those remain before the border, another thought that kind of blows my mind. I can’t believe how far I’ve walked, how far I’ve come.

The Razor’s Edge
Mt. Rainier in the distance