September 14, 2017
PNT mile 1080 (ish…we took an alternate)
Camp: Gladys Lake – Olympic National Park
The morning was numbingly cold, but we would start the day by climbing a pass and that’s a gift on days like this. I love the crisp morning air biting at my cheeks as my blood pumps warmly through my veins, my lungs working overtime for each climb. It is when I feel alive, really, really alive. Cap it off with glorious views from dawn to dusk and we had ourselves a beautiful day.
The fall colors are really starting to enhance the landscape; red and gold. There is not much warmth left to the air, we are fond of our layers and are wishing for a few more. Breaks were cut short by encroaching shivers, but walking keeps me warm.
We climbed three passes today, all of which came with stunning views. At Grand pass, the last on our way to camp I was able to share the view with a buck who stood ground overlooking the surrounding mountains. It is always a treat to encounter wildlife on these treks and having Pink be ahead of me most of the time, he gets to see a lot more than me. It used to be my role on the other trails, hiking solo you see so much more. Thus, I was thankful for today’s buck.
After Grand Pass we descended into the lake basin to find our camp at Gladys Lake. Pink and I arrived early, but still were left with only one more campsite to choose from. This site is only about 4 miles from an easily accessed trailhead, so we were not surprised to have so much company. Olympic National Park is a beautiful and popular place for good reason! There are certainly pockets where there aren’t so many people, but this is just too easy for people to get to.
Our camp was lakefront and just a tad too cold for the bath I had planned upon arrival. You forget how cold it really is when you are walking and working up a sweat, but once you stop moving the cold cuts straight through you! So we are daydreaming of what warm things we can acquire in Port Angeles tomorrow in order to continue in these mountains. We only have about 100 more miles to go! I can’t believe we are at this point already, though the cold is making it easy to want to retreat to the indoors … or at least lower elevation! Another snuggled up night in the tent, the sweet toasty tent!