Mile 2247 to 2270
Today is granola and powdered milk day, only the ants have beaten me to my mess kit. In fact a unruly mob has occupied my pot, my pot cozy, my mug and my mug cozy. Given that none have signed a lease or provided a deposit, at least financial, I evict them using precious filtered water shot through a tiny fire hose. Ixnay has again left camp early, so misses the entire ordeal.
Today we start at 4,400 feet and will eventually climb to over 6,400 at Cispus Pass. There is a 15 mile waterless stretch, so we load up at a small stream 4 miles from our start. The wind today is blowing quite favorably, pushing the smoke away to the southeast. We enjoy magnificent views of Mount Adams to the south and depressing views of the vast fire raging on its east side. To the northwest we get hints and brief views of Mount Rainier.
We catch Ixnay by 10:00am and hike with him the rest of the day. On our ascent towards Cispus Pass Kevin finds several lethargic grouse by the side of the trail. Ixnay is sure that with a rock we can get several of them for dinner. While we debate the merits of his plan, the grouse simply wander off to safety.
Approaching the pass we have great views of Goat Rocks and Gilbert Peak. We drop into a bowl, where we get our first water since this morning from a clean cold stream. After 23 miles we tuck into a small campsite with a postcard worthy backdrop. We make dinner, enjoy the view and plan our day tomorrow which will take us over the Knife’s Edge. It is a razor thin ridge on top of the world that the guide book describes as “spectacular in good weather and terrifying in bad weather.”