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Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Pinchot Salt

Day 103 9/23
Mileage 18
Camped at Middle Rae Lake

It was a chilly morning. Fall certainly has arrived. The trail was sparkling was frost for the first mile or so of our hike. As we climbed toward Pinchot Pass, yet another record high at 12,104 feet, the sun finally crested the ridge and warmed us. Soon, we were way too hot as we stumbled up the last couple hundred feet of the climb. On top, we met Michael, a nice guy on his 12th JMT hike, and Gabrielle, from the Czech Republic. We left the pass and descended forever. Really forever. The roughly hewn steps were tough on the ol' knees. After an eternity of descent, we reached the bottom, crossed a very wobbly suspension bridge, and took a break to get ready for the day's second big climb. Some backpackers we met there give us some of their extra bars. Yay! The climb was actually very nice, and I ended up enjoying it far more than the day's long descent. It was on this climb that I saw one of the stranger things I've seen on this hike. I saw a deer sneeze. He made a lot of noise for just a little guy. He seemed as surprised about it as I did. We're camped at Middle Rae Lake, which is stupendous. New moon tonight, stars out the wazoo. Tomorrow, we will be climbing both Glen and Forester passes, the latter of which (if we are to believe the northbounders who haven't hiked Washington) is harder than the entire state of Washington, so now I must rest.

Middle Rae Lake

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