Wonderland Trail | Day 2

Woke up in the middle of the night to pee and nearly took down a tree while stumbling around mostly blind. Slept like a rock otherwise.

Up at 6. Got our food bag, got more water. The  skurka breakfast potatoes came out great, but a little soupy. (My own fault for not measuring.) The sausage we picked up on a whim is so so good. We also tried a Starbucks “latte” packet. It was like a hot chocolate without chocolate.

Hiking at 8. Seemed a little late to me, but we were the first ones out, and two of the sites at Mystic Lake remained empty through the night. Color me surprised.

The first stretch was easy uphill with beautiful views of Rainier and meadows near Mystic Lake. I could not stop taking pictures. Then an easy downhill through a meadow with lots and lots of snowmelt streams. It was perfectly still and quiet. We kept stopping, taking pictures, taking water breaks (the kind where you take your pack off *gasp*).

We descended down to Carbon River where we crossed the suspension bridge to hike the Spray Park alternate. It was around 11, so we took a snack break. We laid out on the rocks and had a couple of bars before the long 3,200 ft uphill. I finally put on my headphones, but of course, the audio book was interrupted by all the beautiful ferns. How dare you, Wonderland Trail.

I was also kind of fading because I was getting hungry. We split a fruit snack and kept hiking. We got to a meadow where it kind of leveled off and it was sooooo pretty. It gave me Sierra vibes. I was taking pictures of the stream and wildflowers, but I was kind of shaky from hunger. I kept thinking about bagels and how I would kill for one right now. It was 12:30. We took off our packs, filled up our water, and decided to dip into our dinner early by having ramen. Also had the rest of our snack ration. We both felt a lot better and promptly fell asleep. 

I think we stayed there for about an hour. We thought ok, final push to the top. Hahahah we had no idea what was coming up. Pretty soon after we started climbing again, we hit a snowfield, then another, and then just a bunch of snow with boot pack right straight up. Then more of the same. There were so many false summits. The views were getting better and better and there weren’t enough pictures I could take. We got a peek at mountains north of us. I think it was Glacier Peak and another mountain I didn’t know.

As soon as you finally go over the pass, there were stone steps and sooooo many wildflowers. Agh. I was telling Alex, it was kind of exhausting how beautiful everything was. I just wanted it to be not spectacular for a couple of hours so I could just hike and listen to a book. So different from the boredom you experience on the PCT.

It was a neverending downhill, and we got kind of confused at the Eagle’s Roost camp intersection. Lots of day hikers. There were a bunch of people who carried skis all the way up to Spray Park, but there wasn’t that much snow to ski on.

We finally rolled in to Mowich Lake campground at 6. It was a little... disappointing because it’s right next to a full parking lot. But there was trash! And toilets with full walls (not flushable though). 

We picked a campsite that turned out to be right next to people who were resupplying here. They were talking about how they had too much food, and I was like heyyyyyyyy. We got their extra trail mix. Score. 

Alex gives Skurka beans and rice a 3/5. Ouch. I made them too watery... again. After dinner, we got water, walked to the lake, and I wrote in the journal while Alex tried to poop (unsuccessfully). Alex was kind of staring off into the distance for a while, and then said, “I can’t imagine doing this anyone else.” I just melted. 

I think we’re gonna brush our teeth and go sleepy!