I am posting this the day I start a planned seven night backpack in the North Cascades of Washington state. My brother is driving me to Chelan, WA where I will take a 2.5 hour boat ride up Lake Chelan to Stehekin. From there I will take a ten-mile bus ride to the High Bridge on Agnes Creek and begin hiking a section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), heading south to Steven’s Pass, approximately 104 miles.
My son and I did a section of trail in the summer of 2009 when I was on sabbatical. We hiked from Steven Pass to Snoqualmie Pass and had a grand adventure. This year I am going solo but expect to see lots of hikers on trail, including thru-hikers who started the PCT at Mexican border last May.
I have gotten my pack weight to under 30 pounds, including food for eight days. Since my last trip on the Superior hiking trail I have purchase a lighter sleeping bag and pad. I have also tweaked the amount of food. I may experience a few hunger pains, but I wouldn’t starve.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been reading John Muir. Here is a quote that I might memorize.
Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail. … The petty discomforts that beset the awkward guest, the unskilled camper, are quickly forgotten, while all that is precious remains. Fears vanish as soon as one is fairly free in the wilderness. (John Muir, Our National Parks)
Though I may argue some with John Muir’s theology, I certainly resonate to his love of creation. All creation sings of God’s glory.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth. Psalm 96:1-13
I will post my reflections upon my return.