Day Two: Cispus Pass
I couldn't believe it when I woke up to blue skies the next morning. Predictions of a rainy weather system moving into the area were wrong. We were going to enjoy the scenery after all. Breaking camp, we were now hiking along the PCT, rising up a ridge in the morning with Mt. Adams towering in the distance. At times you could see Mt. St. Helens as well. Traces of the eruption were also scattered across the trail-gray-white "ash" from the volcanic explosion mixed with the dirt.
We had lunch at Sheep Lake and then hiked over the 6,400-foot Cispus Pass. Tim had probably the worst time of the whole trip getting over the pass, but he made it. We were in true high country now. The Goat Rocks were towering above us and we cruised through treeless meadows of wildflowers.
Tom at Cispus Pass. Below: Tim reaching the summit.
We thought about camping near Snowgrass Flat (camping at the flat has been banned due to overuse). But coming down from Cispus Pass there were several dry camps along the trail with extraordinary views of the valley below. We chose one of them, which was near the junction with the Bypass Trail, but about 400 yards from the nearest spring. I didn't care about the walk to the water; the view as priceless and that night we watched a herd of about 40 mountain goats in the distance frolicking along the side of the mountain. Tim made a gooey AlpineAire pasta meal that was hardly edible--but it was a good idea since we didn't need much water to cook or to clean up.