We arrived at Grand Pass with confidence boosted by coming through the steep snowfields. We enjoyed lunch on top and the view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainer. Some "strong men" in a large group offered to carry our packs down the loose shale on the other side but we savored the view too long to accept the offer. We also wondered what assumptions they might be making about our strength :-)
The way down was the biggest physical challenge of the trip. We relied heavily on our poles as we side stepped down the loose shale. Once off the face of the pass, we relaxed more but legs and feet were burning. Looking up we saw the steep hill filled with wildflowers.
Then we found more snow and stopped to play and make a snowman in honor of Amy. It was so amazing to see the flowers coming up out of the snow and to gaze at another set of ridges in front of us. We started counting switchbacks as we met a woman who said there were "at least thirty" before the junction.
We continued to remember our breath prayer from the morning,
"Guide Runner, Bring Compassion, Wholeness, and a love of all things"
Our original plan had been to continue straight over Cameron and Lost Pass, but that required ice axe skills, so we revised our route to head along Cameron Creek and then back up to Deer Park. At the junction, we stopped to soak feet and regroup. The foot soak was amazing.
We continued along Cameron Creek attempting to find a "hidden" camp. We were told it was a mile past the main camp but after more up and down and an hour of hiking we were quite discouraged. We headed back the way we came to investigate what turned out to be a deer trail and then continued back to a mostly level spot in the woods that we deemed camp. We were exhausted and never happier to cook and sleep!
Thursday August 18th Cameron Creek Camp to Three Forks- 3.5 miles- 22oo feet
"Load Bearer, Refresh us with Life Giving Joy"
It was wonderful to only walk 3.5 miles after the intensity of Grand Pass. Cameron Creek was a time for decompressing and stretching. Feet, shoulders, back, and knees were in a lot of pain from the steep climb down Grand Pass. It was great to go for a swim in Cameron Creek and take a short nap at the campsite. We met a trail maintenance crew who swapped stories with us.
I was reflecting on these names for God- load bearer, refresher, and renewer. Prayers were for restoration in community, seeing beauty in each person, and invitation to the feast/ welcome.
I also took the time to let go of some things and let them be washed away in the cold creek at the lowest point of the hike- guilt, shame, feeling responsible for others, inability to accept help, willfulness, agendas, fear that holds me back from joy
There was nowhere to go from here by up and the promise of horseflies awaited us at the top. We were a bit nervous about the 3000 foot climb over 5 miles and then another 1000 feet in 4 more miles. We tried to savor the creek and the rest in this beautiful, green place.