8/20/17 – Fabulous Mt. Adams Wilderness 

Day 118
Miles: 2,233.04 to 2,256.27

Total miles hiked: 1,615.23
We woke up to the morning darkness but by the time we were packed and ready to go, daylight arrived and sunrise over Mt. Adams was especially nice today. 

Wild morning sky

Mt. Adams watched over our steps today. It loomed above the trail, so close we could literally take a short side trip to touch the base of the mountain. We didn’t have time to do that but we didn’t rush too fast either. It was Sunday and Sunday pace suited the area well. Numerous view points greeted us, most showcasing the magnificence of Adams but in the beginning of the day there were also few that offered Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. 
At 10:30 a.m. it was time for a short snack and a quick water top up. We stopped at a meadow near a waterfall, the mountain was right in front of us. I wished we could have taken a really short day, campsites in the area looked super comfortable, and people were already rolling in to claim their spot for tomorrow’s eclipse but at this point we really don’t have a day to loose, winter is coming and the time we have left on the trail is sadly not long enough for us to take unnecessary nero. Still the beauty of this spot sucked us in and the next thing we knew our short break lasted an hour.

Still some impressive flower displays around

Afterwards we strolled through open forest laced with meadows and streams. Flower season is past it’s prime time but some Indian paintbrush, purple daisies, monkey flowers, and some lupine still lined both the trail and the streams. We even saw our first meadow filled with blooms of gentian, yet another sign that the summer is speeding to its end.

At lunch we arrived at Lava Spring which is just as the name suggests a spring sprouting from underneath a large lava field. The water was super cold, something we would normally appreciate but today the sun was behind a cloud and the additional chill was not so welcome.

Views like this surrounded us the entire morning

We met a group of 3 ladies here with their kids and they soon started a conversation with us about the trail. They shared with us that one day they would love to do a longer trip as well, once the kids are ready for it.

We met them again later at the trailhead where their vehicles were parked and they offered us pop and beer. Of course we accepted and we spend 20 more minutes chatting with them.

Nice treat

The rest of the day led us through a forest which was a good thing because we still had some miles to make. We ended up 1.6 miles shy of the site we really wanted to get to today but a 23 mile day is nothing to complain about. 
Two cool things will happen tomorrow. The eclipse, and the fabulous Goat Rock Wilderness. I have a feeling tomorrow will be another very slow going day.