Snoqualmie to Stevens Pass
Takoda and I raced back to Ellensburg after our sprint to the border in order to join up with Alina and her horse, as we are going to ride some of the Washington sections together. I first got to meet Alina and her horse Bub (trail names "Nightrider" and "Valentino") in Ebbett's Pass, but she has been a kind of mentor to me throughout this ride, as she completed a thru-ride last year and spent the year before that researching the trail by driving the entire length of it and checking out the trailheads and road crossings, so this is really her third pass on the PCT in as many years. She has been a wonderful source of information and advice, and I've seen her avoid many of my rookie mistakes (such as attempting to do a trail section where there was bound to be snow), although I understand that last year was a more difficult trip for her than this year, when all her accummulated experience is really paying off. But I was able to help her a little here, as her truck's alternator went out (I know something about having vehicle problems myself!), so we had to get her car to the mechanic before loading everything in my truck and heading to Snoqualmie, while her boyfriend was going to come up from Salem, Oregon to help out at the other end of our ride. So we didn't get on the trail as early as we had planned, riding out of Snoqualmie in extremely hot weather, and heading into the dramatic "catwalk" area of the mountains north of there.