Like all good Washingtonians, I love the Cascades and the Pacific Crest Trail that winds along its spiky spine. I’ve hiked the section from Snoqualmie to Stevens with my friend Mino, intersected the trail in the Glacier Peak Wilderness with Peter and his intrepid family, and intend to do the whole state before my knees give out.
From the Columbia to Canada there’s gobsmacking natural beauty around every corner when you stick to the mountains. The only thing you don’t see much of is people living in, working on, and changing the land. I guess that’s the point. Most of the time when we hike, we want to get away from all that messy human stuff that dominates the rest of our lives.
This walk is going to be different. By crossing the state* from East to West in the fall of 2016, I’m going to see dryland wheat fields, sagebrush ranchlands, channeled scablands, irrigated oases, as well as mountain passes and the exurbs of the Seattle megalopolis.
It won’t always be pretty; the desiccated heart of Washington State is a place to floor it on the freeway when you’re driving to bucolic Walla Walla or stately Spokane. Seeing it from ground level at 3 miles per hour will have its own rewards I hope. I want to know who else is out there, how they get by, and what the state looks like from their perspective.
If this appeals to you please consider joining me for part of the walk. It’ll start on Sunday September 11th at the Idaho border and end in Seattle on Saturday October 1st. In the coming months I’ll make a more detailed plan with options for getting on and off the trail along the way. Subscribe to the blog for update using the Follow button at the lower right corner of the page.
* If you’ve checked out the route you’ll notice that we are not actually walking the whole state. I had hoped to include the Olympic Peninsula, but when I calculated how fast I’d have to go to do it all within the 3 weeks I can afford to be away, I saw that I’d have to do 25-30 miles per day. There would be precious little time to do anything other than put one foot in front of the other. I decided to slow down, smell the sagebrush, and leave the peninsula for another day.