September 16, 2017
South Mowich River (Wonderland Trail) to Carbonado (Foothills Trail)
Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike: Day 134
Left the Wonderland trail by hiking down and out from Ipsut Pass. Whew, I would not want to hike up that shit. Stee-ee-eeeeep!
We went over a really cool, beautiful one-lane bridge called the Fairfax bridge. It's right next to a ghost town hike that we did not do. Walking across the bridge felt pretty cool, I think a guy took a picture of me doing it because he knew what we were doing. The bridge was built of weathered green metal and looked really old, probably built to support the coal mining operations that went on near/in the ghost town.
After the bridge, we lost the shoulder completely, with a cliff wall on the right and plunging gorge on the left. Cars were whipping around the zig zags of the road in the waning light. Luckily, we could hear them coming from far enough away to hop over the guard rail. I frantically crawled Google maps for an alternative option or a place to regroup and give me time to make a plan. Camping options did not look good and walking sucked and felt unsafe.
Then, zoomed all the way in so I could see every waypoint marker Google had to offer, I saw a trailhead nearby. We're camped here now, on this really cool little trail that Alex says used to be a railroad. He knew, because they do that a lot he says—turn railroads into bike paths that go from town to town. It's called 'Rails to Trails', and it's a whole system apparently. This section is the 'Foothills trail'. I wish I knew where it went so I knew if we could hike it into Carbonado. I think we're just going to try it out without knowing where it goes, I'll keep an eye on our proximity to the road via tracking our GPS, and if it veers off from the road we'll bushwhack back to pavement. I am so grateful to be able to camp a little further from the highway instead of in a ditch where we'd be trying to sleep while hiding from searching headlights and swerving drivers.