Posted by: blinklove | June 26, 2010

Snow is the Darndest Thing

You can’t always predict the weather. And no one predicted snow as low as 5,000 feet in late June, even in Canada. So it came as quite a surprise to arrive at Manning Park, British Columbia and start hearing first word of trail conditions. Before leaving for the north terminus of the trail we checked and double checked weather conditions and trail reports. All predicted that we would be walking under sunshine and at very comfortable temperatures (75, 80 degrees sounded good) following a late snow storm that was beginning to melt.

It is starting to seem a little silly and a bit cliché but guess what! The area around Manning Park, down through the Northern Cascades and the state of Washington, was not finished with winter. While we were on a plane or a bus headed that way, the warm temperatures vanished and the snow started falling again. The night-time temperature dropped to the 20’s and the first few hikers that had set out were already turning around.

6/19/10:     “From Manning Park– Expect snow patches around 4500 feet or above. Above 5000 there is only snow and the only non-snow camping available is between tree wells. Temperatures did not leave the 30s and it snowed for the 3 days straight that we were there. Snow baskets on trekking poles are necessary as well as tents for snow, extra warm clothing, and any other snow equipment that you are comfortable with. Conditions are not expected to improve much soon as there are thunderstorms and more snow predicted every day for the next week.
We are aborting a southbound hike and are going to be going to somewhere in California where there is not as much snow.”

This is the kind of report we have challenged in the past. We heard similar warnings before climbing Mt. Laguna, Mt. San Jacinto, and Mt. Baden-Powell. In those cases, however, we were following tracks and hikers were all around helping each other to navigate. Here in Canada, there is no one. It was also easier hiking those mountains because, despite the snow, the weather was warm. Yet up here it is still snowing and temperatures are not climbing out of the 30s. We have decided that is not only too risky for us but especially for Cowboy Charles.

So we decided, because of the extreme and unusual conditions of the PCT this year, that Charles is better off in the safe hands of the people of North Carolina. He has arrived happy and healthy and Stephen’s dear sister, Teresa, was kind enough to pick him up on late notice and will foster/fall in love with Cowboy Charles over the next couple days. Heather’s mom will be picking him up on Sunday and taking him home to wonderful Winston-Salem. Who wants to meet him?!

As for us, we will continue knocking out miles where the weather allows until we’ve covered it all. Today it’s off to Portland, Oregon where we’ll hike south through the state and into California where the *sigh* snow covered Sierra Nevadas await. Our plan is to hike back to where we left off, and hitch a ride back to our car. Then we will drive up to Washington and knock it out as the final leg. More to come, especially pictures!!!

Remember 100% of your tax-deductible donations go towards helping animals in need, just like Cowboy Charles.

Bodi Jefferson and Dreamer

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Responses

  1. Blinkers,
    I’ve been reading your blog anytime I get near any internet access… I’m in western Mass. for the month, without internet, tv, etc….
    The story of Charles has been such a cliff-hanger… it needs to be a BOOK!!! I mean it. What a story of goodness and good luck.
    Can’t believe he’s now in the Dash… and I hope to meet him!
    You are the best, you guys, and… you bring out the best in those you touch. Quite a gift.
    Thanks

  2. You three are some gosh darn beautiful creatures if I do say so myself! Love, love, love!

    Be safe out there… ps im jealous that you are in Portland… I hope that you are stopping for a second in the city to soak up some mo-jo!

  3. I have been so worried about Charles, and wondering how he was keeping up with you two. So very thankful for both of your families for taking in Cowboy Charlie, and YES I want to meet Charlie, and maybe even get a little video of him for wxii12.com’s website. Charlie is so very lucky to have found the Blink Crew, and by the time he gets to Winston Salem, he will have probably traveled more than me in his lifetime. Great job!!!! I wonder what he will think of the South..
    Thanks for all the updates..YOU GUYS REALLY, REALLY ROCK!!!!!

  4. Great update. With the EXTREMELY hot temps here in NC, it’s hard to believe there’s snow falling somewhere in the US/Canada. Best of luck with the remainder of your trek.

    May GOD bless you both and keep you safe in HIS love always.
    Looking forward to your ‘welcome home’ party! Love ya much


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