Today we finally traversed the slopes of Mt. Adams after watching it grow closer and closer every day since Cascade Locks. My sting was still bothering me – it felt as though my entire calf was clamped in a vise. Soaking it in a cold stream at lunch seemed to help. We started by climbing up out of dense forest into a sparser burn area on the lower slopes. After a few miles we negotiated a slightly confusing trail junction and then began to circle around the mountain’s west side. It was wonderful to be back up in the alpine park with all its tiny trees, flowers, trickling (and sometimes raging) streams and long, sunny, scenic views. Very different from the foggy weather we had on Mt. Hood! It reminded us of our first day on the Wonderland trail, when we hiked through the lushly-flowered and popular Spray and Seattle Parks.
Adams Creek was a bit of a dicey crossing that involved wading through cold, milky, sulfur-smelling glacier runoff. Not being able to see our feet was disconcerting but we made it across the various channels and log bridges without incident.
Wet feet plus fine volcanic dust made for extra-filthy shoes tonight. As daylight faded we dropped back into scrub and forest and passed the impressive Lava Spring, which seems to come right out of one of the ubiquitous piles of black lava rock. We finished the day just short of Midway Creek at a little campsite by the side of the trail that was just large enough for our tent. Tomorrow will be another scenic day as we enter the Goat Rocks Wilderness.