Back at Stevens Pass, we saw that we had made to right choice by taking an extra zero. Early arriving hikers to the pass were frozen and wet, hoping to get in town quick for a hot meal. The grass was still rather wet when we passed through; I was happy to have my rain gear on. By early afternoon, the rain gear was gone and I was back in a T-shirt and shorts.
This section of trail was beautiful. Very high in elevation; craggy peaks and steep mountains. Lots of long, gradual climbs followed by long descents. This section of trail was reminiscent of the Sierras; each long climb was rewarded with a dip down into a valley with a different gem: lakes, forrest, alpine meadows. As we got further north, it got more and more beautiful.
The trail was becoming more crowded as we got more north, as well. Since October was fast approaching, the time to finish the trail before snow started falling was becoming short. Many hikers were either speeding up or jumping ahead to northern Washington and then going back to finish their skipped sections. While there were times of solitude, there was much more camaraderie and group camping. It was sort of like the feeling at the beginning of the trail -- fun, party like, exciting, a team approach.
Things just don't get any better than this!