Day 28: Goat Rocks Nero

PCT Mile 2274 – 2277

Miles Hiked = 3

I’ve explained this before, so I apologize if you’re familiar with these terms but in hiker terminology, a zero day is when you take the day off and don’t hike any miles. Usually this happens in towns and is a rest day. A nero day is when you hike less then ten miles. Usually a nero day occurs when a hiker is entering or leaving a town. For example, a hiker will often try to time his/her hike so that there is a short hike into town in the morning so that lunch and dinner can be enjoyed, laundry can be done, a shower can be had and a food resupply can be picked up (if mailed) or purchased. Sydney and I did this exact strategy a few days ago when we hiked into Trout Lake – had lunch and dinner – and then got back on the trail the next morning.

Sydney and I were planning on hiking twenty-two miles today and getting to White’s Pass where we would spend the night in a hotel and pick up our next resupply box. We decided this morning, on the spur of the moment, to take a nero on the trail here in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. The scenery is so special here that we wanted to enjoy this special place.

Shortly after getting on the trail this morning we had a hazy view back at Mt. Adams. We had passed by this large volcano two days ago after leaving Trout Lake.

Mt. Adams

We also a saw our first Marmot here in Washington state. These marmots are bigger than the the Sierra Nevada marmots I’ve seen in the past. These marmots are named Hoary Marmot. The word hoary means something that is white, gray or silvery and that obviously is a reference to the coloration on their back. Marmots are herbivores and live at high elevations above the timberline. These marmots are about the size of a 25-30 pound dog. They burrow into the earth to make their dens. In the coming weeks Sydney and I will see a lot of Hoary Marmots.

This morning as we hiked along the trail, we also had our first view of Mt. Rainer – the largest mountain in Washington.

Note the smoke at the lower elevations below the peak.

Mt. Ranier

After hiking three miles this morning we found a nice campsite and decided to take a Nero and enjoy the rest of the day here in the Goat Rocks Wilderness.

In the next few miles, just ahead of where we stopped today, is the Knife’s Edge, a 1.7 mile exposed ridge with awesome views of Mt. Rainer. We’re hoping to hike this section with clear skies and little smoke. The weather was supposed to change tomorrow so we were also hoping that with the predicted change of weather, the wind direction may change and blow away some of the smoke.

So we just took it easy all day. Sydney took a couple naps and listened to podcasts and audiobooks.

I found a place with cell service and called Donna and then made an online hotel reservation for tomorrow night at Whites Pass.

Later in the day, the skies got smokier and eventually we couldn’t even see Mt. Rainer anymore.

When we retired to our tents for the night we weren’t very confident that it would be clearer in the morning – it seemed to be getting worse!


Thanks for following!

4 thoughts on “Day 28: Goat Rocks Nero

    • Good memory Bizzy – I’ve climbed Mt. Rainer once in 1998 with my father who was 71 at the time – it was my first experience mountaineering – I.e. traveling over snow and glaciers using crampons, ice axes and roped up to a climbing team for mutual protection. It was quite an experience!


  1. Love to see you two relaxing a bit. When we visit Steve, we love to see Mt. Rainer! I was hoping you would have clear skies and able to get some good pictures! We go to a cute little winery when we visit there, Mt. Rainer Winery, owned by an retired Army veteran and a retired teacher. 🍷🍷🍷


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