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Wonderland Trail: Day 6

Backcountry thrones

Let’s talk about backcountry toilets. The Wonderland Trail has some noteworthy ones. For starters, they often lack walls, opting instead for just a box with a seat. Which, even speaking as someone who is very comfortable pooping in the woods—who on the PCT was eventually peeing directly from the trail because going any further took too much effort—feels… very… exposed? Like, how am I supposed to accomplish my task while worrying that I’m about to lock eyes with a stranger?

The Olallie Creek Camp toilet

One Wonderland toilet, however, is legendary—and for good reason. The en plein air toilet at the Indian Bar group site is on a ridge, nestled in the trees, with a spectacular view up the valley towards the mountain. Totally worth a possible awkward face-to-face encounter with a stranger. It is a toilet of the gods, Rick’s secret toilet gazing out upon the universe, 11/10 would poop again.

The Indian Bar throne

All day today the views—not just from the toilets—are spectacular. Absurd. Outrageous. Flowers, mountain, clear blue sky, a thousand different breathtaking approaches to Mount Rainier. Views of Mount Adams and even Mount Hood far in the distance. The kind of ridgeline hiking that gets me out of the tent in the morning.

And there’s finally wildlife! A grouse puts on a trailside show. We spot a bear far below us, grazing by a pond.

We’re at our Indian Bar campsite by 1PM after a short six miles of hiking, so we set up the tent, lounge in the hammock, and explore the riverbed below camp. It’s wide and rocky in the valley, with orange, blue, and green stones embedded in pink rock and bitingly cold water for foot soaking. It narrows to a raging torrent of death where the trail crosses on a wonky wooden bridge.

Our site is populated by slow but persistent mosquitos. The sky is populated by stars.

Thursday, July 22, 2021
6 miles: 2,450′ up (including 800′ from Olallie), 1,177’ down
Olallie Creek Camp to Indian Bar Camp

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