When we reached the parking lot at Rainy Pass, we met Ricky Bobby. He had also camped with Ralph last night.
Ricky Bobby didn’t want to join us in Winthrop because he didn’t need to resupply.
Before driving into town, we went to the Forest Service office on the edge of town. We needed to get a backcountry camping permit for North Cascades National Park.
About 18 miles of the PCT passes through one section of the park. At this time, hikers were required to obtain a separate permit if they wanted to camp in the park. That policy was changed later and now the permit issued by the Pacific Crest Trail Association is accepted in two campsites.
Before this change, acquiring a park camping permit was difficult for southbound hikers like us. They couldn't be acquired over the phone. The closest office for getting a permit was in Winthrop, but most thru-hikers don't have a friend with a truck.
Because of this difficulty, most thru-hikers plan their miles so they can camp just before or just after the park boundary. Ralph was trying to limit the distance he hiked each day to around 15 miles or less, so that wasn't practical for us.