August 18 – 2303 to 2329 (26 miles)
August 19 – 2329 to 2356 (27 miles)
August 20 – 2356 to 2381 (25 miles)
August 21 – 2381 to 2402 (21 miles)
August 22 – ZERO at Snoqualamie Pass
August 18 – 26 miles
Back to the trail after another wonderful zero day.
We return to the trailhead and are greeted with trail magic by a couple who walked the beginning of the PCT but only had a month. We had just stuffed ourselves on pizza, but we muscled some room in our bellies for more. Delicious grilled veggies, and a burger for Lorax.
The following morning we hit the trail at our usual time. Another gorgeous day filled with sunshine and Mount Rainier.
Later that afternoon, we came around a bend in the trail and were greeted by a bear. I was walking in the front, and yelled back to Lorax, “Bear!” He was standing right on the trail, blocking our way. We did what we always do when we see a bear that hasn’t run off yet: we started talking loudly and waving our hands, trying to get him to run off.
He didn’t budge. Instead, he raised his snout, sniffed the air, and took a couple paces towards us.
“He’s not moving…he’s not moving…” I began yelling. This has never happened to us! Why isn’t he moving?! In classic T-Fox fashion, I start to panic. I wanted to run away, but knew that was not smart. Lorax continued to wave his poles and talk in a low voice, and he told me to back up slowly. He grabbed a couple rocks, in preparation to throw them if need be. We kept backing away, and increasing the distance between us and the bear. He eventually went back to eating huckleberries, but was still on the trail.
Now what? He’s not moving, and there’s no easy way around him. We sit down a fair distance away, and wait. Some other hikers start approaching from the other direction. “There’s a bear!” Lorax yells. “And he’s not moving.” They keep walking anyway, speaking softly to the bear. He ends up coming off the trail slightly, then jumps on his hind legs for a better look. The hikers stop, just a few meters from the bear, and start taking pictures of him.
Everything worked out in the end, but we were worried that they stopped so close to a bear that was showing some mild aggression. We figured it was safe to pass now and walked by the bear.
Turns out later that day that we heard some south-bounders who had an issue with the same bear. It appears that he just doesn’t seem threatened by people.
August 19 – 27 miles
Such a beautiful morning! There’s a bounce in our step these days…just soaking it all in. Lorax spends a good chunk of the morning tossing his poles around (I swear…he’s going to break them), as we listen to music together on speaker.
“You haven’t said, ‘I quit’ in a while T-Fox.” Lorax is right. I haven’t said it, because I finally feel like this is attainable and possible. As much as I have always wanted to complete this hike, there were countless times when I believed I just didn’t have it in me. This has been HARD – probably more so than I expected. It’s been tiring, but also draining emotionally. But it’s been worth it…?…I think…? Yes. Definitely.
We come across two horse back riders coming southbound towards us. They dismount, and we step off the trail so they can pass. For some reason, the horses started freaking out, and eventually BOLTED back down the trail, sans riders.
Some other hikers saw the whole fiasco, and decided to call us The Horse Whisperers.
We slept at a public cabin that night, which was packed with PCT hikers, as well as a father with four sons. The family came to the cabin the day before and started feeding hikers, and was so stoked about helping hikers that he came back the next night to help some more! A true trail angel! He served up hotdogs with beans, complete with beer. It felt great to sleep indoors for a change.
August 20 – 25 miles
We wake up and leave the cabin, greeted by a wet super-fog. The air is just thick with moisture, and the trees are dripping with water…it may as well be raining! And brrr…IT’S COLD! Hello Washington…it feels like we are getting closer to home.
Clear cuts. That’s what today has to offer. It puts me in a melancholy mood, and I struggle to hike.
August 21 – 21 miles
Another foggy morning, so I better get used to it! The fog lifts by late morning, and it gets sunny and warm.
Only 21 miles to Snoqualamie Pass! Sadly, I depended on my podcasts to get me through most of those miles. Hiking to town days are tough because I’m too focused on getting a break, and the miles DRAG.
At lunchtime we are stopped by some locals who are day hiking. They are the sweetest ladies, and they are so inspired by our hike. It’s a good reminder that we are lucky to do this.
Passed 2400 mile marker! What?!
Snoqualamie Pass is heavenly. Now, if we were driving through we might think it’s kind of lame, but to a hiker, it has everything we need. We camp on a dirt road, just at the base of the ski hill. Are we allowed to do so…? I don’t know, and quite frankly, I don’t care as much these days. I just need a place to put my mobile home.