August 22 – 4 miles on Goldmyer alternate
August 23 – 23 miles on Goldmyer alternate + 2438 to 2441 (26 miles)
August 24 – 2441 to 2469 (28 miles)
August 25 – 2469 to 2476 (7 miles)
“I was still stiff and weary at the end of the day – that never stopped – but I had reached the point that aches and blisters were so central a feature of my existence that I ceased to notice them.” – Bill Bryson, on walking the Appalachian Trail.
August 22 – 4 miles
Slept like an exhausted hiker – deep and soundly. Pure heaven!
We leave Snoqualamie today, even though we had allotted the entire day off. We do this often where we push to town so we can have more time off, and then decide to head back to the trail early. I’m not sure if I necessarily “miss” the trail, but I do get a little antsy when we sit for too long. I love you PCT!
We head to The Summit Pancake House for a mediocre but satisfying breakfast. Several other hikers are there, stuffing their faces and pounding coffee – much needed calories and possibly MORE needed caffeine! I look around the restaurant…we are an interesting bunch…fascinating individuals, all brimming with the same anticipation for Canada.
We chill in town for most of the day, catching up on our blog and various “worldly” things. Life outside of the trail can feel so foreign sometimes…majors global events occurring and more facebook friends who are pregnant/engaged/moving etc. It’s a good reminder that while it feels like time has stood still in my own life while I hike, there are fascinating advancements happening with others. Time keeps on ticking!
We spend a great deal of time sorting our food…enough food for seven days on the trail. No surprise here, but our packs were borderline unbearably heavy. Go, Go, Gadget legs!!
We finally hike out at five. Pillsbury has decided to join us for this section. The three of us hoist our packs on, head outside, and are greeted by rain. Heavy rain. Thunder. Everyone tries to convince us to stay in town, and warns against heading into the mountains with a pending storm. One adorable hiker, named Mermaid, even offers to “sneak” us into her room so we have a safe, dry place to sleep. SO TEMPTING…but we decided to hike…and hike we shall.
We climb, and sweat, and rain leaks into our rain jackets…but eventually it stops. We make it only four miles, but at least we broke the ties from town! Those luxurious town stops can really sucker a homeless hiker in!
We set up our soaking wet tent (from the heavy dew the night before), laugh and chat with Pillsbury from inside our tents, and say our goodnights.
August 23 – 26 miles
We are suckered into another alternate trail. The Goldmyer trail shaves off 9 miles, but it’s going to be more rugged and challenging. We’re not really sure if it will save us time, but we decide to give it a whirl. Besides, it doesn’t go outside of our continuous hike to Canada philosophy…we are walking ever step of the way, Baby! Our morning conversation mostly consists of war. I never paid attention that well in History class, but Lorax and his stellar memory reveal copious details of World War 2. I have no idea how he does it…it’s almost as fascinating as what he’s saying. I love that skinny, scruffy man.
We get a slightly earlier start than Pillsbury, but she catches us by noon. We have just finished our lunch stop, complete with my magic bullet mug of coffee – watch out afternoon…T-Fox is caffeinated!
The three of us hike the rest of the day together. It’s a tough one! We kind of regret ever leaving the PCT…we miss her gentler grades. But overall, it’s a beautiful day. Pillsbury and I converse over our shared passions for nutrition and vegetarianism. Man I miss fresh, nutrient dense health foods!
So we’ve run out of water purification tabs at this point, so we’ve been drinking the water straight. We’re kind of going off of common sense and intuition…and possibly a little luck! We hope there’s some iodine tablets in a hiker box at the next town…
Lorax finds a flat, soft, mossy spot where the three of us set up home. We ravenously down our dinners and curl up in our sleeping bags. Washington nights can be chilly…but we got this cozy thing down 🙂
August 24 – 28 miles
We all break camp at the same time this morning, and hit the trail HARD. It’s a really solid morning. We are hikers! We are strong! We have come so far!
Plenty of elevation change…plenty of sweating…plenty of panting. Well, for Pillsbury and I at least; Lorax just saunters along, despite the fact he is now carrying all the food. Maybe I should have an asterisk beside this accomplishment…a little disclaimer: “Fox hiked the PCT, but with copious amounts of assistance from the powerhouse who is referred to as Lorax.”
Gorgeous rugged mountains! Pristine aqua lakes! Oh to be alive and well.
With just one more major pass to ascend, we hit another storm. Do we wait it out, or trudge up higher over the notch and brave the rain? We have big miles planned for the day, and stopping means getting to camp later, so we press on (There’s no stopping on my watch! – Lorax)
Rain turns to hail, to rain, to hail, and back to rain. I motor up that climb as if my life depends in it. “Gotta go up to get down…gotta go up to get down…” is my mantra. We successfully reach the tiptop, and the rain stops. We remove our rain jackets, which are soaked not only on the outside, but on the inside from sweat.
We’re tired when we reach camp, but in good spirits. There are so few days left out here on the PCT! It may be hard, but it’s also a simple life – hike, eat, sleep, repeat.
LESS THAN 200 MILES TO GO!
August 25 – 7 miles
I wake, and am greeted by my best friend with a kiss and a “Happy anniversary Fox.”
It’s our 8th wedding anniversary, and we’re headed to Skykomish to celebrate!
We hike with Pillsbury, catch a hitch to town (thank you Mary!) and head to the only hotel in town. Funds are getting tight, but luckily this place is affordable. We get a room with a shared bathroom, and no t.v…just the bare minimum! We know, it’s not the classiest choice for an anniversary, but it fits the bank account!
We wanted to go out for dinner, but find we are too hungry by noon, so we grab a seat at the Cascadia Inn restaurant. Our room isn’t ready yet, so here we are, four days since we showered, in our hiking clothes, sharing our anniversary meal together. We laugh as I accuse Lorax of having smelly feet, than later realizing that mine are just as offensive. It’s all so romantic.
After lunch, we shower, clean up, and loiter around town. It’s a cute little mountain town, complete with old buildings, and a piercingly loud train…right beside our room. Maybe I won’t sleep as well as I hoped…
Happy anniversary Mr. Lorax – you stole my heart so very many years ago, but you have not only taken good care of it, but helped to shape it and encourage it to flourish. I love you dearly.