Ughhh! The morning alarms (and Matt’s 50 snoozes)- getting out of the sleeping bag is my least favorite part of the day, especially now that once I do, I have to put on my slightly wet clothes- I don’t think anything really fully dries in Washington, so I have come to accept a constant state of dampness.
While I avoided the inevitable, Matt got out of the tent, retrieved the food bags, and ate breakfast- he apparently saw a few deer with big antlers that I missed ’cause I slept in. No pic though, so did it even happen?? 😉
We enjoyed the sun and mountain views for a good portion of the morning!
Around 1115 we sat down at a really nice tent site by a creek for second breakfast/first lunch. We were joined briefly by Shotgun, but he continued on to a cabin on trail about 5 miles away where he was hoping to enjoy his lunch.
Eventually we started up again- boy did those 4.7 miles to the cabin feel like they went on forever!! Apparently I wasn’t the only one to think that- about a mile out from the cabin we passed Shotgun sitting nearly on the trail chowing down on some Mountain House backpacker meal- he said he got hungry and couldn’t wait! Hiker hunger, man!
Unfortunately, when we got to that site, it was in a field of a recent burn area- the site itself was awesome, but we didn’t want to risk a branch or tree falling on us so we decided to continue another 4.6 miles to the next site.
The rain continued off and on for a bit, but it wasn’t terrible. Whereas previous days’ mist gave the trail a mystical and enchanted feeling, today felt very eerie as we hiked through the burn areas.
We saw blue sky briefly!
At one point, as we were crossing a ridge, I heard a noise. I looked around and saw that I had accidentally kicked some rocks down the steep slope, so I figured that that was the noise. As I continued walking I heard it again- it was maybe like a “roar” or a large sigh/huff. This time when I turned I found Matt stopped and looking up in the direction of the noise.
We found a nice site around 7:40ish, set up camp, prepared and ate our food, tied our food bags to a tree, then climbed into our tent.
At some point during the day I had realized that more so than finishing our “thru-hike” at the Canadian border as I had originally dreamed of, I just wanted to finish the 2650+ miles in it’s entirety, somehow connecting our steps. With our 5 weeks off trail we were closing in on an already small window to end in Canada before the snow starts again, and the more we talk to people who had finished in October, the more we realize it wouldn’t be enjoyable to end in snow or freezing rain. I mentioned this to Matt, just to test the water, and he agreed with no objections. SO, double flip and a flop, NoBO turned SoBo turned NoBo to SoBo again: we will hike into Canada and come back south to end in Tehachapi, the place that tried to end our thru-hike in the first place! We just need to figure out when and where and how we will flip!
Ps..i ate ramen for the first time ever! It was delish! But I hope bears don’t like the ramen seasoning that I powdered my leg with! Grrr!