Mile 2393.6, Snoqualmie Pass, to mile 2407.8, 14.2 PCT miles, estimated .5 miles off trail to return to trailhead + tentsite search, 14.7 miles total
PCT miles: 876.5
Running total: 980.3
We had all intentions of leaving early- Matt’s alarm started going off before 7, and around 0735 I begged for 10 more minutes…next thing I knew it was 930 and Matt was coming out of the shower !! Oops 🙂
I was feeling much better today, but it’s always hard to leave town. I was super motivated when I looked outside and saw a completely blue sky! NOT ONE cloud at all!!
We ate breakfast in bed (a honey bun for Matt and cold pizza for me :)) and packed up- by 1045 we were heading out of the hotel towards the trailhead, stopping briefly for a Gatorade from the gas station.
We started back on trail around 1120 with a gradual climb of just under 2500 feet in over 5.6 miles. Although our legs were fresh, I took the climb pretty slowly thinking that that might be better for my shins. It was the most enjoyable day so far weather and bug-wise, so I didn’t mind taking my time.
We passed about a thousand day-hikers- thankfully we were going up, so we had the right of way. If we had to stop for each one to let them pass, we wouldn’t have made any progress today!
We decided to stop for lunch at a lake just after the peak of our climb.
A little weird/concerning, this guy was set up in the middle of the trail with no owner in site
Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my gourmet sandwich (aka plopping the jelly I stole from a restaurant onto my peanut butter tortilla), a familiar face walked by. He stopped and we kinda stared for a moment. I asked, “didn’t we pass each other in the desert?” Yup! We never exchanged names, but we had leap-frogged with him one day in the desert- we never saw him before that & never saw him after. Turns out his name is Animal.
We were talking about his flip from the Sierra and his recent days in Washington (he has done everything from taking an on-trail, rainy-day zero in his tent watching Stranger Things to hiking over 30 miles in one day!) when somebody in the distance coming SoBo exclaimed, “oh my God!!” – turns out it was Gigs, a gal we knew from the desert!! Gigs was in another trail family that more or less hiked at the same pace as ours- we were often seeing each other at campsites, hotels, and town days. Last I saw her was in Tehachapi, when we chatted about our plans for the Sierra. She then ended up hiking briefly with our trail fam before her fam flipped up to Washington!!
A few moments later we were joined by another member of Gigs’ trail fam, Tye Bye, a fellow San Diegan who we had met first in Idyllwild! He always seemed genuinely excited to see me and Matt, and today was no different!
We gave smelly hiker hugs:)
Gigs, Cactus Cooler, Animal, and TyeBye
Finally, Cheeks rolled in. We first met Cheeks on the Mission Creek Day, and I have so many random memories of interactions with him- from our battle with a lazy, stubborn rattlesnake around mile 315 to the top of a mountain around mile 445 where Cheeks sat next to us to filter water while I changed my wet socks after falling into a creek- he was like that character in a movie who isn’t a main character but makes a lasting impression on everyone. It turns out Cheeks is leaving the trail today, so I was super happy I ran into him one last time.
Today, Washington felt comfortable; I have so many amazing, beautiful memories of the desert that today, Washington felt like home.
After lunch Matt and I again felt nauseated- I remember this happened to me in the desert during the first few weeks on trail, so I’m hoping this nausea is related to us being newly back on trail and that it resolves soon. It would certainly be more concerning if we didn’t just go on an ultimate food tour of Portland and Snoqualmie and feel completely fine.
We had another climb, this one about 1000ft in 2 miles, with two smaller climbs- one about 400 feet and the other 500. The climbs were pretty easy themselves, but the difficult part was the terrain: loose rocks made the going very slow.
With only 0.4 miles to go, we stopped to collect filter water. The bugs were attacking, so I put on my mosquito armor(/rain pants.) We carried on looking for the site listed on our Guthooks app but couldn’t find it, so we had to backtrack to the site before. It was fuckin mosquito hell again.
We decided to try a different method for the night: we set up our tent but didn’t open the doors just yet. We cooked, ate, and did all of our outside evening chores while we waited for the mosquito swarms to thin out. This method did seem to work a bit better: we had a significantly less number of mosquitos in our tent!
Early wake-up tomorrow- with the rocky terrain we are expecting, we won’t be moving too fast!