Day 146: White Pass to mile 2308.6

9.8.18. 13.7 miles.

I did not sleep super soundly last night, despite the very comfortable bed. I just kept waking up. Finally at 7, I gave up on trying to sleep more and gathered my phone, laying in bed scheduling blog posts, until about 8:30 when I realized I needed to get up and get things organized. I packed up some of my things and opened my resupply box to double check if I needed to buy anything else to supplement it. Then I went back to the gas station to get a latte & breakfast sandwich to bring back to the condo. I saw Sprinkles & Burps there, and they asked if they could take a shower in the condo before I checked out, as they didn’t get to the gas station until after dark and everything was closed. I welcomed them over, and they quickly showered before going back to the station to get WiFi before leaving. I continued to wash my cook pot and cold soaking jar & finish packing while watching tv, and at 11, checked out.

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I went over to the gas station to get a lunch of sorts and do a few more phone things. I checked the status of my REI package with my last pair of shoes, and the tracking info was kind of weird so I called them to see if it had been delivered, and they basically said they don’t know, but the package should be delivered today to Snoqualmie Pass. I then called my mom and forwarded her the order info so she could keep an eye on it and run interference if need be. Looking ahead on guthooks, it looks like I’ll have cell service at least once a day into Snoqualmie, so I’ll probably be able to take care of this myself.

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Finally, I left White Pass around 12:15, and walked the road back to the PCT. I was so happy to be back on the PCT. The trail really is just so much nicer. Not much to comment on about today. It was kind of cold at times, and the clouds in the sky were semi-threatening, but no rain came. The sun even came out for the last half of the day.

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What was pretty crazy though, were the number of hunters out! It’s elk season and these people literally haul huge canvas tents & teepees out as a base camp. Towards the end of the day, I saw 2 hunters crossing the PCT and then motioned for me to be quiet, as I approached them. They had just shot a bull and told me they needed to “finish” and that I might not want to watch. I was looking around wildly for the elk bc I wanted to see one. He looked so peaceful, sitting on the ground, but with an arrow in his chest. And then I watched them shoot again and he faltered and tried to get up to run away. I left after that. I was reminded of a podcast I listened to that was a truly beautiful recount of an elk hunt on She Explores - originally told on the HumaNature podcast. I know I saw game hunting in a different way after listening to that story. I never like the thought of killing these beautiful animals (and I don’t think I could ever do it), but the people who pay for the hunting tags are 99% very responsible hunters and have lots of respect for the animals they hunt, and eat this meat as a main protein source for the whole year, which I definitely see as much more responsible than the factory farming industry. Also, I think people who don’t hunt forget that the tag fees are a huge revenue source for our public lands. Anyways, it was one of those moments that I kind of never wanted to see, but I’m sort of glad I did see it.

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Another cool thing: I hit 2,300 miles today! Less than 350 to Canada! Today wasn’t a super difficult day hiking-wise, and I almost wish I had a full day so I would have been able to get some good miles in, but my quads and calves were so tight and sore from the extremely steep ups and downs from the alternate yesterday. I can’t even remember the last time my muscles hurt this much, so a shorter day was definitely appropriate. I am camped by a nice river with 2 other hikers I met today: Estes and Lupine.