9.10.18. 21.3 miles.
Not going to lie, today was a rough day. I woke to my alarm and turned it off immediately. I didn’t get much sleep last night thanks to the loudly snoring section hiker next to me, plus the wind and rain. I went back to sleep, too tired and not wanting to deal with a wet tent. I woke up again at 6:20 and figured I should get going. To my greatest displeasure, there was a puddle of water inside my tent in the corner that sloped down the most. I’m not sure if the sloping is the reason for the puddle or there’s a leak. I got ready moderately quickly, trying to make sure everything else stayed dry. My sleeping quilt was damp from the humidity.
I was the first to leave camp, a little after 7. I knew there was a wood cabin 13 miles into the day, and I was dead set on getting there for lunch, hoping there was room to hang/ lay out my wet things to dry. Not much exciting happened in the morning. It was windy, cold, and rainy, and most of the hike was in a recent burn area, which was pretty spooky. The trail was relatively flat or downhill with small spurts of up. Finally, the last few miles were in the living forest, and I coasted down to the cabin. I arrived just before noon, and recognized a few hikers. The one I didn’t know had previously hiked the trail and was hanging out at the cabin, going to meet up with friends. He kept a fire going in the wood burning stove, which warmed the cabin and me so much. I was able to hang my tent, pad, quilt, and down jacket from rafters and hooks and lay out my shoes & socks to dry. It was pretty glorious. And I even made hot mashed potatoes for lunch. Much better than cold soaked ones. I am definitely happy to have my stove for Washington. Occasional hot lunches are nice.
Many hikers showed up, and even some trail magic arrived! Toast, a previous thru-hiker and her friend Turtle came with lots of food! Bread, cheese, arugula, cookie dough, cinnamon bread, all kinds of goodies! They were great conversation as well. Toast told us that it was very rainy for her this whole section too (White to Snoqualmie Pass), and empathized with us. I hung out at the cabin for 2.5 hours, chatting, eating, and waiting for everything to dry. The longest lunch break I’ve had since the desert, probably.
I finally packed up and left, making it about a quarter of a mile when I realized I left a pair of socks drying above the fire. I hustled back to grab the pair before setting off again. The afternoon was not as easy as the morning. Much more climbing, and the rain and wind picked up again. After 5 miles that felt like forever, I reached a spring and filtered more water, the next not being for another 12 miles. After getting water, everything was just harder. I’ve had an area on my mid-upper back on my right side that just sometimes goes numb when I’m going uphill with more weight on my back, and that was starting to hurt. I made it about 2 miles before reaching a road with service: I needed to deal with my REI package still. In the cold, I got on the phone with them to see where it was. They still didn’t get any scan updates, and the very nice woman on the phone told me if they didn’t see any scans tomorrow, they would overnight me the shoes directly via UPS instead of ups/surepost where it goes through the post office. I’m still hesitant they’ll be coming, but I’ll just need to have some faith! I only went another mile further for the day, stopping about 5 miles short of where I roughly planned to make it to. I stayed at the cabin too long, and I really don’t like getting to camp after 7 now, and it was cold and rainy and I’d rather sit in my tent than continue hiking into the evening. So I am camped next to a dirt road, made my dinner from my tent and and hoping for a more peaceful night tonight.