Day 149: mile 2355.4 to mile 2379.8

9.11.18. 24.4 miles.

I got to sleep pretty early last night, definitely before 9. I was incredibly warm and comfortable in my quilt, socks, balaclava, and thin liner gloves. It was a cold night, so I put on the extra layers, and shoved my other clothes into the foot box of my quilt to keep them warm and dry. I did ditch the gloves halfway through the night as it was getting a little too warm, but otherwise I was very cozy. I had to get up first thing though as I really needed to go to the bathroom. It was barely light out, even though I knew the sun was rising, because of the clouds. After finishing business, I hopped back into my tent and got ready carefully, trying not to shake off any of the condensation inside onto my things.

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When I got back out of my tent, I saw some blue sky in the distance and light pink clouds. My tent was also much drier on the outside than I anticipated. It must have stopped raining well before the sun rose. I packed the tent up, and walked back to the trail. I was hiking in most of my layers, like I had been the last 2 days. My shirt, thermal layer with my hood pulled up, rain jacket, shorts, and rain pants on top of those. Plus, my liner gloves and waterproof mitts over them. Even though the sun was starting to come out, the foliage lining the trail was dripping wet, and the rain pants and jacket kept me from getting wet when I brushed up against them. I got pretty warm though as the morning went on since the sun was out and I was climbing. At one point, I shed all my layers except for shirt & thermal top. It felt freeing to finally have my legs move normally and not hear the swishing noise of the rain pants with every step.

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The weather was pretty erratic however, and eventually I needed to put my rain layers back on because it started raining again. Of course, the rain came to a halt when I reached a wide open area, and found 2 other hikers there: McGuyver (different than the desert one), and Windy. I briefly met them when I arrived at the cabin yesterday, but they left shortly after I got there. We chatted for a bit, and I seized on the opportunity of intermittent sun to pull my tent out and let it dry completely, and took off my shoes & socks to see if they could dry at all too. I cooked up a packet of ramen for lunch and sat enjoying the warmth of the sun, and glowering every time the clouds moved back over it. Once my tent was fully dry, I packed up again and got moving, which was a good idea too, since it started raining again within 10 minutes of me leaving my lunch spot. I donned all of my rain gear again and went off.

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I reached a spring and filtered some water, only what I needed though, as it was raining pretty hard at this point. It’s not exactly fun sitting in the rain while filtering water. The whole experience is just very wet. It didn’t help that the place the spring was in was a muddy, trampled meadow. My feet got even more wet. After some more steep up & downs and a few more miles of hiking, I came upon a large gravel road and saw Windy on the other side. I went over to take cover from the weirdly sunny drizzle to check guthooks to see where I was and how far I needed to keep going to camp, when a truck with huge UW stickers on it rolled up. 2 people hopped out and asked us if we’d seen Moses, another hiker. I’d never met him, but they told us they were going to do trail magic! And to think I almost walked away.

Little Rabbit and Codex were their names. They’d been hiking on the trail this year, but had to get off due to injuries. They’d been hiking with Moses, and wanted to do some trail magic for him. The more hikers that showed up in the meantime, the better! They were incredible. I chatted with Little Rabbit about UW (she’s an alumnae as well) in the warm truck, while Codex cooked up grilled cheeses and coffee in the back. It was raining pretty hard during this time, and Windy & McGuyver sat in the car w me and Little Rabbit. All of us were talking about the trail, getting warm and dry while eating grilled cheese and drinking coffee. This was a pretty incredible surprise!

 Windy & Codex

Windy & Codex

After an hour of hanging out, the clouds seemed to part and the rain stopped. I seized this clearing as an opportunity to start hiking again, but not before trying to ascertain whether my shoes had been delivered. Knowing I had done all I could with REI, I called the hotel I’ll be staying at, where they were supposed to be delivered to, to see if they could look for me. I was met with a very unhelpful man, who claimed to have “800 hiker boxes” in their back room, and who would not look to see if my package was there. I explained that I believed the package was lost, and was trying to check, but he firmly stated he wouldn’t look until I arrived tomorrow. I asked if he could tell me which post office was the local one so I could call to see if the package had been delivered to their P.O. Box, and he said “there is no local post office. The hotel is the P.O. box”. Realizing I was not going to be getting anywhere with this unhelpful man, who was now flat out lying to me, I thanked him and told him I’d see him tomorrow. I’d heard this hotel has mixed reviews about friendliness towards hikers, but I knew that when I got there tomorrow, I’d have to “kill them with kindness” so to speak. I also knew that my package from REI had no more scans today, so hoped they’d keep to their word and overnight shoes like they said they would. If not, I can probably squeeze a few more miles out of them and have them sent to Steven’s Pass, where things seem a bit more organized and helpful.

After thanking my wonderful trail angels, I left the road at 5, with 5 more miles to hike to my hopeful campsite. I had a bit of a climb after leaving the road, but after that, it was mostly flat and downhill to the creek where I’d be camping by. It started raining lightly again during my hike, and I hustled to get to camp before it really started raining. Luckily, I was successful, and got my tent set up within minutes, carefully pulling things inside, making sure to keep essentials dry. I made my dinner from the tent, and got ready for bed. It doesn’t sound like it’s raining anymore. It doesn’t really matter if it does or not, because I’ll be getting to the pass tomorrow, and will be able to dry out all of my things when I get into my room. Hopefully, all of my packages will be there and I’ll be able to check in early, but I won’t be holding my breath!