Three Times the PNT Tries (and Fails) to Kill Us

After nine amazing days getting through the Pasayten Wilderness, the section through the Cascade Mountains starts with equal promise: A trail zero on the sunny, sandy shores of Ross Lake, a walk through giant old growth cedars, and good trail over a couple of great passes. Yep, things are looking great.

But then in the middle of the night at Hannegan Pass a sickness begins. Nasty stomach bug sort of sickness. Not good. The next morning Kate isn’t feeling any better. Luckily we are close to the trailhead and some other campers give us a ride out to Glacier, WA. After 24 hours of rest we are back on the trail. We hike down the Lake Ann and Swift Creek trail and camp near hot springs. Amazing.

Then the next day we slam out a big day around a misty, beautiful Baker Lake and get some great views of Mount Baker. We camp on an old roadbed just miles from Concrete, WA, and plan on an easy walk to town, a motel bed and food and beers and… or would we?

The next morning, in the dim dawn light, I go to retrieve our URSAKs from a nearby tree. They’re up a steep embankment near the road edge. Heading back down the embankment (thinking of coffee) I take one step, two steps, thr- now tumbling downhill I land on my chest near the road edge. Guess that walk to town is going to be a little less fun with these bruised ribs 🙁

But that’s cool. I can deal. We’ll be in a hotel room tonight so no worries. I get my pizza, I get my beer, I get a “loggerdog” (see below) and get ready to sleep. Will be good to go tomorrow.

Around 9 p.m. I think, “My stomach feels kinda funny.” I can’t possibly have the crippling stomach bug Kate did a few days ago. It’s not like we’re in constant contact sharing water bottles, spoons, eating containers or anything.

9:17 p.m. I have the same stomach bug Kate had. Better write off tomorrow as a zero and get ready to watch crappy movies on TV cause as much as I want to get back on the trail that’s not really happening.

So the six days we wanted to take to Concrete have turned to eight. But fear not, we are back on the trail and (mostly) back to health. Nice try PNT, but you can’t hold us down!

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