Who are you and what did you do with the PCT?!
My friend dropped Meghan and I off at the next trailhead. Meghan went ahead but I needed to use the bathroom before heading out. I then began my hike with Tree Beard. He not only looks like a ginger version of Tree Beard from Lord of the Rings, he also walks like him – precise and methodical.
I had my first on trail Trail Magic!! A couple who hiked the PCT a few years ago were cooking burgers and hot dogs for all of the hikers going though! They also had so many other snacks, candy, beer, seltzer’s, soda and water. I ate two hot dogs and a burger. Only two miles to go and I didn’t have to cold soak tonight! (I decided I was going to try it, I sent my stove ahead with my boots just in case).
Also, um, the trail is flat??? I’m not going up and down two passes a day? How does it just suddenly switch?? This was the easiest 20 miles I’ve ever walked!!
My goal today was to make it 26 miles to the Mike Ulrtich Cabin. A lot of my friends were staying there for the night and I wanted to see them. I wanted to be out by 6am so I could make it there at a decent time. Waking up at 5am, I somehow dilly dallied until 9am!! I began cold soaking an oatmeal breakfast one of the NOBOs gave me yesterday, packed up my stuff and then had to poop. And then I had to poop again!
I met someone who was walking the Washington section and they informed me that the next little stream was the only place to get water for 18 miles. So I filled my two liters and was on my way.
Talking to NOBOs is the reason I’m going to get to camp late. I love the 10-20 minute conversations I have with thru hikers. It’s so crazy how far they’ve come and I’m just getting started. Roadside, one of the first NOBOs I met today, informed me of taking the stock/alternate route after Goat Rocks. He said the view is so beautiful while through the PCT you’re in a bowl and will not see as much. I also have a message to deliver from him to Spacmaker, another NOBO. “Get your ass moving.” Roadside wanted to hike with Spacemaker again. I was so ready to ask everyone their name the next few days – determined not to miss him.
The 6 mile uphill was a killer, I’m so slow on the uphills and so fast on the downs it’s become a running joke between my friends. I jammed to some music and slowly made my way up. Once I got up there it would be an easier 10 miles to camp.
Throughout the day I took little breaks instead of a longer “lunch” that I’ve been doing. It was really because I was so determined to get to that cabin. These little breaks were enchanting as I would sit and watch the bumblebees work.
My legs and feet are sore, but no pain so far. I’ve been stretching and keeping my calves loose to the best of my ability. I’m so happy to be in lighter shoes, I was nervous about going from boots to zero-drop shoes – but I’m loving it.
At 9pm, I finally made it and got to see all of my friends! And then everyone went to bed. There were times when I came across other campsites that would be good enough, but I’m so happy to have pushed myself, made it, and saw everyone.
As I was making dinner (Travis let me use his pot and stove – not having to cold soak day two! Yes!!), sitting with Trash Panda and Meghan, we saw a large heard of elk across from us. It’s been very cool seeing all of the wildlife!
Today has been a BEAUTIFUL day. The trail has been so nice!! I’m walking on dirt, not many rocks, and the trail is not going up and down 3,000ft every day!
I took my time getting up and ready AGAIN. I woke up at 7:30 with Trash Panda and Megan. And we all left around 9am, me bringing up the rear. Within my first 3 miles I could feel that I didn’t get great sleep. Trash Panda was up so much during the night checking on his food because cabin equals mice. And every time he got up I would wake up. Luckily, I had a break pretty quickly as I sat and talked with a NOBO, Rugby, for about an hour. Talking to people and the mountains really are my favorite parts of the trail.
I was moving slow today. Each day I have always felt rejuvenated after sleeping, but today was not one of those days. I sat by little streams and drank water, I sat in shade and watched all the weird bugs do their thing, and then I came upon the wild strawberries! This is really where my plan for the day went downhill. I ate so many strawberries! They were everywhere and each time I came across a patch, I’d sit there for about ten minutes eating them. I eventually had to stop looking at the ground because I was just searching for them!
At about mile 12 I walked past this really cute looking campsite to the river. I had 8 miles to go and this was the last water for those 8 miles. And then I turned around and decided I was tired of getting into camp at 9pm and I was going to camp at the cute campsite I saw just before the stream thinking to myself, am I really just going to do 12 miles today? I can’t tell you how happy I am with this decision. I set up camp while it was light out!! I ate dinner at 6pm!! I ate so many strawberries today! I’m so so happy to end my day like this.
I met two new SOBO hikers, The Pharmacist and Evan. They came up to the site and asked if there was room for 2 more. And of course there was! We all ate dinner (I cold soaked ramen, I will be adding my pot and stove back to my bag in White Pass) and talked from inside our tents because it was really cold and very buggy. I asked if they wanted to hike together tomorrow and it was a resounding yes! Each thru-hiker I meet I feel like I’m talking to an old friend, all the conversations are very pleasant and comfortable.
I’m very pleased that I have started listening to myself. And the mileage to make up for this isn’t terrible either. I just need to wake up early so I can actually hike 23 tomorrow and then 15 into White Pass. I needed this refresh, and I’ve been meeting new people! All good things are around me.
Last night was very cold and windy. This time, I’m glad I kept my puffy on. I woke up for the final time at 6am and slowly started to get my stuff together. All of us were ready to go at 7:30am, much better than my 9am start time the last two days.
I’ve enjoyed hiking by myself the last couple of days, but it was SO much fun to hike with The Pharmacist and Evan! They kept me less distracted and they took breaks when they needed them. I’ve been doing breaks all wrong. I try to give myself something to look forward to by saying to myself “Okay in 5 miles you can stop and take a break”. This hasn’t worked well for me yet. I really have learned something new every day.
The morning flew by as we hiked into Mt Renier National Park. It was a really nice park to go through, a lot of day hikers and I saw my first horse on the PCT!
We ate lunch at a very buggy Large Dewey Lake. Because I gave them some snacks earlier, they gave me a Mountain House meal for lunch because they had extra! I was SO full after eating it, but it was nice to eat warm, cooked rice. The Pharmacist went for a swim and then we were on our way. The rest of the hike continued to be buggy so we didn’t stop much before getting to camp.
When we rolled up there was a very nice NOBO who shared the 2 person tent site with 3 more people. He also played the ukulele so beautifully for us as we collected our water and made dinner. 23 miles didn’t feel bad today!
We hiked into White Pass rather slow. All of us were ready for another break. We did see 8 horses on the way in! Such a coincidence as we were discussing the lack of horses on the trail yesterday!
Today had many beautiful meadows rather than the dense trees. It was nice to go through some different scenery.
We sat at a less buggy lake today and ate lunch. A new hiker then enters my story, Marmot. The Pharmacist and Evan have met him before so I introduce myself. He has a sudden look of realization and says “Oh you’re Juicy”. The confusion must have shown all over my face as he continues to explain that people behind us were asking him if I was still hiking with Salty and his Disciples. We have a tramily name??? Oh my gosh I laughed so hard. I didn’t realize other hikers knew us as a group!
As we were hiking the last five miles into White Pass, I came up with a trail name for Evan – Mountain House. He ate them 2-3 times a day and just kept talking about hire much he loved them. I suggested it to him and he immediately loved it! He wanted some time to think, I completely understood, but in the end he kept it and I gave out my first trail name!
Well, we get into White Pass and everyone waited for me to get in so we could hang out a second before they were off!! I later learned this was Goofy’s doing. I will always appreciate him. We took a tramily photo and off most of the group went but Meghan and Trash Panda.
At the White Pass Kracker Barrel Trail Angels Joaquin and Butterfly were doing so much trail magic! They had beer, soda, dogs! Everything you could ever want. They were taking boxes to the post office for us, and got a room we could shower in for free!! These two had such a huge impact on my few hours in town, I wish I could do more to also give back to them.
As I got out of the shower, who do I run into? None other than Spacemaker!! I delivered my message and we figured out that Roadside was way too far ahead for Spacemaker to catch him. I’m still hoping there will be a reunion of some sort.
Also while I was gone, someone brought a crate of nectarine seconds. The fruit I have been dreaming about, now a crate in front of me. I ate two while standing there and packed one away for later. I still have another 6 miles to do today.
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