2253.2 to 2280.8 (27.6 miles) –
My body is mush. My feet are throbbing and my knees hurt even to the touch! What is happening?! I’m 350 miles to the finish why am I falling apart NOW?! But holy moly… Today was a real adventure!
I was solo the whole day, but I really crushed it considering I woke up late, and got into camp early. Plus the weather has been absurd today. I didn’t see anyone at all until 10am. Once I got into Goat Rocks National Forest (and realized it was Saturday) the day hikers started pouring in. So many of them!! I understand why though. Goat Rocks is SO BEAUTIFUL! Reminds me so much of the Sierras. I miss it.
The majority of the day was windy, cold and cloudy. Up ahead was Knifes Edge (this crazy ridge with steep cliffs on both sides). I had been looking forward to it for the past couple days. The views from up there are to die for. But of course, right before I reached Knifes Edge, it started raining, I couldn’t see a thing, and the wind was blowing me all over the place. My pct guide app says “terrifying in bad weather”. So of course, I was a bit freaked out and I started asking folks who were heading south if they thought it was a bad idea for me to head up. Most people bailed and were heading back to their campgrounds to escape the wind and rain. They thought I was crazy. But one couple gave me a bunch of fruit leather and wished me luck! I took that as a sign that I should just go do it, so I threw my rain jacket on and started heading up. When I reached the start of it, the sky started clearing a bit and the rain stopped. THE VIEWS WERE SO STUNNING YOU WOULDNT BELIEVE IT! Washington, you’re great. The ridge wasn’t as scary as everyone made it seem, it was really fun! The rest of the hike afterwards was pretty tough on my feet and knees. Super steep up and down, with loose rock and gravel all around.
My feet have never ever hurt this bad. I don’t know what to do. I’m using different shoes, and I guess my feet aren’t used to them? I don’t have any other pairs at home. I’m hoping my feet get used to them and I won’t have any crazy problems. I’m so close to the end, it would devastate me if I injured myself! I elevate my feet when I sleep, and massage them when I can. Wish me luck!
I got to where I wanted to camp, and there was one other tent. There’s another girl here, she’s section hiking Washington solo! We spent the night talking about food and sharing stories. She spends a lot of her time working on organic farms! Pretty cool stuff. She referred me to some interesting things.
Only 11 miles to White Pass tomorrow! I can’t wait to pick up my resupply and be lazy for a bit. I don’t have any food left really… One bar, half a bag of green beans and a tiny bit of mustard… I cut it a bit close there. Fooooood!!
2226.9 to 2253.2 (26.3 miles) –
Somehow I woke up at 5:45am this morning… Am I okay?! I actually miss waking up that early. I think I’ll try to do it more often. It was pretty chilly, but after a bit of uphill, I was a little too toasty!
We started the day well, with a ton of motivation and a lot of energy. Most of our day was spent talking in old man voices, playing the harmonica (very terribly) and laughing at each other’s farts… We got great mileage in before noon! However, when we got to the water/lunch spot at 1, we ended up staying there for almost three hours. Whoooops.
Penny and I were set on doing at least 30 miles today, to make up for yesterday. But you know how that goes!! At around 5pm, we found a note left for Penny, that her lover boy left for her, letting her know that he’s right up the hill and wants to talk. I decided to push on, she said she would either catch up tonight to camp or try for tomorrow. I ended up hiking solo for 7 or so miles to camp. I reached the pond and tentsite hoping friendly folks would be there, but it looked like I was going to be camping solo considering the time. After I built a fire and set up camp, an older fellow named Slim Jim rolled in and asked if he could camp nearby. Of course I said yes… the next tentsite is 3 miles away! Plus, it would be nice to chat around the fire and not camp alone in the woods! I have been paranoid lately for some reason. The other day with the bear noises got me spooked. Slim Jim and I had dinner, talked a bit and said our good nights.
I currently hear something crunching around near my tent… Eeeek!
Update: I had a bear attack nightmare dang it
2209.5 to 2226.5 (17 miles into town)
Packed up and was about to head out and then Penny started boiling water for tea… Then we sat forever. Tea on a cold morning will always suck me in! It was an easy 6 miles to water, where we met some folks who were heading into Trout Lake. Apparently that town has incredible huckleberry lemonade… So we started thinking about heading to the road to get a ride there! We had no expectations to get a ride, though. I didn’t mind if it was going to work out or not.
When we reached the road, there was a table and chairs set up and an entire menu of things that a trail angel brought up! He made root beer floats, had snacks, resupply snacks, and a hiker box! Also, the cutest dog evvvvvver. I MISS MY DOG SO BAD! Ahhhh!!!
Soon enough, we were offered a ride into town. When we arrived, I ordered my lemonade and uploaded photos. Such a cute little town!
We only did 17 miles because we ended up having trouble getting back to the trail before dark. Oh well, I’ll make it up!
2184.7 to 2209.6 (24.9 miles) –
Penny and I started around 7am after a super great night of sleep. Of course there was another big climb! But we hiked to some picnic tables at a parking area near the trail where we found trail magic (WOOO!) first trail magic in Washington! There was water, beer, Gatorade, pastries, cookies, clif bars, carrots, pita chips, dip, and a trail journal. I couldn’t eat most of it but seeing people’s faces glow when they reached it made me so happy! Further up the trail, we met an older woman picking huckleberries. She was the kind lady who left all the trail magic! We chatted a bit and she told us about all the berries and we started to devour every huckleberry along the trail… Our bellies are full of the most tasty berries I’ve ever had! We ended up hiking 10x slower since we stopped every 5 seconds for pickin
Later, we reached Bear Lake, the last water source for the next 10 miles and also where we wanted to camp. It was only going to be 20 miles in, so we continued. It started to get dark and we couldn’t find anywhere to camp. I heard loud rustling noises in the brush nearby and nearly pooped myself. Penny grabbed onto my pack as I screamed like a baby. We started to get paranoid so we began to sing old nursery rhymes in ugly voices as loud as we could as we continued as fast as we could down the trail.
It grew completely dark and there was still no luck with finding a place to knock out. Penny can basically sleep anywhere with her hammock, but I needed to find a flat space on the ground. We thought about splitting for the night but I was being too big of a baby to stay somewhere alone. As we kept hiking on, we spotted a giant bear sized hole in the hill next to the trail which spooked us, so we started making crazy noises. Right in front of us was a tent with someone sleeping inside… Whoops! Way to freak someone out.
Soon enough, we found a decent spot in the woods where we could finally knock out. I’m exhausted!
Penny update: day two no cigarettes is complete! She feels great, and hasn’t gotten all crazy grumpy like she usually does when she doesn’t have a cigarette. Yay! However, she had the worst case of the farts ever known to man. Help.
Rock Creek 2163.7 to 2184.7 (21 miles) –
This morning I headed out of camp solo. Last night, just penny and I set up camp and about an hour later, Griz, Brad, Crafty and the puppy showed up. I planned on waking up and heading out super early, but ended up taking a while longer trying not to pack up loudly or wake anyone up. There was another big climb this morning that took me a while to defeat. When I reached the top around 10am, I decided to stop and eat. Right when I was about to start hiking again, Penny and an older section hiker named John caught up. John is such a nice dude!! So optimistic and kind hearted. He’s hiking from Seiad Valley to Canada for his summer. Go John!
Update on Penny: Day 1 of quitting smoking!! Even with being around other smokers off and on all day, she didn’t give in! Woooo!!!!! She’s super motivated and excited to be quitting so far. I know she can do it. She decided to part from her trail boyfriend because she knows he’s not good for her to be around in order for her to grow. Sometimes you have to give things up to better yourself.
Its my “lady time” and I ate the majority of my snacks in a day and a half. I still have 4 days until my next resupply. I. Love. Snacks. If anyone wants to send snacks I have 3 more resupplies left! I can’t stop eating send help…
If I average 23 miles a day, I can finish he trail in 20 days. By September 12th! This is so crazy. I can’t believe it’s almost over. In a way I feel sad, but I’m also incredibly excited about life after the trail. My brother just got a new car to come pick me up, and we get to road trip together back home. It will be so fun! And then a couple weeks later is my birthday. Lindsey plans on flying out and then we will take our road trip to Minnesota where I’ll be living for the next year. I plan on making so many positive changes to myself and the way I’ll be living. Change is so exciting. I look forward to everything!
Photos: a beautiful view with Mt. Adams far in the background, I saw a giant slug, spilled almond butter down my jacket, and uh… Penny spends 70% of her days laughing at her belly
Bridge of the Gods 2144.7 to Rock Creek 2163.7 –
IM IN WASHINGTON!!!!!!!
Crossed the Bridge of the Gods around 1pm this afternoon. I ended up staying in Cascade Locks two days longer than planned because the PO was closed Saturday and Sunday. I mailed a bunch of stuff home this morning to drop some more weight!
Today’s hike started with a pretty big climb. Almost 4,000 ft incline. The beauty and excitement of being in Washington overpowered everything, though. It’s so green and lush here!!!
Penny and I didn’t even realize that we did 20 miles. Time went so fast!! We talked and made strange noises the whole time. Penny decided that she was going to quit smoking and drinking starting in Washington. We keep joking around saying that I’m her life coach… haha! We also both decided that if we do hike together, that we will both try to do push ups and crunches before bed (Yeah right). She says she’s trying to get rid of her belly (named Pertruvious). I gained almost 10lbs out here somehow…. So I don’t know what’s going on!
I cannot believe how gorgeous this part of the trail is. Only a few more weeks left out here…
Also guys, I apologize for not updating for so long. I think I needed a break from the blog life for a bit. I’ve been so exhausted to write one each night before bed. But I plan to post as much as possible until I finish!! Thank you guys ❤️
Seiad Valley 1653.4 to 1668.3 (Nero-14.8 mile day)
Hiked out from Seiad
Valley around noon and began the 8 mile climb with 4,500ft in elevetion gain….
I was such a slug. It took me 6 hours…. That’s so bad!!! Oh well. Once I reached the top it became so much easier and I had already forgotten about how sucky the climb was. Not to mention it was over 90° with very rare shade!!
I only saw one person entire day while hiking. Supposedly more people are night hiking nowadays to avoid the heat.
I went about 3 miles without water and felt like I wad shriveling up into a sad little prune. I underestimated how much water I would need, not thinking about how hot and intense the climb would be. I’m okay! (You’d think after being out here for so long I would know better…). I got into camp around 9pm. I reached the water source near a dirt road with some flat space for tenting.
Tomorrow I aim to do 37.4 miles…. Haha…. We shall see. Sleep tight!
Also, I reach Oregon tomorrow morning!!!