Day 124 – September 10

Keeping it short because I’m way too sleepy!!!

I did about 17 miles to the road to hitch to Mazama to get my passport and the first car I saw when I reached the road was MY PARENTS!!!!!!! They drove all the way up to see me (they wanted to go to Canada when I finished but no passports!) I guess they very last minute decided to find people to cover their shifts for a couple days! So so so sweet. And my brother was there in Mazama with my pup Ripley! I was supposed to meet them in Canada but he was already up so… DOG!

I love my family so much!!!!!!

Also, yesterday I saw another bear! This time it was only 5 feet from me! I find it hilarious that I worry about bears all the time but then when it comes to one actually being there, I don’t freak out at all… (I have bear-anoia at night haha) I scared him off with some obnoxious noises.

I was stung by something today and it made me fling my trekking pole across the trail. I don’t know what it was but it HURT. My arm is incredibly sore from whatever it was.


ALSO, MY BIRTHDAY IS IN ONE MONTH! WOOHOOOOOO! Also the day I’ll be picking Lindsey up from the airport!! So freeeeakin excited.

Day 122 – September 8

5526.3 to 2539.9 (23.6 miles) – 
Today WAS a good day!!! The morning was a bit rough, everyone and everything was soaked and cold. It drizzled for a bit, and no one got out of their tents. I heard alarms ringing, but suddenly being turned off (same). No one wanted to move from their somewhat warm sleeping bags. 

When it stopped drizzling, I heard movement! So I started to get up as well. I heard someone yell “SUNNNNNN”, and when I got out of my tent, everyone in the campsite had their face toward the sun, basking in the bit of warm rays that we hadn’t felt in days. I knew it would be a better day! I decided to take it easy today. I got a late start and a few things slowed me down anyways. 

The first ten miles were downhill. I got them done fairly quickly, but didn’t want to slip and fall anymore. But of course, I did. Another log crossing got me!! I used a smaller log as a step to get over the large one, but it was wet and I slipped pretty bad. My leg went sideways and I bashed my knee. I didn’t let it ruin the day, though. I’m still alive and I’m still happy!! Just very excited to be almost done… 

Later on, I reached a junction for the old Pct route. The guide mentioned that it would be a short cut, cutting off 5 miles. However, you have to ford the Suiattle River and not get lost on the overgrown old trail. I suppose if others were with me, I would have done it. But alone, no thanks. Plus wetter feet sounds awful. I pushed on to the big bridge to cross the river, and I’m so glad I did! Since there was no tree coverage, I was fully exposed to the sun! I decided to take lunch on it. The sun would come and go, but I was able to dry out my gear. My sleeping bag most importantly! It was soaked. A girl at camp was worried for me and gave me an emergency blanket… haha. It is pretty cold here at tonight’s camp, if my sleeping bag and pad weren’t dry, I would be miserable. 

After lunch, I climbed about 4,000 feet up in elevation. But it was pretty gradual! I kind of like inclines in cool weather. My uphill hiker legs are stronger than ever after the other night, forcing myself to run uphill to camp before it got dark!

A few men on horses passed by me, heading south. I wonder how long they have been out, it’s been so rough and rainy…. poor horses. Several miles later, I saw a trail junction sign on the tree, with a temporary sign underneath that was informing us of a recent fire closure on that trail. I noticed right down the hill behind the sign, that there was smoke from someone’s fire. I thought maybe there were people camping early or drying their gear. I looked around and saw no one. Someone didn’t completely put their fire out. It really pisses me off that there’s people out here that really don’t even give a sh*t. I dropped my pack, grabbed my water and poured it on the crackling embers. A girl came and saw what I was doing and helped me, along with two others who gave me all of their water. It took 4 peoples full supply of water until it stopped smoking and crackling. On the way back up to the trail, I saw loads of horse crap all over the camp area. It was those men with the horses. Ugh!!!

Still didn’t let the day go bad! At that point, I only had 4 more miles to where I wanted to camp. Such an amazing few miles! I could actually see the views around me, fog free! Mountains covered in snow, and miles and miles of green trees all around. I finally got to see some parts of northern Washington (finally my views weren’t just blank white….!)

It only drizzled for a couple minutes the entire day! I hope my last 4 days are better weather too. It would be so lovely!

I’m in camp, there’s a group of 4 southbound flip floppers here. They told me about the last two towns up ahead, and one told me about the wolves up here… Oh great!!

*update: I got very little sleep because everyone in this camp has a monstrous cough along with a very bad case of the farts… I was tented in the middle of all of em!

Day 121 – September 7

Day 121 – September 72499 to 5526.3 (27.3 miles) –

I don’t even know how to describe this day. Basically, it was 27 miles of an all-in-one obstacle course, car wash, slip n’ slide. I’ll go into depth, but I’ll start with the positive. 

This morning was pure beauty from the second I woke up. Right when I opened my eyes, the sun was rising behind the mountains, with the clouds turning pink and a deer was walking right past my tent with it all in the background. I felt so good and so very happy to be out here. 

The first 7 miles were downhill, which I knocked out in only 2 hours. The woods below felt like some kind of fairytale storybook. The light was shining through the trees with fog, the birds chirping all around and bright green moss covering every inch of the forest floor. It was so magical. 

THEN!!! The fun was over. It was fully cloudy, my feet soaked and caked with mud, and the first climb began. It wasn’t too bad at first, but every tenth of a mile there were fallen trees you have to climb over, under or around. Fallen trees are one of the big causes to injury on the trail. I fell countless times, slipping in the mud or on the slippery logs. The whole way down was like this. With one of the logs, you couldn’t climb over or under very easily, so I followed previous footsteps that lead up the steep slope to go around it. I slipped in the mud again and fell all the way down. My trekking pole got stuck in the mud and the tip ended up breaking off. 

The southbounders that passed me looked miserable and exhausted, some covered in mud. This frightened me for what was ahead…

The next climb was just about 3,000 feet in elevation gain, over 4.5 miles. Never ending, steep muddy switchbacks. It was already getting late, but there wasn’t any tentsites until the top. It had been raining for several hours and I was soaked from head to toe. I kept thinking about the worst possible situations… “I’m going to slip and injure myself and get hypothermia!!” It was ridiculous. I tried to pull myself out of the negative, and starting reminding myself that there’s only 5 more days left, that I have come so far and done so great. I pushed harder and went as fast as I possibly could up the mountain so I could beat the sunset. 

I hadn’t seen anyone for hours, and I finally ran into a girl heading to the same place. Her and her friend are section hiking Washington, they seemed to be glowing compared to us thru hikers! It cheered me up and I pushed on. I had one last good slip, almost sliding down the side of the mountain… but I was able to grab onto vegetation.  Today has definitely been the toughest and scariest day on the trail. Worse than that day heading up to Muir hut! (Except today I didn’t cry haha!!)
I finally made it up to the tentsite. In the guide, it says that only one tent can fit. However, there are 5 tents here now, all squished in, with everyone too exhausted to go any further. 

I set up my tent, and tried as best as I could to dry off. EVERYTHING is wet. No dry socks, my buff is soaked, my bag and all my clothes are damp. Tonight will be rough. My feet are completely numb. I cooked noodles and poured the rest of the hot broth into my bottle which I shoved at my feet in attempt to warm them. Eating hot food is always nice, but I have never felt so relieved and content. My chest felt warm, and my hands defrosted from the hot mug. 

I am incredibly exhausted, today was the biggest workout of my life. Physically and emotionally! Whew. I’m so glad I made it to camp. It’s hailing now!!! Hopefully my tent can handle all of this… (Note to self: get a different tent in the future for bad weather!) 

Tomorrow will be a good day. I can do this. Goodnight!

Day 120 – September 6

2471.4 Lake Janus to 2499 (27.6 miles) –

Woah. Today was intense! Left camp around 7, hoping that it wouldn’t rain. The day ended up being somewhat warm and the sun peeked out every once in a while! I hiked without any breaks until almost two. My belly was pretty angry about that. Actually… the endless supply of perfect blueberries along the trail slowed me down quite a bit. So worth it. For lunch, I stopped at a campsite and made an apple, almond butter and granola burrito thing. It was beyond tasty! I found another backcountry pit toilet and took a luxury forest poop. 

I headed up another big climb, trying to go as fast as I could so I could fit in two extra miles for the day. I hiked and hiked non stop, with the most glorious views all around. It started to get foggy and chilly, but I was sweating up a storm. My hands and cheeks were numb, but my pits said otherwise. 

Not very many northbound folks were around today… I only saw a couple. I saw quite a few SoBos though, weird. I passed one and she said “ohhhh goodness. You have NO idea what’s coming….” That spooked me a bit. But I got this! Only 6 more days! Very tough days….

I set up camp in the fog and made dinner. One of the best dinners I’ve had on trail! A giant avocado, sweet potato and bean burrito. Belly is very very happy. A deer came through my camp! So pretty. 

I’m extreeeeeemely tired. G’night!

Day 119 – September 5

2461.6 Stevens Pass to 2471.4 Lake Janus (9.7 miles out of town) –

Left Stevens Pass at around 1pm after a very lazy morning. Chatted with Smoosh, Hummingbird and KingBird until I could finally get myself to get off my butt and head out. When I finally left the building, I ran into Coppertone (a former Pct hiker and current trail angel). He told me about some fun things to do when I get to Minnesota, he’s from there. I’m so stinking excited!!! After that, I started walking to the trailhead.  Once I reached it, I looked at the lodge, back at the trail, looked at the stormy clouds above, and then back at the lodge again…. And started heading BACK TO THE LODGE. What was I thinking? I don’t know. But I sat back down and ordered a chai tea latte…. Whoops. After some more laziness, I realized Canada is only a week away… I jumped up, said my goodbyes and headed to the trail again, for real this time! 

I hiked about 10 miles, through the prettiest terrain. Loads of moss, streams, huckleberries and OH I SAW MARMOTS! I missed those little chunkers. Makes me miss the Sierra! 

I plan to reach Canada by Monday the 12th. Possibly the 13th if I have to wait for my passport to reach Mazama. My brother is leaving tomorrow to come get me! I’m excited for him to drive up, it will be a great experience for him! ONE WEEK UNTIL I GET TO SEE MY DOG! AHHHHH! I miss her terribly, he’s bringing her with. 

Only 178 miles left!!!

8:44pm: there’s definitely a bear in my camp. I hear branches breaking and bark being pulled apart (they do this to find insects). I’m spooked and now I can’t sleep. There’s tons of berries all around me… Ahh!