Day 130: Climb That Hill…And The Next One…And The Next One…

Date: August 17, 2017
Miles: 2339.1 – 2368.3

It was cold, dark and damp this morning – all things that ordinarily would make me hit the snooze button on the alarm clock at least eight times before getting up, but out here I don’t have a snooze button and I usually have to go to the bathroom pretty badly by 5:30 am so I get up. Thanks, bladder.

After a few miles of walking through fog and dew drenched foliage, we stopped to check out the Mike Urich cabin.  JD had hoped to sleep there last night, but we had stopped short due to time and waning energy levels.  It would have been a cool place to stay, but mice would have been a problem according to the notes left by other hikers.  I’ve shared enough food with mice on this trek, so I was totally fine with not making it to the cabin.

I enjoyed the scenery from the cabin porch for a few minutes and then hit the trail again.  By the time noon rolled around, the sun had come out and so had the trail angels.  Vicki and Annalisa gave us soup and cold beverages, and we felt lucky to have had something other than tuna fish and tortillas for lunch two days in a row!

I was energized by the food and the company, so the steep climbing and profuse sweating after lunch didn’t slow me down.  At about 4 pm, we decided to go 10 more miles before stopping for the night near the top of a ridge on an unused road. There were three hills to climb in that 10 miles and by the time I reached the base of the last one, my feet were aching and the energy rush from lunch had completely worn off.  No part of me wanted to keep climbing. I realized, however, that the problem with not wanting to hike anymore (or easy solution depending on your perspective) is that there are really only a few ways to go if you want to get off trail. 1) You can keep hiking. 2) You can hit the SOS button on your locator device (an expensive option that makes search and rescue folks grumpy if you use it just because you’re tired and want a lift to town). Or 3) you can just lay down by the side of the trail, eat what’s left of your tuna packets and ProBars, then wait for a family of wolves to come make you one of their own. Are there even wolves in Washington?  I don’t know.

I kept hiking.