Woke up in the morning to this
And went back to sleep. Slept on/off until 8, really not wanting to go outside. Laying there in my mostly dry warm spot, I was dreading it. The rain was non-stop and seem to be mixed with a little hail. The temp was now 40 degrees and it didn’t look like it was letting up today.
Decided to spend another 30 minutes heating up oatmeal and some spuds. This was going to be my only decent meal today. Got to thinking about my plight. As always, the answer is the same. Get up and start walking.
So I packed everything I could inside the tent, put on everything I had to keep me warm, and slipped on those wonderfully cold and soggy shoes. Jumped out and snapped a pic with my soon to be too-wet-to-use phone.
By the time my tent was broken down and stowed away, I was freezing my ass off. First thing I did was hike like a madman until I got warmed up. Then things started to look up.
Ran into Workhorse and Chai walking ahead of me. We wound up hiking together for a few hours at a decent pace. Got to learn a bunch of new stuff about them. Wonderful folks. Today they started at 5 AM from the lake and had passed my tent while I was inside feeling sorry for myself.
As the morning wore on, the trail began to turn into a series of little creeks. Some spots were really muddy and full of slick roots. Somewhere along the way Workhorse took a tumble.
We got him up and situated, walked for a bit and he took another tumble. Then another. The tread on his shoes were shot and he was getting no traction. As the day wore on his pace became slower and slower, mixed in with stumbles and occassional falls. I moved to the back and decided to stay there until I felt we were in a safer spot.
I have to give that guy a ton of credit. He was cold and hurting, but just kept plugging away. Eventually the pace got so slow that I felt like I was barely moving. I felt like I might be spooking him a little so I stopped and harvested huckleberries at various intervals. During one of those intervals I ran into my favorite cousins Papa and John. Those guys just crack me up. Always showing up when I’m in a huckleberry bush.
We catch up for a bit and they go ahead of me. I hang with Workhorse and Chai until we get into better weather and within 3 miles of the end. We are now in the ski resort area and the trail just switchbacks down. They decide to take a long, much needed break. I hang for a bit, but I can feel the shivers coming on. They are dressed a little better than me for the weather. They encourage me to take off and I do, practically running up the hill to get warm.
The last miles end without much incident. I’m getting signal on my phone and out of the blue a facetime call from my uncle. We have a nice chat as the phone gets covered in mist and the camera’s picture gets all fuzzy.
I see the buildings for the resort and find a shortcut down. Finally out of most of the rain, I head to the parking lot to sort out where to hitch hike. Some ladies in the parking lot feel sorry for me and give me a bag of fritos and a snickers bar. No room in their car for me.
I munched on the offerings while thumbing a ride along the highway. Just as I finish the snickers bar, a weekend hiker pulls up and offers me a ride. So I got a meal and a ride. The hike ends on a positive note.
Checked into the Cascadia Inn at Skykomish. Had some beer, ate a big fired chicken dinner, hung out with the cousins and two of their relatives who came to visit. I’m drying out and feeling much happier.