20.2 miles (Miles 2007.4 – 2027.6)
Santiam Pass – PCT Mile 2027.6
I woke up in the warm comfort of a hotel bed this morning. I got up and showered nice and early, then Adam left for a bit to pick up Cuddles’ cello – he’s bringing it to Portland for him – and while he was away I laid back down on the bed and fell asleep. When he got back he fell asleep too. We slept in until 10am. So much for getting on the trail at 9! Haha! Oh, well. Sleeping in those extra hours were really fantastic, and totally worth it.
I did eventually get back on trail at 12:30pm. It was hard to say bye to Adam again. It seems like I just can’t get enough time with him lately. Next time I think he should hike with me! I look forward to seeing him in a few days again, but it will only be for a few hours for resupply, then we’ll get right back on the trail again. He and I have been talking a bit about ideas to unwind when this is done. I look forward to that, so it wasn’t too hard to think about.
I wanted to get 20 miles in today, so I’m happy about getting just over that. I’m 80 miles from our next rendezvous, and I hope to catch up with Tears so she doesn’t have to wait too long for me before we can head out again. I have a pretty hefty goal in mind to accomplish that, so hopefully it’ll work out and my body will cooperate.
If it wasn’t for my holey shoes and the dark stains on my shirt from my pack straps, I could’ve been mistaken for a weekender today. I had freshly-cut hair, a new skirt, and a shiny new backpack, which did okay, by the way. It definitely feels different than my last one because it’s a different torso length – to correctly fit, actually. It’s going to take some getting used to simply because it’s a different fit. My hips hurt for a little bit, then my shoulders, and they sort of just took turns. But it’s really nice having it ride a little higher on my back. I think I’m really going to like it.
At the start of the hike today, I entered the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, and it started off with a burn area. For the rest of the day the trail switched around hills from green forest to another patch of burn, then back again. This fire must’ve really been a jumper!
As the day went on, more and more clouds formed above me, quickly floating along, rolling and turning as they went. It kept changing shape and color, and when the sun started to go down the clouds on both horizons took on a pale pink hue with blue streaks running through it. I hiked up high along a ridge and actually appreciated the burn zones, as they opened up the views so the amazing sky could be fully appreciated.
It started to get a little dusky out, and I came across two deer munching on the huckleberry leaves that lined the trail. One of them just stared at me for a second, then continued to eat. I had to walk toward him quietly until I was about just 20 feet away, and he finally stepped off the trail and slowly made his way down the hill. I really enjoy the deer encounters I have out here.
I found a sweet little flat spot to set up my tent right at the top of a ridge before the trail winds back down into the forest. I have a nice view of Mt. Jefferson, too, but I can’t see it because my ran fly is on. Just as I got my tent set up a few raindrops plunked on the fly. I got in and took care of everything I needed to do, and I probably won’t get out until morning.
Weird thing for today – my appetite is gone. I was so hungry last week, and now I have all this extra heavy food packed and I don’t really want anything. I ate a Snickers for dinner and a few spoonfulls of chips… I hope my hunger comes back tomorrow because it’s really hard to hike otherwise, and making myself eat when I don’t feel hungry is tough. I’m not too worried yet – I do have some pretty tasty snacks packed.
Tonight I love huckleberries. I did want to eat those, and they were everywhere again today. It seems like they’re getting bigger, plumper and sweeter the further north I go, too!
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!