6.1 miles (Miles 2155 – 2161.1)
Well, I guess… we are in Washington. Our last state. Our last 500 miles. Our last month. I took care of a big after-hike chore today. It was weird and exciting. I applied for enrollment to truck driving school. I shouldn’t have any problem getting in, but I’ll get the official word in about a week. Then I can sign up for the classes – the plan is for me to start in January. Adam and I are really excited about this new adventure together, so it didn’t feel sad at all. It felt a little weird, but that’s only because everything I’ve been doing since April has been trail-related. Getting on a computer and filling out a short application and talking with admissions on the phone seemed to feel kind of foreign. I almost laughed when she said, “you can stop by our office and fill it out if you like.” I wanted to reply, “Sure. It’ll take me about three months to hike there… see you then.” I didn’t realize how deep into the thru hiking mindset I’d become. How fun is that!?
Tears and I drank coffee as we restocked our food supply this morning. We packed up six to seven day’s worth of food, so our backpacks are a little uncomfortably heavy – our food bags weigh at least 14 pounds on their own. We haven’t had a stretch this long since the Sierras, but it’s kind of fun. I like the feeling of being able to be so self-sufficient for that long. Besides, that food bag gets lighter as the days go on.
We stopped in Hood River to get a few groceries, lunch, a beer and an ice cream cone. You know, super-important stuff. We finally got back on trail today at 4:30pm. It was really nice to take our time getting ready, and I enjoyed every extra moment with Aloha.
A short while after getting back on trail, Tears stopped, turned around towards me and points to the side of the trail with her trekking pole. With a disgusted look on her face she says, “Is that poison oak?” Sure enough. Dangit! We were hoping we were out of the stuff. Anne Marie told us it likes the sun, and she was right. Whenever the trail opened up it would be everywhere, but when we hiked back into tree cover it would be gone. Needless to say, we’re hoping for some more of that famous, deep-green, thick-cover forest that Washington seems to have a lot of!
We found a nice little campsite by a stream already occupied by Mary Poppins, but he welcomed us to stay, so we did. We took advantage of the stream and washed our legs, hoping to get rid of any poison oak oils. I even washed my trekking poles. A little while later Australia joined us, too. We all plan to be up early and on the trail. It’s fun that I’m five months into this hike and I’m still meeting new, really nice people.
Tonight I love Mike & Ike’s candy. Thanks to Legend for getting me hooked! :)
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!