18.4 miles (Miles 2383.6 – 2402)
Forest Road 54 – Snoqualmie Pass
We were up way too late last night. Stopping for trail magic and sticking around to eat and visit until wee hours in the morning isn’t something that I’ve done on this hike yet, and honestly, I’m really glad I did. It was really fun, and the only drawback was that I felt really tired hiking for most of the day. I’m glad I passed on the bottle of whiskey that was being handed around, or I might have been in a more uncomfortable situation today.
Anyway, we all slept in this morning, which is also something I haven’t done on the trail yet. I think we were in our sleeping bags until about 8am. I first woke up when Running Commentary and Haggis came hiking by, and they were snapping a photo of us all still caterpillared in our fluffy bags.
Stumbling Norwegian came over and first brewed coffee, then sizzled some bacon, and then cooked up eggs and peppers. It was awesome to sit there, still cozied up warm in my sleeping bag, conversing morning silliness with Tears, Kudu, Alphabet Soup, Giddyup and Wokka Wokka. A little while later Norwegian’s friend Red showed up with donuts, too! I’ll tell you this much… it sure beat oatmeal! By a mile!
Once we finally got hiking a little after 9am, Tears and I slogged up hills. The climbs in this section have been challenging – steep and hot with high temps during the day and glaring, but awesome sunshine. We took a break after just an hour along a roadside.
Guess what I saw today? Mushrooms… yeah, more mushrooms. As much as I’ve been enjoying the heck out of all the mushrooms, you would not believe the decaying odor some of them are giving off. It’s a pretty rank smell… kind of a mix of dead fish and spoiled meat or something. I’m just kind of glad we learned what the source was – verification that it’s not us and that we aren’t quite that gross-smelling!
After another super-steep climb in pre-storm, 90º humid weather, I was drenched in sweat. I was feeling so tired, so when I approached a hill, instead of hanging my head and dragging myself up, I straightened my posture and just gave ‘er. It felt good and actually woke me up a bit. By the time I got to the top of this particular climb, I was ready to jump into a lake. What luck… Mirror Lake was right there. I dove into the chilly water, and it felt so amazing and refreshed me so much that I floated and swam around for a bit before getting out. It was my best decision of the day.
I noticed some clouds rolling over the mountainside, and the way they were crawling over the treetops was quite eerie. A short while later we found ourselves in that cloud, but thankfully it only dropped a few raindrops on us before we got to Snoqualmie Pass.
Once we got to the pass we hit up the Aardvark, which is a motorhome transformed into a restaurant. Talk about delicious freaking food, too! Pineapple cake and chicken curry was on my order, and I gobbled it up like nobody’s business! Yum!
So… back in civilization for a while. Our decision to hit the trail or not tomorrow will depend on weather. Rain equals a relaxing zero day. Hmmm…
Tonight I love peanut butter chocolate ice cream.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!