14.9 miles (Miles 2402.0 – 2416.9)
Snoqualmie Pass – PCT Mile 2416.9
Brrr… I’m in my tent somewhere in the middle of the Cadcades in Wahington, and I’m shivering. My sleeping bag seems to be slowly heating up, though, thank goodness. I can almost feel each feather collecting my body heat and holding onto it. If this continues I’ll hopefully have a pretty cozy night. What a day…
After waking up in a nice, warm bed this morning, taking a hot shower and eating a big, hot breakfast (I am really missing the warmth of town right now, I guess!), I said my good-bye to Adam, then Tears and I got back on trail. I hope Adam’s comfortable tonight… he was going to camp, too.
It was cloudy and misty in Snoqualmie when we left, and we basically just climbed and climbed, until we were full-on socked in by the clouds. As we hiked, we slowly got more and more wet, but I was doing okay staying warm. I took a wrong turn at one point, but I realized it right away and got back to the trail. I was hiking with tunnel-vision. Since it was raining and cloudy, we didn’t have any views, so I found myself staring at the trail too much. I was also wearing my rain jacket with the hood up, so I tend to loose my peripheral vision. Well, those are my excuses for the wrong turn, anyway.
The clouds were still very pretty, and I was really enjoying the trees and rocky hillsides disappearing into the vast white that surrounded me.
After hiking a little further up, we came out on a cool, sharp ridge. I was feeling kind of sad that we didn’t have any views, because they had to be pretty incredible from up there, but the sharp dropoffs into a thick cloud of white nothingness added some pretty dramatic effect to the day.
We had more ridges with straight drop offs, rocky and scrambly hillside skirting, rolling and tilting rocky trails, and on top of some challenging terrain… mist, rain, wind and dropping temps. I’m being challenged out here, no doubt about it. We found ourselves hiking along a bouldery ridgeside that kept winding endlessly around and around. We were wanting a place to camp, but there was just nothing. There wasn’t even the possibility of tenting on the trail. It was too rocky and too steep a slope. We just kept going – it’s all we could do. We ended up hiking about an hour past what we were hoping for, but we did find a spot eventually. We weren’t the only ones that were in the predicament we were in. About ten other hikers all plopped down in this same area. The first flat spot… drop.
So I admit it. I really, really don’t like being cold. I don’t necessarily like being super-hot, either, but if I had to choose, it would be no question every time. I’d always rather be hot. I love the sunshine, the blue sky and the heat of summer. I enjoyed the desert’s dry heat. But when I get cold… and wet…and it’s windy, I get grumpy and kind of dumb. It becomes harder to take breaks, so I keep going and end up tired on top of it. Since I’m not taking breaks, I’m not eating like I should be either so I also feel hungry. This whole combination makes me stumble more. It’s just a bad combo that I’m working on getting better at. My first, most important thing I worked on was just staying happy and trying to be positive. When my hands were so cold I couldn’t hardly get them to open my candy bar wrapper, I giggled. I told myself I was going to be just fine, took my time and finally got to eat my candy bar.
At camp, the first thing I did after getting my tent set up was get dry clothes on and crawl into my sleeping bag. Then I made hot cocoa – best move ever. It warmed me up quickly. I also made a hot dinner, which I almost didn’t do. It was amazing, and I nearly teared up at the thought that it was mom’s mashed potatoes. She gave us some meals before she left, and it was warming and soothing to eat her dehydrated garden green beans mixed in with her tasty concoction of hot taters. Just what I needed.
I hope this weather clears a little, or at least warms up a little. It was around 45º as we hiked in the rain and gusty ridge winds, and I hear we’ll be waking up to 37º. Please, winter… hold off for another few weeks… pretty please!
Tonight I love feeling warm.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!