10.9 miles (Miles 2476.0 – 2486.9)
Stevens Pass/Hwy. 2 – PCT Mile 2486.9
Well, I set it all up in my head so I could be ready, hopefully… “Washington is going to be mostly wet…”, and so far, it’s been mostly wet. I certainly haven’t forgotten about the few beautifully warm and sunny days we had, especially through the spectacular Goat Rocks area. I feel very fortunate for having hit that section on two of the clearest, best-weathered days we’ve had since entering Washington. I’d rather be warm, but I’ll tell you what… I feel like I’m very slowly getting the hang of this. I don’t mean I’m staying dry, because that just doesn’t happen in steady rain. What I’m referring to is acceptance, I think. Yup, it’s gonna’ be chilly and I’m gonna’ shiver. Yup, all my gear will be damp. Yup, I’ve got this. I just have to get up tomorrow, pack everything up, eat, drink, hike, enjoy myself and sleep. Repeat.
After meeting back up with Tears this morning, we ate at the deli in Skykomish, I drank two cups of coffee, then another once we arrived at Stevens Pass. It just seemed like a great day for hot coffee. By the time we got going it was pouring rain. I was tempted for a couple of seconds to stay with Aloha and enjoy a 104º hot tub in Leavenworth, but another zero day would be tough for momentum’s sake right now. It seems as though the mood has changed to gotta’ get to Canada… gotta’ get to Canada… I’m working on that in my head, as I’m not sure how I feel about all this getting so close to being done. I want to linger and make it last as long as possible, but I also want to beat even colder weather. I don’t really know what I want, actually. Guess I should save these thoughts for a rainy day when I’ve got time to figure them out. Tomorrow should be a good one for that! Haha!
Hiking in the rain really isn’t so bad. The nice thing about it is since we’re moving, we stay pretty warm. I’ve been keeping my poles collapsed and tucked into my pack because I found that my hands stay much warmer inside my rain jacket’s sleeves. I tuck my thumb into my hands and try to keep them moving as I hike. It’s pretty comfy. As for feet, well, they’re going to be wet, but I still dodge as many puddles as I can to avoid replacing the warm water already in my shoes with new, cold water. So puddle jumping isn’t about staying dry, but warm, which is interesting.
I’ve been staying pretty positive and happy through being wet and cold, still. I’m really proud of myself for that. I try to just relax and take my time where I can… setting up a tent in the rain is an exception to that – it has to go as quickly as possible so I can at least sleep dry. But I’m really enjoying the rolling, smoky clouds and vibrancy of all color around me from the rain. There is so much green around here, and I thank the rain for that, too. Through the pretty clouds and earth-hydrating rains, I still smile whenever I see this:
After almost 11 miles, we found a couple of okay spots to set up camp amongst about 5 other tents. Flat, cleared spots can be hard to come by out here, so it seems as though we keep clumping up. So far it’s worked out where we’ve always found something. If we’d had gone on tonight, it was three more miles to a ridgetop campsite. It would’ve been dark, and if there would be lightning… ugh. I’m so happy we were able to plop down right here.
I’m ready to tuck in for the night. I really miss Adam when I’m chilly… the thought of a cuddle makes me feel warm, though. Aaaah. :)
Tonight I love the growth I’m feeling daily through dealing with the rain out here. It feels good to face a challenge and be able to keep pressing on with a smile.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!