Tuesday 9/17 mile 2472 – 2486 equals 14 miles
(Nero at Skycommish Barney the Dinsmore’s)
Camping at Lake Janice. Pretty hard day for me mentally and emotionally. It is 9:30 p.m. I am in my tent safe and sound and surprisingly dry and fairly warm. Today, Frazier left to go back home after a three day visit with me on the trail. He hiked from Snoqualmie to Hwy 2, Stevens Pass, where we got a ride into the town of Barny where trail angels the Dinsmore’s live for PCT hikers. He did amazingly well despite being out of shape and straight off the couch. The first day off we did 22 miles, the second day 26 miles, and the third day 22 miles, and today 4 and a half miles into town. By day two evening he was really sore, mainly his Achilles tendons, so he was suffering for the third day and today. We had a great time though together and I am really sad to be alone again. It is always so hard for me to leave him at the trailhead and continue hiking. This one is especially hard because I know my last leg of this journey is going to be tough, constant rain, potential cold weather, and very extreme strenuous terrain lie ahead. But I have only 193 miles left of this trail so I should be done in about 10 to 12 days. Wow! So crazy to be here. I feel scared and lonely, no other hikers around me, and that I will be tested. I am just learning how to deal with wet weather hiking. But I know I can do this and will be okay.
Wednesday 9/18 mile 2486 – 2509 equals 23 miles
I’m camping in a meadow by Indian Creek trailhead. Most of today was miserable and I was really sad and unhappy. It rained the majority of the day with a small break around 3 PM, thankfully. It was wet and pretty cold all morning and my feet were as cold as ice and it hurt to walk because they were so numb. I hate this shitty weather – being wet and cold sucks and I can’t see any of the beauty around me because of the fog and clouds. I did not want to be here today and wanted to quit. I cried several times on the trail and felt sick of this. This isn’t fun anymore, but I need to finish it. So close and only less than 200 miles to go. It can’t come any quicker. I need to finish it. I really pray for the weather to break tomorrow at least just for one day. I just have to get to stay ahead to mile 2580, so two more nights three more days.. I want to be done already. I really miss my Frazier too. I hope he is doing okay. Lake Sally Ann: very pretty! Great camping there but I got there too early:(. Ran into Bristlecone and Überbitch. They were camping tent Sally Ann Lake doing only 20 miles per day:(. Still alone, I entered Glacier Peak wilderness.
Thursday 9/19 mile mile 2509 – 2535.5 equals 26 1/2 miles.
What a day! It is 8:47 PM and I got to a campsite just as the last light of the day was gone, thank God! I originally planned to camp at the bottom of the canyon at Mill Creek because I figured there must be a campsite there, being as there wasn’t one for the last 3 miles — but there wasn’t! And there wasn’t any good access to the semi-silty water either. It was 7:30 when I arrived there, close to dark, so I immediately became pissed and then a bit scared. Fuck. What do I do now? The next 5 miles are steep switchbacks and it looks like there won’t be in a place to camp until mile 2540! Ughhh! This means I have to scramble to get some water which I did though slippery logs, brush and stinging nettle! Almost fell on my ass just trying to get to the water. Got my 3 Liters and hurried to start climbing the switchbacks in search for a flat place to pitch my tent. I was praying there would be something before the next water, five more miles away, because if not, I’d be hiking till 10 PM! Not ideal. So, I pushed on with an extra heavy pack. I went up about five switchbacks and finally saw something. A flat spot where the trail broke into two. Whew! Just big enough for my tent, no extra space to spare and right next to the trail. But whatever, it works! Thank you! So happy I’m not still hiking. Whew. I am pretty scared to hike at night here, especially alone. And I was sore, tired, and hungry as usual. So here I am safe and sound. Oh, and it’s not raining! Woo hoo! It was actually cloud free and sunny all day! A dry out day. What a difference a day makes. And it couldn’t have been on a better day to get clear.
Today was the first day of Glacier Peak wilderness! So gorgeous. It is just like what everyone says. Beautiful! Like the Sierras, only greener. Great valleys and meadows and I climbed 3 passes today – white pass with an extraordinary ridge line, red pass, and fire Creek Pass my favorite with the most beautiful canyon and like I have seen since the Sierras. Fire Creek Canyon and Mica lake. Now that I’ve had my camping scare, I wish I’d camped at Mica Lake, 4 miles back. But oh well. I had to keep moving. Even if it meant stinging nettle and more climbing. So pretty. The great shade of solid deep turquoise. Have to come back there someday. What else… Ran into a section on her named Scott. Saw Caveman still sleeping in his tent on white Pass Ridge. Saw a pika finally:). Dried everything out with the sunshine. Oh, fell off a slippery log crossing Chuck (?) River. Cut my finger and bruised my knee. Could have been a lot worse. Thank you again! My feet still hurt, but nothing like before. Thank you again! Washington definitely feels really wild and rugged. But great trail so far. Lots of switchbacks. Super windy this a.m. Hope I see Caveman before Stehekin. Someone to hike with would be nice. But so far so good. I am chugging along. Soon I’ll be in Stehekin! Woo who!
Friday 9/20 – Yes! Another beautiful day of good weather:) Sunshine and warmth. No rain! Clouds started to form up around 3 PM but then went away — it’s amazing how the absence of sun changes the entire mood and environment surrounding me. I suddenly get anxious nervous and a little depressed when it gets gray. But I know it is inevitable in this part of the world at this time of the year, so I accept it, prepare for it and brave through it. Tomorrow night I get to the High Bridge campground, a back country camp in the North Cascades national Park! There, I will get access into the small town of Stehekin, 10 miles away via a shuttle bus,. I am really excited to get there. I have been daydreaming about Stehekin since I started researching the trail. They supposedly have a wonderful bakery and organic farm. I can’t believe I’m almost there! Today was only 23 miles, but man, they seemed long. I was pretty tired in the last half of the day but I am camping in a “real” site tonight thank goodness, with water nearby, even though it’s silty, which wasn’t noted in the maps: (. I got to camp early (Yay!) 6 PM. Started at 7:45 am. Last night was warm and no rain. The night before it was cold and I woke to frost everywhere, all over my tent, and frozen shoes! What a difference a day makes. Today I crossed one large, silty river, with a long new bridge over it. Two climbs today and one section of gorgeous, high country meadows and talus slopes and glacial streams. Lots of forest. Lots of silty water. Crossed a lot of downed trees, hit my head on one: (. I’m okay though. Ran into two south bounders, George or “Fireman” and old acquaintance Nurse Betty. Both said the trail head is wonderful and nothing too crazy or impossible. So, I am more excited for the rest. But, more excited to hit that border and walk to Manning Park. I’m really proud of myself for getting here. No tears today:). Although I would still love some more trail company. Third night of camping alone. Pretty much boring. Getting bored of all the things this entails anymore. The scenery and my determination to complete my goal or what drives me. Sleep is sure nice too:). I hope tomorrow is nice. Love you all! Jamie