Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 129 : Rain At Pass Creek

25 miles today
163 miles to go

We see five Thru-hikers hitching in Baring on the way to Steven’s Pass. We stop and pickup Homewrecker, Batman, Cheese, Wisecrack, and Smoosh. We all drive to the pass. They all head to the store to pickup Homewrecker’s box. I cross the bridge and head north. I feel sad and lonely as walk the trail. The trail parallels the highway, it seems like a long way. Lost in thought I suddenly realize I don't hear the highway anymore. The trail turned one way the highway the other. The trail climbs and climbs, and I follow. It's not raining, which is a surprise. The forecast was for a one hundred percent chance of rain. What does that even mean? I enjoy my morning hiking at a slower pace.Only twenty miles to go today. Twenty miles per day gets me to Steheken in five days, on Saturday. Hmmm… I wonder if the Post Office is even open on Saturday. 

Around lunch time I meet up with Proton and Dream Catcher sitting in a field. It was sunny a moment ago now the sun is covered in a gray cloud. I ask them if they know if the Steheken Post Office is open on Saturday. Dreamcatcher tells me it's open from eleven to one. In order to get there I'll have to catch the nine fifteen am bus at the trailhead. Well that just changed my hike. I have to do more miles because currently I'll arrive at two. If I do I'll be stuck waiting for my box until Monday. 

I now need to hike twenty five miles per day for the next four days, including today. I've been dilly-dallying all morning thinking I only had twenty miles. Now I have to make up for that. If I hike non-stop I should be able to make Pass Creek before dark. The day thickens all afternoon. Then it starts to drizzle. The views are gone, the sun is gone. It's gray and dreary. I hike alone, as fast as I can. Which is not all that fast by thru-hiker standards. No stopping, even though large plump blueberries line the trail. I run out of water and stop for a minute or so and pick a handful. The are sweet and tasty, more importantly they are wet and juicy. It's raining now. The clouds make it that much darker. I leave the ridge and descend down the hill towards where I hope to camp. Under the trees it's really dark, seems like night. Still no camp. Back and forth, down, down, down. It seems like I've been walking for days and days. My arms and legs are soaked. I feel cold. I imagine sitting in a warm coffee shop. Or in a bakery. Someplace with warm lighting and a fireplace. Some place warm and cozy and dry. A big rain drop hits my poncho hood returning me to reality. Dark, cold, wet. I am way into my anxiety zone. I don't want to hike all night. Where is this camp? Down and down some more. The trail is slippery and rocky. In the dim foggy light I see a few flat open spots in the trees below. Finally I arrive at the camp. I select a spot under a large cedar tree. Less rain makes it down here through the branches. I get water at a small stream close by and climb into my tent. I cook in my wet clothes. It's hard to see by the time I'm done eating. I change out of my wet clothes, putting them in my inside out trash compactor bag. I climb into my dry sleeping bag in my dry sleeping clothes. It's dark as I settle in. I quickly fall asleep listening to the patter of rain on my tent.

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