I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I will have a hard time finding many positive things to say about today. It didn’t rain. There was no poison oak. My old wound didn’t rupture again. I was not killed in a bizarre accident involving an elephant, two zebras and the word “unity”. That’s about it.
Anyways, let’s get back to the beginning. After a nice nights sleep I got going at 7:30. The bridge seemed, somewhat strangely, to be more smelly than yesterday, but still not warranting how much had been said about it. The smoke was as bad as yesterday and it quickly got hot. Hot and very humid. For the first part if felt somewhat like walking in a rain forest. Well, aside from the rain. The undergrowth was a sprawling green morass and there were numerous animals making sound but rarely seen.
At a water source I saw a group of other hikers including Pincushion, whom I hadn’t seen since Chester, and a girl I remembered from the climb out of Belden, because she was surprisingly fast. All except one eventually caught up to me and passed me. That was somewhat demotivating, but oh well. It is not a competition and I am probably carrying quite a lot more than they were.
A bit later a long climb started. It had actually been a day with quite a lot of elevation change, but there had not been much in terms of views partially due to the smoke. I had passed two potential swimming opportunities to save time. Also, my left heel had started to act up quite badly, so I took a break. I examined my heel and shoe but found no explanations., but massaged it slightly. When I got going again it was completely gone, but, while it never really came back, I felt it looming and threatening to re-emerge.
I felt somewhat alone and not in a particularly good mood. I was a tad homesick as well. I thought about sitting on the terrace with my mom, dad, and two brothers having barbecue. The cat would roll around on the ground as it for some reason fancied to do. We would have a salad, potentially with small chunks of mango in it. I would put thousand island dressing on it. The meat would be moist, tender, and savory. I could almost smell and taste it as I thought about it. Together with that, fries and ketchup. Of it was really warm there would be rosé. Otherwise a red wine. For desert fresh strawberries with milk, cream, and sugar. I snapped out of it and into a reality where I was very sweaty, sticky, stinky, and didn’t really have any nice food. Just a cold coke
Would have been a godsend. As previously stated, I have a lot of time to let my mind wander, but I don’t think this is a wholesome thing to be doing. Instead I should focus on the short term niceties. There is four more days to the next town and I will spoil myself there and hope for trail magic along the way. I will set aside time for swimming. Along the next stretch of the trail I took time for the berries and had a bunch of thimble berries along the way, which are somewhat like raspberries but half dome shaped and not as flavorful, but still okay.
I eventually made it to the desired camp site and had dinner with the group of hikers who had been leapfrogging me. They were planning to get back to the PCT day in Cascade Locks, so they quickly got going again to hike some additional miles. At the campsite I surprisingly also met the creator of Lightheart Gear, who was doing the Washington section. I had been considering one of their tents as it was decently long for a tall guy like me. She had actually been to my birth town, Aalborg in Denmark, on a NATO training mission. She said that Washington section was only going to get more beautiful the further north we got, so which was really nice to hear. I set up my tent and it managed to get somewhat dark before I was ready to get to sleep. “Washington blues” might not be a thing, but I was feeling a bit down today and yesterday. I do think things will get better soon.
This days miles: 2166-2193