As I’ve done the last couple of days, I woke up an hour or two past midnight possibly because of the pain in my hip region. This time, though, the pain wasn’t as bad as the previous days, which was reassuring. It took me quite some time to fall back asleep, though. One reason for that being that half past three am a car playing loud music pulled over somewhere near where I camped, the music was turned off, someone got out, and then I wasn’t sure if the car had driven off again or it was just the sound of another car that I heard shortly afterwards. In hindsight it was probably just someone taking a leak and had, however unlikely, chosen to do so close to where I camped. My tent was partially visible from the road, which was kind of what got me worried in the first place.
Anyways, packing up camp was also mostly painless. However, getting going was scary. At first there was some painful jolts, which kept on longer thankful yesterday, but then again, I had already been quite a bit up and about yesterday before starting hiking, so I think it was just that.
Unexpectedly, RapidRabbit and possibly his girlfriend overtook me early in the morning after having been dropped off by a car at the trailhead. They probably had taken some time off in a nearby town.
At the start of the day was a longer, but not really Steen ascent, which finally brought me up over the forest flor again and revealed a smoke free blue sky and decent views. A bit later I got to the top of what was called “Cutthroat Pass” despite it not being fear inducing in any way, at least here in the snow free early September. Nor did the pass seem particularly homocidal. Instead it revealed even more grand views in the golden light of the morning. Even better, it stayed there for a while and continued to yield one nice view after another. This was very much a positive surprise, as I hadn’t expected anything from this last stretch of the trail.
Another unexpected encounter followed, as I met the philosopher going southbound. Asked why, he answered that he was on a tight schedule to get back. I said that I thought it was a shame, but he responded that he hadn’t done the whole trail anyways. A hint of suspicion struck me, as it was so short a stretch to Canada. Was there just a new trail closure that he didn’t want to talk about? On second thought, he had probably made plans for his return when the trail was still closed from Hearts Pass, where he had just come from. When I saw him in Stehekin, I was also kind of surprised that he had made it there nearly as quickly as me, because he didn’t seem as resolute about his hiking as I had guessed one needed to be to achieve that.
The trail went over Methow Pass and down into the forest again. Some clouds rolled in, the wind picked up and it seemed like a storm was brewing. I therefore decided to camp a bit before my goal, as that spot seemed like a place that could turn into a puddle if serious rain came. Thus, I was camping at half past three, which certainly is the earliest that I’ve camped for a while if not for the whole trip.
If the hike goes well tomorrow and there are no more trail closures, then Canada is in sight, as it would after that point be as easy to plow ahead as it would be to backtrack. Oh, and for that shoe that I said was ripping some days ago, it still is, and has ripped a lot, but with so few miles left, I think it will work out if not then it should with the help of glue, duct tape, and safety pens.
I am really looking forward to see how this turns out. It’s like a movie (or a book) where the suspense has grown so unbearable that no matter how good movie might be, you just want it to be over so you get to see how it ends. Except that movie has now been on for a hundred and thirty-ish days and has cost blood, sweat, and tears. Well, not tears. And, admittedly , the little blood it has cost has mostly gone to mosquitoes. Jokes aside, it pines me.
This day’s miles: 2591-2607