I spent most of the night slipping downhill and inch worming back to the top of my sleeping bag. It was a warm night though. Just before 6:30 when I was finishing up my blogging I happened to look up at the sky a saw the space station moving across the small clearing above me. I shook Portrait awake and he was able to catch a glimpse of the lone bright dot in the morning sky. Once it was gone it was time to get up.
I had big plans for the day. I took Advil in camp and picked up the cuben fiber pack. It weighed almost nothing. It was cotton candy and spider webs light. I could see us going 23 miles--we were practically there already as we left camp just before 7:20.
|Glacier Peak just after leaving camp|
We passed a campsite about a mile from Grizzly Peak that looked perfectly flat. We could have made it there last night had we known there was a spot to make camp. It's a hard thing to guess at--I didn't want a repeat of the day we left Snoqualmie Pass and night hiked for a couple of hours because we couldn't find camping.
Around 10 my tendons started hurting faintly as the Advil wore off. I had thought the Advil would last longer than that. We were on a downhill to a small stream and I wanted to wait at least that long until I took more Advil. Once I was drinking water and eating cookies in a small campsite I decided to push until lunch before taking more Advil. At the end of break Portrait gave me just over a pound of weight from his load--he was missing his ultra-light set-up but wasn't complaining.
It was 11:30 when we left the snack spot with the goal of 2.5 more miles before lunch at the next water just after the 2500 mile mark. We hiked uphill first through another beautiful autumn field of huckleberries clinging to the side of the ridge. There weren't any trees and the summer sun beat down on us until we crossed to the other side of the ridge and went down through thick forest towards water.
We could hear the water below us when Portrait realized we had gone 0.07 miles past the 2500 mark. We walked back (me with some reluctance). We made a sign out of some green lichen that clung to itself like velcro and outlined the numbers with pine cones. Then it was onward to lunch down the hill.
|Team All Dead also marked the 25,000 mile mark|
We were on an exposed sidehill with a view of a dozen ridges before far away smoke hid the others from view when we heard a beep beep. I think it was an electronic beep, Portrait thought it was a bird. Whatever it was, there was cell service right there. The trail provides, and it gave me what I needed. I called home. My Mom said she could put the GoLite pack I started the hike with in the mail in the morning. I should have it in Stehekin on Monday morning. I was thrilled--now I just had to walk four more days with a heavy pack, unless the trail provided a post office (or trash can).
We hiked on. My glow from getting a new pack in the works wore off as my tendon pain increased. I started to look for a place to have snack as the trail started a series of switchbacks downhill. There was a little campsite with a few sitting rocks next to a fire ring that pulled me in. I was moving towards it when Portrait asked if I had seen the boulder I had just walked by. I hadn't so I backed up. It was the best rock chair I had seen on trail yet. I climbed up with my PopTart and Portrait and settled in. It was a hard spot to leave fifteen minutes later.
The sun started to set as we got to the end of the ridge walk. We dropped down onto one of the mountain's shoulders and followed the slope down. We were kept an eye out for campsites as we went, but the side hill provided nothing. At the bottom, just before dark, was a trail junction in a small grassy field. With no debating we called it home.