Day 30: Uninspiring Hiking Conditions and the Last Day

October 10th; 24 miles Unfortunately, the weather was just as bad when we woke up as when we went to sleep. The rain had kept up full strength through the whole night. There was so much water that it had soaked through my tent so everything that was in contact with the floor or side of the tent was wet, which was in addition to my therma-rest only staying partially inflated, and since the rain never stopped, I had been holding in a pee for about 6 hours. No one else had a really good night either and no one was in a mood to hike 24. I actually have a tendency to, when conditions are really miserable and close to rock bottom, start to get in a really good mood, in this situation figuring, “hey, I can’t possibly get any more wet!” and it was in this spirit that
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Days 28-29: The Last Stretch

October 8-9; 29+16 miles This was the first full day of our last push to the end, 82 miles to the Canadian border and 90 to the end. The forecast didn’t look great however with rain starting later in the first day or at least by the night. So we figured it would be best to push some extra miles while the weather was still good. And it’s a good thing we did. The rain held off and the clouds even parted when we reaches a pass at the top of a climb to get some of our best views yet (pictures on their way!). We managed to finish only 30 minutes after dark too with enough time to relax and have a fire. It’s really good we did push the 29 for that first day because in the middle of the night, the rain started and by morning it
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Day 27: Picture Perfect Town with Amazing Food

October 7th Stahekin, WA; 10 miles Town day today! These are always great especially after a tough stretch. Aside from the opportunity for laundry, resupply, and rest they can also be great chances to mentally reset, and that’s what happened in Stahekin. We left camp at 7 o’clock to hike the 5 miles to the trailhead before 9 when a shuttle would stop by headed for town. Probably one of the best parts or the day was the local bakery, and the shuttle made a stop there first on the way to town. As thru-hikers, we’re burning something around 6,000 calories a day, so we eat a lot, and after 4 days on the frail, food is foremost on the mind. There were 9 of us that walks in through the door, nearly stumbling over each other to get in, and as soon as we caught a whiff of all
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Days 22-26: Tough Hiking and Epic Mice Battles

October 2nd-6th; Skykomish to Stahekin, WA This was a very difficult stretch between town stops. As usual we weren’t able to get a good start of town. We were on the trail by 11:30 and had 18 miles planned to do. Part of the difficulty was also the Esther. We had checked the forecast and it loomed like we had some rain for at least the first night but it was very cold, foggy, and rainy for most of those two days. The other thing was the elevation gain and loss. Everyday we had at least one 3,000 foot ascent and descent and often two. These can be very draining and rough on the body over extended periods (especially the down), so even on 23 mile days we’d be getting in at or after dark. All that said, we were luck enough that rain, for the most part, held off,
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Day 22: The Dinsmore’s

October 2nd; Zero Miles Sometimes there are trail angels that really go above and beyond, people who have essentially devoted their lives to thru-hikers. The Dinsmores in Baring, WA are perfect examples, and there license plates say it all: ” PCT Dad” and “PCT Mom.” In the front law of their house they have a huge sign carved in wood that reads “The Dinsmores Hiker Haven,” behind their home they’ve got a big building used mainly for storage, garbage, and workshop space. They took us in to one of the sections towards the left where there was a huge shelf against the wall amongst all the clutter filled willed with packages they were holding for hikers. They let us pick up our stuff akdthen showed us to the hiker hostel area which was the farthest left compartment of this garage building. The space foe hikers was perfect and with tons
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