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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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 18: The Perfect Formula for a Vortex Zero

September 28th; Zero miles This entry will start back where I had left off in the hike before being cut off from civilization. The last thing that happened was that the sobohobos and I stumbled into The Howard Johnson in Snoqualmie, WA, which is basically just a ski resort area, after two consecutive, very rough zeros. Def: a Vortex Zero is a “zero” (when you hike zero miles for the day) that is unplanned. I.e. You get sucked in. 1) Bad weather: when we woke up in the morning, you could barely see past the parking lot in front of the hotel. Not very inviting for a day of hiking. 2) A tough, late hike the day before: we all got in either right before or after dark. We were exhausted and sore from the 60 miles in 2 days we had done. My achilles tendons were feeling really tender
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