6th September Woke up to a cold cold morning not much fun now my sleeping pad has failed me quickly took s bathroom break then fired up my stove. Da vinchi was stirring too as I began to strip down camp. Then a hiker called Aya passed by see you guys up the trail she called. Then smooth operator came by morning Snail morning Da vinchi Snail you’re the man carrying that champagne you going to spray it everywhere.
No way had I said if I’m carry that far I’m not going to waste a drop!!! Da vinchi and I joined the trail it was going to be a morning of ups an afternoon of downs and an evening of more ups just perfect we hadn’t gone far on the climb when I needed to stop to remove a layer as it was roasting all ready. Up and up we went as usual the views got steadily better.it wasn’t long before we were climbing over the saddle wow what amazing views into the next valley and immediately across you could make out the trail winding its way up the other side of the mountain That looks like our trail Da vinchi We took a 5 minute break and both stared at what we we’re seeing Then we began down with was steep and fairly slippy due to the gravel. Down and down and down it very much reminded us of the desert in fact we could of been in it no trees rocky and sandy Then it was the climb up the other side it started shallow then climbed sharply there were numerous springs so we decided to top up before continuing on. The trail began to get very narrow and Sharpe drops to the sides and in places it was very scary where the rain and floods had washed away the trail. I had to cross these large gullies carefully as the rock was loose and sand slippy. Gradually we made our way across and up we were now heading for granite pass. Lunch soon Da vinchi? Yes snail when we get to the top 20minutes we ploughed on and up then we began to drop down into a small valley. Great spot for lunch so we diverted to the grassy bank Aya was there too do we invited her to join us for lunch sadly she had recently broken up from. Her husband do she was out here hiking just Washington we relaxed over lunch then headed back to the trail. Aya joined us but didn’t have our pace so we told her where we were camping if she wanted to chow down with us At last we came over the saddle of Granite pass it was now down whoop In the sand was a Canada marker we both took pictures then headed down the trail we passed a couple who were camping nearby and chatted to them for a while. Then we topped up with water. The next section was a lovely trip through the forest which was .nice and cool and still down .Da vinchi and I told each other silly jokes and the miles seemed to fly by
We then caught back up with Aya who was taking a break so we stopped too We checked our maps as both our GPS don’t seem to work in this part of Washington .We thought another 5 miles but would water up in 2 for the evening .At the creek we met the couple from earlier as this is where they were camping. We filled up our water from the creek and as we went to leave Aya arrived we told her we were going 2.5 more miles then camping for the night That next hour was steep and hot and my backpack began to hurt me plus there was Huckleberries yummy We were playing the marmot game too Alan Alan Alan. ………Steve Steve we had about six switchbacks to go up then at last the campsite. It had rom for about 6 tents Da vinchi soon had his up and mine shortly after. Then Aya arrived she put her tent behind ours. We all began cooking tea. Then long legs and Nature arrived room for two more? Yes plenty of space .They set up their two tents then began cooking too Then Foxxy appeared in the dark he had done 40 miles and wanted 2 more so hiked on The rest of us headed for bed Zzzzz
5th September squirrels woke me up with their chatting .I lay awake watching the tent get lighter till I needed a wee It was a gorgeous morning and a nice dry tent hurrah I packed up but I was in no hurry as Da vinchi was yet to emerge and we planned on hiking together to the finish
We had snacks then hit the trail by 8 am we had planned on doing 15/16 miles a day our mere 3/4 miles yesterday was poor due to excessive beer consumption in town I blame Da vinchi lol From here to the finish is still going to up so I was dreading the day but With Da vinchi leading he tends to pull me along so it wasn’t long till we arrived at the camp that we should of stayed at last night opps lol We decided to have breakfast here and fill up with water. Then we set off again following the roaring river and then climbing higher The sun was hot and I soon needed to stop to shed a few layers phew it was just gone 10 am and already 80° We climbed and climbed the views spectacular as ever and views down the canyon even better. We then came to a large creek there was a rope bridge across but we forded it instead.as it was quicker.
The trail was well maintained on this section so we were able to make a good pace and seemed quite popular as we were passed by several section hikers .we hiked on and steadily upwards till we both decided it was lunch time .we saw a nice clump of trees but when we arrived there it was taken by other hikers so we continued on looking for another suitable spot. At last. We dropped our packs and relaxed ate lunch before continuing on. We had done 12 miles not a bad morning’s work .we agreed we would hike to six then camp and so we were both chilled. Further down the trail we stopped for five minutes and I did my signature in sticks in the dirt I was very pleased with that .we then pushed on till we came to another large creek crossing but the bridge had been wrecked.
But luckily there was a large tree across a little further downstream so we crossed on that. We were making good progress but we stopped at four to water up. Before moving on us. The trail was still up but gentle and in the distance we could here traffic so we were getting close to the road and the trail head. We emerged near the road and hoped that there may be some trail magic but sadly not. Washington has been a bit poor on trial magic compared to the rest of the trail. Well you don’t expect it but its great when it’s there. We crossed the road visited the toilet and emptied our trash. There were a couple with two young children chilled out in the back of their pickup they too were impressed with our hike. They offered us water but we had enough
it was then a mile and a half road walk to the next trail head. As we walked into the trail head a couple stopped asked if we were through hikers then gave us a big bag of peanut pretzels that were so tasty we then walked into the trail. And continued up and up .Flat spot Da vinchi we need a flat spot up and up we went crossing several small creeks past the 2600 mile marker whoop .Then yes a flat spot We set up our tents and began cooking tea when early Bee arrived he was going to join us but then found an actual camp spot with fire ring on the other side of the trail. ..How did we miss that lol we ate and chilled and wow better than expected we had done 22 miles whoop but tomorrow is a bigger climb!!!!
31st August I slept well apart from a 2 am bathroom break. The wind was howling and buffeting the tent but I soon dropped back off. I was actually cold in the night or rather I wasn’t very warm as normally im toasty. I was hoping to wake with the sun’s rays streaming into my tent but sadly it was rain Bugger I shouted to know one. I sat and listened to the drumming on the tent and watching the rain drops race down the side’s then silence it had stopped. I gathered up all my damp kit and shoved it in my pack before lighting my stove. As the water boiled I pulled off the soaking fly and wrung it out a little then quickly packed up my tent I fasted both tent and fly to my pack Today I was wearing my wet weather trousers hurrah I hear you say!! Yes I’ve carried them from Oregon and today I have them on. I drank my tea packed my stove I was good to go. Not as early as I wanted but rain had stopped play that seems to be the weeks excuse plus my right ankle is giving me some concern So a few I’s and I hit the trail and headed into the fog I hadn’t gone far when the rain returned with vengeance .I was so pleased that I had on my waterproof trousers. 🙂
Of course today’s trail was up, some big. Its funny there seems to be more ups than downs on this section At last i’m going down but due to the rain it was like a slide so I had to walk even slower than usual as it was like glass and the mud was deep in places to add to the fun!!! Phew mastered that .To my right I could faintly make out a large lake not so beautiful in the fog so I marched on and of course up. I slept really well but I didn’t seem to have the energy today and struggled up the trail. Up and up I’m sure there were some fantastic things to look at but I could see nothing. Up and up and round and up ping went my watch I’ve done two hours then Omg huge huckleberries I stopped and picked a bagful ill have them for breakfast. I pushed on I wanted more miles as the last two days have been very poor. I’ve gone from mid 30’s to low teens. Up ahead I saw three hikers who I soon caught up with. It was three ladies who were hiking from Stevens pass to Steheken 100 miles I wished them luck and said your see me again as I’m stopping for breakfast shortly .I slowly dragged myself up the next few hills, as the fog lifted there was a huge mountain called Indian fist I think. But blink and it vanished again into the fog .I climbed higher and higher then wow the fog cleared and you could see all the mountains and the valley .The Mountains are the Glacier Mountains. The rain had stopped so I sat on a large stone and had breakfast staring in awe at the site before me One by one the ladies past me. .I slowly packed up and returned to the trail. Brrrr it had got suddenly very cold a combination of me stopping and the glacial mountains. I tried to up my pace to warm back up But I’m slow when going uphill but the higher I went the more spectacular the views but again you need to be quick with the camera as the fog rushes in and hides them As I climbed and came around a corner there were half a dozen horses well not all horses some were mules with pack on. I said my hellos then continued up .I was heading for the rim .and as I put out my foot the rain fell even stronger and the wind blew the trail climbed steeper and I was engulfed in FOG such Fun!! As I climbed mountains on the other side of the valley appeared and disappeared I was too engrossed in my climb to get a photo as it would be gone before I COULD say SMILE Omg this is tough well perhaps just for me puff pant puff it seemed to go almost up to heaven. Then I met a Son & Dad coming down. I hope you have enough sunscreen I joked they laughed and joked back about don’t get burnt. At last I was at the top staring down into a valley. The sun was doing its best to shine yes come on sun I need my tent drying. I stopped for a five minute break then continued around the rim. OMG the trail now dropped down into an old glacial valley it looked amazing I stood starring for a few minutes then began my decent. Again the distance was soon erased by fog as I zig zagged my way down and down crossing numerous melt streams. I wanted to go faster but again the trail was slippy or covered in stone so it was my normal plod ……But I was going down and by my GPS a long way down I just wish the rain would stop so I could dry out Several hours later my tummy decided it was lunch I couldn’t make up my mind if I should stop or press on but then a perfect spot appeared. I ate a bagel and cheese finished off some chips nuts and a kit Kat I checked my GPS id only done 12 miles really I normally do that by 10.30 it was now almost 3 pm I’m just not going to do it .I was a little miffed with myself .The trail was still down if I pushed it I could maybe do 3 Mph that’s 9 more miles by 6 pm making 21 still poor .I liked this plan but the trail was just too slippy I didn’t want to risk injury and fail this close to the finish .But I did go as fast as I dare. I was now joined by a creek that gathered pace as it raced down the mountain. Then a hiker past me and he was running he was actually running I couldn’t believe.. Bugger I thought I’m just going to plod so I did.
The trail down was littered with fallen trees I imagined him just somersaulting over them. .I was now in my favourite type of forest old and covered in moss like expensive astro turf on rocks trees I then emerged on a bridge the water raced beneath all milky white on the other side stood s huge escarpment like the walls of a huge castle I crossed the scree then back into another enchanted forest I walked on and on enjoying the solitude until the silence was shattered by the roar of more water.
I came to another Creek and crossed by another bridge, upstream was filled with many fallen trees as if’s huge torrent had knocked them over like pins I walked on but I was tiring and just wanted some tea I decided the next water I’d top up then camp About an hour later water, it was a little milky but I’m sure it could make good tea so I topped up then crossed the bridge a few hundred yards there was a new bridge and on the other side the perfect campsite okay I haven’t done the miles but this will do Please can I have some sun tomorrow I made tea and relaxed I will sleep soon ready for tomorrow’s big climb
30th August I woke and looked at the ceiling of my tent it was covered in raindrops but it wasn’t raining…YET. . I put on my stove and as the water heated I stripped down my tent and packed up. Drank my tea and was on the trail by 8 .Not bad but I would of liked earlier. There was thick thick fog so if there was something to see today then I couldn’t lol I set off down the trail but after less than a mile my feet were soaked due to the plants all along the trail. It was like putting a foot into a creek every step. Oh well there was nothing I could do
I pushed on it was going to be another climbing day such fun. Up and up I went then I heard footsteps so pulled over to one side of the trail. It was brad .I followed him for a bit but then let him go as he’s too fast .then it began to rain so I stopped to put on my rain jacket and my packs jacket before getting back to the trail. CLIMB climb climb I went but the rain wasn’t helping, it was making the trail very very slippy and so you had to concentrate or you would be face down in it. I pushed on into the soupy distance then came across Brad he was having breakfast .See you up the trail. But I knew it wouldn’t be long till him past me again. Come on out sun as I was getting drenched if not by the rain then by the plants grrrrr. The fog and the rain were in charge today but it would be nice to see the sun and maybe a nice view. As I was struggling up a particular slippy hill Brad past me and accelerated away how they do that!!!!
Up and up I chugged switchback by switchback then I began to hear music It was Mr President we chatted a while. He had some sort of skirt on .great for these wet plant stretches. I watched Mr president disappear into the distance well I tried to stay with him but just couldn’t I chugged on as fast as my little legs would take me as I came around a corner it was Brad again he had stopped to pick Huckleberries .Mm I thought good plan and it was breakfast so I picked half a cup full in the pouring rain then ate my cereal again in the pouring rain. As I sat there Bowie came past then Brunch
I finished up then back to the trail the trail now meandered through several meadows but the trail was fairly narrow so more soaking from . plants grrrrr up and up I still climbed Again I heard voices it was Feast god we hadn’t seen each other in ages we walked together for a while then he too zoomed off .At last the trail decided to go down .it weaved through forest .There were a lot of trees down but they had been cut so not to obstruct the trail .I zig zigged down the switchbacks until I met a huge tree that had blown over .you had to cut the switchback to get around it but as it was a steep drop on slippy mud it took some doing I sort of half slid fell but made it phew then carried on down the switchbacks Oh no fully loaded Huckleberries I stopped and began stuffing my face before Irish Cannon appeared Hiya snail. How far you going today? I’d like to do 22 I said or 6 pm depends on what comes first. Irish Cannon said I want water then I may stop. Seemed a good plan to me but it was only 1 pm…Ah water Irish stopped but I pushed on I then caught Feast who was chatting to two Chinese girls. I past them saying I’m stopping for lunch at the next suitable spot. …Which soon appeared the Chinese girls carried on Feast joined me shortly followed by Irish. I had bagels with cheese and a few snacks. The two of them wanted to stay at Lake Isa Bella another 5 miles, if I could I wanted two more miles I watched the two of them leave then packed up and re-joined the trail. The rain continued to fall and the sun kept trying to come out and I continued to keep climbing .I was now crossing several screes but these were made of huge stones wow .I chugged on and up passing several nice campsites hmm I thought to myself if I had water id stop. Okay I need water. But Snail it’s too early.
So I pushed on about an hour later I met a hiker coming the other way did your pass any water I asked. Yes he said about 2/10th up and id fill-up as the lake looks a bit crap. Thanks I said. I soon came to the stream fed by snow it looked good so I filled up 3 litres. And pushed on. The lake slowly came into view and dotted around were a dozen tents. .Shall I stay I pondered the thought no ill move on .but as I began to chug up the next steep steep hill in the pouring rain with a now heavier pack I wondered if I’d made a mistake. By the forth switchback I’m cursing myself but then a lovely camp spot oh thank you Trail. I put up.my tent and threw my wet pack and gear in. Blew up.my sleeping pad .when I pulled out my sleeping bag it was a bit wet oh dear that’s not good I took off my shoes and socks and got into my bag warm myself up and dry out my bag. It was too wet to light my stove so I attacked the snacks till the rain eased off. Then tea, supper and hot chocolate. I’d just finished my hot chocolate when the rain began to pour. Can we get some sun tomorrow please oh its getting windy Must be bed time!!!
29th August Well I guess if you live there then you get used to the trains The 6.30 woke me up hoot hoot hoooooot I hadn’t slept well my right ankle decided that it was its turn to hurt and hurt it did…this was the one I turned coming down a hill and fell over. It’s been twinging but now it bloody hurt and when I got out of bed it was difficult to walk on although all yesterday it was fine grrrrr Oh some background on Hiker Haven Jerry and Andrea (MUM) as she likes to be called. They started hosting Hikers 15 years ago when Jerry brought home three hikers from Skykomish and put on a BBQ for them They has since moved house and now live in a small town called Baring 12 miles from Skykomish.
It’s such a relaxed place with plenty of room to pitch your tent on their large lawn IN a Garage there are six bunks on a first come basis and large communal area with comfy recliners TV video DVD, microwaves and large fridge. Outside is the bathroom, shower and laundry room with loan clothes. Andrea and Jerry are great hosts and really look after you so my fellow Hikers call in and enjoy a zero or maybe two. There is a small cafe across the road which does a great breakfast also snacks and dinners oh and great milkshakes. There is also a Post office on site. They do sell some hiker food but its poor and dear oh and NO BEER!!!!! There is a good grocery store about 5 miles down the road an easy hitch and sometimes lifts can be arranged and back to the trail head Hiker haven also accepts mail drops So enjoy it and do a few chores to help whilst you are there is good Karma.
So I’m up I repack my pack several times I’ve got too much food .I empty out my food bag then promptly pack it all back in .I can carry that. Jerry then finds me an old licence plate for me to take home I unwrap my new tent and remove all the packaging then attach it to my pack yep looking good I then get a ride to the grocery store for a few things. Milk powder, bagels, Ibruproin, cheese and ham. Basically lunch our ride back to the trailhead is 11.30 so plenty of time. The fridge is still full of beer as we didn’t really party last night. .well we were going to but then we all fell sleep so I asked if 10 am was too early for beer the resounding answer was NO so beers all round We then begin tidying up making it clean for the next wave of hikers. It was forecast rain for the next two days so we were all a bit anxious to get a few miles in before we got soaked Silly fact this is the longest I have worn shorts since my primary school days
The longest I have ever been camping
Jerry decided that we ought to be started on the trail so rather than wait for our ride he would take us all. So with that we grabbed the remainder of our gear grabbed our packs and poles and filled the back off the car then it was hugs all round before Jerry drive us back to the trailhead. The sun was still shining but black clouds were approaching. We got out at Stevens Pass thanked and hugged Jerry. Hoisted on our bloody bloody heavy packs and set off down the trail I walked out with Dc and Da vinchi but I knew they would soon be gone especially when we began to climb. After about an hour the sun accepted defeat and the rain came luckily fairly light but I needed to stop to put on my packs rain jacket and mine. I chugged on up the hill up and up then I met a Mule train coming down. Two riders towing four mules each I always want to ask so many questions but the lead cowboy was more interested in my adventure. I walked on for several more hours before I needed a break then back to the hill .I was aiming for just 10 miles but it was still early so I pushed on although the light was beginning to fade as I came around a corner Artic Fox was resting or rather waiting for her gang i.e. Mr President, Bowie etc. but I said I hadn’t seen them!! I said I was going for another hour then that will does up and up till yes a perfect spot. I dropped my pack and hastily put up my tent dodging the raindrops I threw my pack inside then began to make tea but!! A new gas I had is faulty and won’t work bugger luckily I carry a spare. As it begins to boil Arctic fox came by she had waited an hour and now was going on. I said I’d pass on the message I cooked my dinner in the rain trying to keep my feet warm as its now cold I’m just about to close up my tent when Foxxy comes by I expected him to be ahead but he had chores in town . Then 3 sobos come past we wished each other luck. AS I close up my tent then it begins to pour fingers crossed for a sunny morning
27th August I was determined to be on the trail early after two poor days I lept out of my bag at 5.30 put on my stove. I packed up and hit the trail at 6.30 hurrah. Just as I was leaving French Paul came by we chatted for a while see up the trail Paul.i couldn’t make up my mind whether to wear my waterproof trousers. I decided against .Wrong decision as the trail at this point was overgrown and so all the plants were still wet so my shorts were soon wet oh well!! I came to my first small creek but I cant of been awake as I put my foot straight into the water so 1 wet food great start snail! !! I pushed on knowing that it was going to.b ea big big climb up and up I chugged the minutes going by but not as fast as the miles. . I crossed so many streams and creaks mainly the same one due to the switchbacks eventually I caught up with Paul who let me pass. Although I wasn’t a lot faster than him he followed me up to the top two hours it took phew.but again you get rewarded with some fantastic views . We followed the ridge for s while and through some burn which means log jumping or on this stretch rolling under.makes a change lol. then I passed through some stunning meadows beautiful aromas filled the air with bees and butterflies. The trail then began to drop down to a lake but you could see that it climbed the other side. I was making my way down to the lake next I was lying g on the ground no injuries .this some one had swapped my shoes for clowns shoes as I did nothing but trip for most of the morning. So kept shouting duck or rather the other word There was a melt that fed the lake so I topped up my water then followed Paul up the trail.i followed Paul until my tummy told me that it was breakfast See you up the trail Paul.i found a nice spot and sat down then I realised that I was surrounded by blueberries. So I picked half a cupful and added cereal and to make it really exciting I added half a sachet of hot chocolate yummy. I woofed that down then went off in search of Paul. But I didn’t think id catch him
.But the trail was now down with great views of the mountains s fellow hiker told me theirs names but I could only remember the one was called Bears breast .as I made my way down switchback after switchback. I passed about a dozen hikers all mainly out for 4/5 days down and down and down it seemed endless but I was more worried about the eventual up.. All l of a sudden a deer ran in front of me with two youngsters in tow then bounded up the mountain Wish I could move that fast lol .I was getting lower then I came to a small waterfall I topped up as it was icy cold .
I continued on my journey down towards the bottom the nice trail guy’s had attacked the trail making the trail a pleasure to walk down. Thanks trail volunteers fantastic job Much nicer than forcing you way down a trail and being attacked by bushes etc Eventually I came to a clearing and there sat Paul, Freedom and Shredder I was going to push on but decided to join them for lunch except I didn’t really have any lunch left sob But they had plenty so I left rather satisfied Paul was going on 7 more miles that would do for me too but I wanted more if I could but I knew it was going to be a big steep climb and I was weary .Shredder and Freedom were stopping about there too. I let them go as they are far too fast .Paul let me go but I didn’t want to go that fast so after an hour or so I stooped for a 5 min break. But then I struggled to get going .it was steep and made up of switchbacks up and up left and right and right then left. I met several more hikers we both wished each other safe journeys then back to the climb. Oh water I filled up so if I found a nice camp.i would stop even though id be low on miles again
But I was feeling good now and ploughed on. I then came to a huge lake there were many people in and around it .I also saw Paul getting ready to camp but I pushed on past shredder and Freedom .I then met two rangers I chatted for a while they were waiting on a dozen volunteers to do some restoration work.I headed off and up looking for the holy flat spot. As I was going up the volunteers were coming down but no there’s no flat spot .but my faith was in Gut hooks who said oh yes there is And yes I found it may be not the one but this is better
21st August Well the alarm went off early and I was getting up early really I was but I foolishly switched it off The sun steaming through my tent woke me up bugger bugger it was only 6.30 but I wanted to make up the lost milage from yesterday Hows the foot it all seems good phew Thank you thank you I fired up my stove and as it did its thing I stripped down the tent.all done I wandered back to the spring and topped up my water as its 20 miles to the next. As im getting ready to leave Carlos came by how spooky I meant to grab a photo at the pass several days ago
The trail Kama is spooky. So I grabbed s few pics of us together I then hoisted up my pack and set off down the trail ..I was zoned out when I heard large footsteps It was a huge Stag .beautiful full antlers but I was too slow with my camera and it bolted off. The trail today was a lot of climbing but not a lot to see .great scenery though. But mainly more fog and mist Beautiful meadows with great flowers. Ping went my watch getting closer to lunch well lunch is getting s little thin so its a long breakfast Oh no more huckleberries i’m addicted to the things do I stopped on top of this ridge and picked two bag full they are so tasty love blueberries but huckleberries beat them.
I moved on then at last my watch pinged time to stop. I had had a cup of berries with cereal omg its so good then some cheese and salami washed down with lemonade yummy. I pushed on and on I was doing good especially as yesterday I struggled. The miles were falling oh a spring I stopped and refilled with water .This meant I didn’t have to worry about stopping again. I could stop when I wanted .I pushed on it was getting late and bloody cold..the sun was still shinning but a chill was in the air Do I need my jacket.I pushed on I wanted another hour but ill settle for the next spot. I pushed on and on .no place here .I crossed several power lines I could camp here but I wanted somewhere better. .At last it was like an old camp it had a drop toilet but it was full .I decided to camp nearby. I put up my tent and relaxed
20th August I felt the pain around 2 am I knew what it was shit and bugger. I felt for my first aid pouch and dropped 4 vitamin I’s I hadn’t bothered getting any more Naproxen because every thing was behaving well almost.i tried to get back to sleep but my foot throbbed and I was worried about tomorrow. I suffer from gout it affects the joint especially in my toes. It feels like walking on broken glass..so I am normally very careful with what I eat And my diet hasn’t changed much. I woke at six the pain was still there bugger bugger at seven I decided I needed to move. But it was very windy and cold.I cursed myself for sending my balaclava and my woolly had to Canada . I put on an extra layer got ready then slowly put on my shoes ouch ouch bloody OUCH and FUCK. I didn’t do them up while I wrestled with my tent in the wind then gave up and just shoved it in my pack. Right I was ready .i put on my jacket my gloves. A scarf around my neck then tightened the laces bugger bugger this is going to be a very long painful day.i took off my pack and swallowed 4 codeine put my pack back on and tottered to the trail. It was so bloody painful I limped I shuffled I sort of hopped. I needed to make sure my right foot hit the ground flat lol Now there’s a challenge. Today was foggy and cold so nothing to see which was fine as I just wanted to concentrate on where I was putting my foot. I then heard giggles it was Freedom and Shredder who must of camped on the hill. 5 minutes later I heard the clicking of poles as they caught me up . Guys do any of you have any spare Vit I . Freedom did I took a handful from her and swallowed 6 .kill or cure!!! i explained to them what gout was Thanks guys see you up the trail. I hobbled on waiting for the meds to kick in (hopefully) I knew it was going to be a lot of climbs again and so i thought to myself ill be happy if I can get to 3 pm . I stumbled on it was the log game again I’d missed this over under over over around under and over.and to make it more exciting lets have some fog. I pushed on up it was still cold but I was warm so I stopped to remove my jacket. The trail ran just below the ridges of the mountains but you couldn’t see anything .on and on I went mainly up .The sun was doing its best to shine but the fog was winning. I suddenly became very tired may be too many meds at once. I checked my watch amazingly it was 12 pm lunch.i found a spot and decided I ought to have a hot cup of tea .That did the trick and i felt much better but I did take another codeine. I pushed on I had done 8 miles if I can do another 8 that will be fine considering..I put in my ear buds turned up the volume and went for it Well sort of went for it as every forth step was a swear word as my foot landed wrong. But I was winning and the sun was now beginning to shine. At 3 pm I stopped for a break checked my GPS mm mile 2360 looks good a campsite with a spring perfect..I moved on my foot still aching but I seemed to have blocked it out great for now. The miles were tumbling slowly when i emerged into a lovely meadow. There is a ski hut built here which anyone can use. So I thought I’d take s look . there were several tents in the meadow. But as I got closer a man called Robert was staying inside with his kid and several friends.You hungry he calls so I ended up staying for beans and hot-dogs Then the boys showed me their Guns.The boys are aged from 11 to 15 and they have some scary weapons a M16 several other rifles which I cant name a glock pistol now these are serious guns and we get excited in the UK for carrying a penknife
But the kids all seem to know there stuff especially safety. Well the ammo isn’t cheap as some of the guns have magazines.Robert says if there weren’t campers in the meadow i could fire them all! !!! I stay for one more beer but want to get in those few extra miles.So I thank them all. for showing me their “TOYS” and for dinner. Then its back to the trail i’m guessing I have five more miles and of course its uphill and worse it is lined with salmon berries. Blueberries, Huckleberries and thimble berries
so I’m not going that fast..I eventually drag myself away as the light is fading and I still need to set up Eventually I find the camp j drop my pack and look for water .its s few yards away and ice cold I drink s few cupful straight down then top up my bottles. I soon get my tent up and it’s not long before i’m drinking a hot cup of tea
19th August Lept out of bed fairly early and was walking up the trail by 6.45 I had the rest of the hill to do I was fairly pleased that I stopped when I did as I couldn’t see any place to stop .Up and up I went higher and higher .there were amazing views of the valley all shrouded in mist with the tops of mountains sticking through. I then met the family I passed yesterday who offered me more food and candy..I politely refused as I was fully laden but thanked them anyway. I pushed on through forests and meadows. Then I turned a corner and OMG it was mount Rainier what a gorgeous epic mountain just wow! !! I stared at it for a while then moved on and it seemed to to vanish it was almost an hour before it reappeared.but a better angel I took some snaps then moved on..I then met a couple who were hiking to Crater Lake we chatted a while before I moved onthen met a dad and his two young daughters who were out for the weekend I was impressed at their neat packs. I At last came to a spring where I refilled my water. as I was topping up Pillsbury came past I followed her for a while then Nija Tank appeared. .I hadn’t seen him for a while as he been ill and off trail for 5 days. At last time for breakfast ,as I sat down I noticed that the bushes were full of blueberries so I picked half a cup full to mix with my cereal yummy
As I sat munching “water melon” and Jukebox came by. Hi I said, hiya snail see you up the trail they said I set off again the sun was now hot and my head was leaking. Phew some shade please I passed some gorgeous lakes with clear blue sparkly the water I was tempted but needed to get on .the scenery was just amazing as always but then it was time to climb .up and up but the trail seemed to quickly get busy with “tourists and day hikers” we must be near civilisation lol. As I climbed up .wow more amazing views then it was down.in the distance i could see a road and more amazing mountains and peeks and a very long glacial valley.
The trail wound its way down backed by a high granite balustrade .This must be a popular place as i saw so so many families going the other way. When I got to the rosd there was s fine wooden bridge across which read welcome to Rainer park. I crossed the bridge and made my way to the parking lot.
At the far end sat watermelon jukebox and Pillsbury eating lunch I joined then and then chilled out for an hour before we all set off together but they were all soon in the distance. .I eventually caught up why they were filling up with water from a lake.
Then it was another big climb .it was steep and there were many switchbacks and it was hot at last I was over the saddle. I stopped for 5 minutes. By then the other three were out of sight in the valley. The trail followed the contours of the mountain so you could trace the trail going off into the distance
I set off after them but doubted I would catch them..In the distance I could see another ski lodge, the runs and the chair lifts but no snow. As I chugged up another pass I could see the guys resting. Snail there is cell service Pillsbury said. funny there always is near a ski centre. So I posted a few bits on Fb. it was now 5 pm my feet were killing me especially my right foot today. The guys wanted to do 7 more miles 5 would do me as it was all climbs today. So I my see you in seven but I doubt it.
I set off again after taking some painkillers but more slowly as my right foot was so sore No reason for it to be painful. I plodded on then it began to get really cold brrr I crossed another saddle and it got colder still. No good i put on my jacket almost 2 miles to go till water come on snail At last water and just behind some trees were the guys. they were having dinner then moving on. I filled up with water then said i’m camping in the next mile .I plodded on down the road looking for the camp spot .then I spied a tent great I walked in to the trees and set up my tent. I then said hi to the other tent .It happened to be tartan which made me laugh. We ate supper together but it was getting colder so I went to snuggle in my tent
23rd July Well that’ was a better sleep . I was out of my tent and ready to hit the trail by 6 am..I expected my tent to be dry but as I camped close to a lake it was soaked due to condensation Bugger, oh well but it’s a lot heavier when wet. I set off down the trail the sun was just beginning to come up. I had done about 2 miles when I passed two tents but no movement. I pressed on feeling good must be Deer week as they seemed to be everywhere. Some moved, some just starred at you .I pushed on as I wanted to do three hours before taking a break I was stuck again in the forest so not much to see only deer oh and loads of trees to jump over or walk around. .Ping went my watch 2 hours down 1 more to go,but as I pushed for my third the sky grew dark and the wind picked up Oh not again I told the sky that’s its unusual for it to rain at this time of year. I stopped and put on my packs rain jacket and my jacket too.then walked on .It was certainly cold but the rain seemed to hold off Ping great Breakfast. I lazily ate my cereal drank some lemonade and chilled for 20 minutes. Then off again deer spotting .I was soon approaching a spring i didn’t need much just a top up.At the spring were two sobo’s. We chatted a while then I headed off . I was making good miles id so love to do that 30 but really i’m not fast enough and when I stopped for lunch I was a little disheartened that my miles and speed just didn’t add up In other words I needed a much longer day to get the 30 I walked on feeling disappointed but then I got back into my pace .it doesn’t matter this 30 I think i am trying too hard..I then bumped into a man who was just hiking to Ashland Later on I then met two more sobo’s but they didn’t stop must be on a tight schedule I laughed to myself.This is the season for fruit so I stopped and munched on a few mouthfuls of thimble berries they are like tiny raspberries. I found that the best way to eat them is to squash them with your tongue otherwise you spend ages trying to get the pips out of your teeth. I came across another type of berry a blackberry bush but much dainty but very tasty and to finish off a few wild strawberries It was now getting late well 4 pm I took a quick break looked st my Gps .Mm water was another 8 miles ..shall I go for that or dry camp? I was feeling tired but wanted to walk at least to 6. But as I turned the corner OMG my favourite terrain it was horrible rock but it did have a path through it but it was made of cinders
Cinders chew your shoes up plus you have to take care while you walk so your constantly looking at your feet Typical i’m tired and now this. But worse it went on for miles. I slogged along the sky growing black again. No no not more rain please hold off .I pounded off down these paths Ping really I’ve done an hour I was zoned out crunching down these paths when I came to a sign on the ground it read 1780 2/3 Oh I said to myself i’m only 4 miles short of doing 30 miles and its only just gone 5 pm
I can do this its mine. Well it was like I had beer legs on I began to fly down these cinder paths I can do this 4 miles. 4 miles yes its mine. Stay away rain .I had a little downhill then it was up.i emerged at a main road and crossed .On the other side was a box of trail magic but. Being late in the day l that was left was a cold bottle of water. I glugged that down. There was a river nearby so i topped up my water. Then began the climb. Just around the corner were several tents. I waved but continued up I crossed the river. By bridge and began to climb following the river.I passed some fire damaged trees which reminded me of tomb stones in a graveyard. .Come on miles .I checked .my watch. Time is good i am almost there come on Snailtrainer this is yours. Almost there yes yes yes yes I have done my first 30 miler whoop whoop I am so pleased with my self .okay.now a flat spot I walked on for a while. There that will do. Tent up dinner cooked. Very big grin on my face I’ve finally done it