Day 137 Leaving Hiker Haven

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

 

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Da Vinchi, DC and Snailtrainer

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Mavrick,DC,Snail,Brad, Artic Fox

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Foxxy, Brunch, Bowie, Mavrick ,Brad ,Snail,Jerry Mr President,Fatty,Artic Fox,Mermaid

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Hiker Haven Garden

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Train !! WHooo Whooo

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Ski Centre

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Snail

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Day 136 Zero at Hiker Haven

28th August
I Woke at 6.30 early Thanks to the loud horn of an early morning train and then lay awake till I needed a wee
I eventually got up but due to camping on the grass the outer tent was wet. But hopefully the sun will soon dry it. I went through my gear I seem to be carrying more even though I keep dropping stuff.
I sorted through my maps worried about money but then decided to worry about it later and went for breakfast .eggs bacon and hashbrowns with  coffee .A great breakfast bloody tasty.  .I still wanted a lift to the next town to REI and a man calked Jim had offered to take me . But I couldn’t find him. I walked back to Hiker Haven then with fellow hikers we put all the trash onto the back of the pickup to take to the tip which was at the far end of town Maverick and I went with Jerry to dump it…on the way we stopped at Skykomish  garage ,i brought a pair of badly needed  sunglasses $6 bargain  and some snacks then onto the tip
Nearby the tip was an emergency runway for light planes and helicopters  to land to search for lost Hikers and local emergencies
Once back I managed to contact my bank to get my credit card limit increased just in case  !!!.Phew relief
Then I managed to get through to Virgin to get my flight details sorted another big relief phew.
Then Jim arrived he could take me to the store at 6pm great that will do.
I packed up my stuff and my now dry tent. Cooked myself some lunch and enjoyed the sunshine. During the day a steady stream of hikers kept arriving. Some stayed others just pass through. We organised a team photo which was good then Jim arrived another hiker called mermaid also  wanted to go to Rei.Off we went it was almost a two hour drive.
At last  REI  I swapped out my faulty shoes but they didn’t have my tent bugger .I went down to customer services and explained could they send me one overnight when the sales assistant produced one thank god
But as I was now in Washington I had to pay tax, I didn’t really understand but paid and soon we were heading back.
As I walked into the dorm I was greeted by Da vinchi and Dc .I hugged my mate Da Vinchi and Dc thrust a cold beer into my hand. Maverick then handed me my box of by now cold pizza well it was almost 9.30 but I still managed to plough  through it . helped  with  the od beer .The rest ill have for breakfast. I ended up watching Austin Powers with the guys and gals then off to bed zzzz A good day :0)

 

The Dinsmores

The Dinsmores

THe wedding dress worn by a hiker

The wedding dress worn by a hiker

The Bunks

The Bunks

The Boys Again

The Boys Again

Day 64

17th June
woke refreshed ready to begin. As I was packing Ragety man came through we chatted for a while then we too were on the trail. We hadn’t gone far when Smokes was having foot problems. He suggested that we both went on and he would catch us up.Off we went our first climb of the day switchback after switchback higher and higher till we got to the top.we waited here for Smokes.but wow what a fantastic view. Tahoe lake was glistening in the early morning sun light . Smokes arrived but I could tell he was in pain.he had a blister on the pad of one foot and his achilles was hurting on the other.he was going to struggle today so suggested that he would see us at camp.so off the two of us went. In the distance I could see several large mountains. Guess we are going over them!! As You could see the faint line of a trail.Luckily the climb up wasn’t that steep  and the higher we got we could see that it was one of the ski slope minus the snow !.After admiring the view we carried on to the next ski slope before dropping down into the forest. It was light and airy in here and I looked for a place to stop and take a break.
As we rested a hiker named plant came and joined us.then “Not a chance” came by  followed by Gufry hi snail they called see up the trail as they continued on to the creek.
A little later we continued down to the creek also nobodies friend took water but I had sufficient. .The other hikers were lying g in the sun and making lunch.we carried on and began to climb a steep hill up and up it went It was getting hotter and hotter. I was hoping to get to the top before taking a break but it was no good I needed to stop. Was had lunch under the shade of a tree.and rested before resuming the climb.The rest of the afternoon seemed to be one long climb and it was hot I need water so stopped at the first stream I came too.As I was filling up Twinkle and Gufry came past hiya snail called Twinkle er stopped and chatted and then they were gone. Both are ultra lite hike
and fast . nobodies friend and I re
Resumed our climbing and eventually  came out on another ski centre. Sat on the run was twinkle and Gufry.
What a great view down the Valley
Again it was slightly sureal seeing the ski lifts and no snow. We carried on trying to make our 20 miles . were doing good but again time for a break. Because of the ski centres I had service so managed to renew my phone contract whoop.but shit somehow I’ve lost 10 days of blog PANIC!!
SHIT BOLLOCKS and stuff it’s local so should be on my phone right!!!!!
I  will worry about it later.
We are still climbing heading for something knob but as we get to the ridge the wind comes and it’s cold. .We head for a clump of trees to shelter and take break
We are at mile 18 so we decide to find camp.we walk on and typically the trail heads up and as we walk the wind picks up and black clouds roll in. Looks like rain! Then it rains .We shelter under some trees while I rumage through my pack looking g for my rain jacket. .It’s raining and hailing but luckily not heavy.we want to move quickly but the terrain is very slippy slate and a steep fall down the mountain so slow it is .slow is safe.safe is slow. We  both scower looking for a suitable camp…Nothing nothing nothing. …
Down there!  It’s a bit off trail we leave markers on the trail in the hope Smokes  sees them and can see us
..We quickly put up our tents just in case it pours. Then cook supper.
We decide t to start late tomorrow to give smokes time to catch up

 

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Day 29

Wed 14 may
Good choice on the tent site. I slept really well and woke feeling great was packed up and on the trail just gone six. Today’s plan was to get to the Andersons another trail angels home that hosts hikers. I was starting early as the temperature for this week is going to be three digits swoon. So the start was cool.today it was my back and my hips turn to grumble and complain. The trail started windling it’s way down through wooded areas very pretty until a snake shot by making me jump it was black with yellow and I think a racer..One of the hikers told me this.
If black touches yellow he’s a very nice fellow, but if Black touches red Your Dead!….
A lot let further and a horny toad crossed in front of me this one was quite small.the trail wound on in
places it was filled with colour and beautiful intoxicating aromours.and the scenery as always stunning. As I crossed over one saddle below was a huge lake. I wonder if we will go around it? The closer I got I could see it was a reservoir or a type of dam .then the trail headed off into another direction. As I walked on the temperature began to rise 101°  phew.its funny normally when it’s 100° I am naked on a beach trying to get an allover tan with a G&T or cold beer in reach and the sea to cool down in..but in the USA I am dragging a 45 lb pack up an insanely steep mountain drinking warm water out of a plastic bottle  how strange..on I marched then wow it’s the Andersons water cache.
I dropped my pack and fell into one of the easy chairs. Then grabbed a ice cold soda from the chest mmmm how good was that. Then i refilled all my water bottles.snd decided to have lunch
Will appeared he’s not sure if he is using his name or Whale.were chatting when Big sauce joins us we are all chatting then Big sauce says .The other day when I passed you it was  in the 100 and you were making tea and I thought that’s cool.then I thought it’s over 100 and snailtrainer  is brewing up tea..We all laughed . Root beer float appeared grabbed a Soda and was gone he’s on a tight schedule. Then we all left but it wasn’t long before they were out of sight
I was making good time but god was it hot. Then i could see a road .hopefully that’s the rangers station. It’s then two more miles to the Andersons
Soon I was there I wandered around to see if I could find a loo, water both The place was deserted, i was  just about to head back to the road when I heard I highya . It was Will sat in the shade.he pointed me to the water so I topped up again .It’s fairly amazing that I can neck a 2 litre bottle of water in seconds i never touched the stuff in the UK unless i was hung over
We both were not bothered about the Andersons so we  discussed options as this part of the trail is closed due to fire..Both options consisted of long road walks.i could hitch to Lake Hughes then walk from there as i ponfeted ,Will set off on the long  slog along the road but it was HOT!!. I just kept staring at the maps. Oh well let’s see if I can hitch .I grabbed my pack and set off for the road.god it was hot.As i sat by the road pondering a guy stopped asked if i was a PCT Hiker. I said yes are you going near  Lake Hughes ? But  don’t you want to go to the trail head? Well yes I do so off we drove then passed Will. Is he one of yours? I said yes so we stopped and Will got in.Later we saw Early Bee.Again we stopped but Early Bee wanted to walk it. So we drove on.Great we are at the trail head.but god its still hot .It’s 6pm 7 miles to go can I do that?. Well here goes .but the start is steep come on but the miles are falling slowly and the sun is going down.i have a feeling it’s going to be late!! I walk on the sun is setting it’s such a  gorgeous sky. I take some photos but the camera never sees what I see .Come on  it’s getting dark..I can see the town but as usual the trail is going the other way. Its no use, I need my head torch.This is dark but it’s cool which is nice.its also very invigorating. In the distance the lights are all twinkling not far now . There are also a lot of red lights that keep blinking .must be the windmills.  Oh wow what a fantastic moon so beautiful. The road is getting nearer. Now where is Hiker town.i am a bit disorientated. Think its this way.hard to tell in the dark. I’m here. I walk  up to huge gate, dogs come running and barking it’s 9 PM.
A man spears and opens up asks if I’m staying I say yes its a $10 donation .I give him money he shows me to my room.i dump my stuff. Then he takes me to the lounge. Will is here. I jump straight into the shower. god that’s better i needed that .I i have Wifi whoop I check my mail and post on Facebook. Time for bed.But I am immediately hungry so I  cook dinner and make hot chocolate Zzzzzzz

 

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Day 28

TUESDAY 13th
Woke up lazy at Hiker Heaven.Need to resupply later and get back on the trail going to be hot again  phew well I’ve had breakfast cereal an orange i crave oranges out here and tea with milk.!!.
I keep staring at my stuff need to split some and mail ahead ill do that when back from shopping.Its great here they even have a dozen bikes to cycle to town on.so that was weird cycling into town on the wrong side of the road.but really satisfying with the wind in your hair.shop was better trying not to spend to much.then cycled home.made a yummy tortillas with fresh tomato, cheese and mayo and a soft drink yummy trying to update WordPress then must do the post.
Post done best trying and get my stuff together and head out or ill be here all day.as I’ve said it’s hard to leave these places.while I was doing my mail there wee two reporters doing a article on hikers and the people who run this place. So I got interviewed my photo taken .do fame at last lol.
Okay pack packed. Drop the trash , just need water ..omg it’s 101° maybe ill wait so ill go and chill one of the hikers has made a cake so I grab a hunk add ice cream and watch the third star wars what’s playing (VHS)..But with hiking you get fixity. .No I’m going out.do I slung my pack onto my back said my good byes. Had my photo taken again and by Dona Saufleys. got out of the gate where someone stopped to give me a ride to the trail head. .
It’s fairly typical with the trail you leave fully re supplied and full tanks of water only to have to climb vertically up .Omg it’s steep. I’m sure if I went any slower I’d go backwards. Chug chug then it levels out so. A bit faster. I’m just going around a corner when a runner comes past guess in his 60. Later another but this man stops to chat. Those who know me .know i can talk all day but it’s 4.30 I need to get over this morning or ill be sleeping on it!!!!.So eventually I escape only to run into two more this time I just say hi and keep going. The mountain in front of me looks huge and the paths steep. Come on Snailtrainer (my trail name) you can do this the time i has just gone 4.30 and a it’s still 90° I’m sweating buckets my pack is hurting.its a long way up come on you can do this chug chug.oh a shady part. Bing my watch announces its 5pm higher i go a level bit good I push my self forward on my poles. The views as always are stunning wow. Higher i get to a part that looks like it’s snowing but it’s lots of broken quartz really pretty.i need a break I down almost a litre of water and stuff jelly fruit into my gob..
I relax for a moment with the weight of the pack gone….But gotta walk .Bing it’s now 6pm I’m normally setting up my tent at this time .but I’m halfway up a mountain. Come on .I say to myself we can do this .The climb is steep again and I can see the path snake around the other hills..I may be climbing this in the dark!!!!! I trying to quicken my pace but it’s still hot.a d the pack still heavy.the trail is a. Narrow path so nowhere to stop let alone put up my tent.I guess I’m carrying the heaviest tent mine is .2.5kg
Every one else’s was 5 lb and under.but I’ve carried it this far.if I had a bigger budget then yes I may swap it.Round I go the sun’s getting lower Bing it’s 7pm my watch says .need a flat spot nothing here. Over the next ridge ..nothing the light is beginning to fade.Many hikers hike at night a it’s cooler but I haven’t got that confidence yet maybe later.its half seven this is the latest I’ve hiked.I am a. Little concerned that it will be a compromise Nd ill be blown away by the wind. I cross another ridge. Perfect there is a wide flat area my watch tells me. It’s 8pm .I put down my pack and take a few shots as the sun vanishes with a golden glow.Tent up and relax. Easy tea tonight tin of beer .big bag of crisps an apple and for bed a hot chocolate. I just doing my jot chocolate when I see a head torch in the dark I called out DC but it was “Early Bee” 20 minutes later I heard Kyle Voice he stopped for a while then finally at 9 p was the voice of DC. And double tap

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Day 6

I woke on top of a mountain. Wow such Glorious view. I’m a bit slow starting but was out of my tent by 6 .but once packed up and breakfast eaten it was 7.30. CNC who I camped with last night had long gone. My aim this morning was to get to scissors crossing then hopefully start the climb before it got too hot. I arrived at 10 am and was pleased to see CNC were there. I was refilling my water when Eric strolled in he had hitched to another town yesterday to get hold of more fuel as he had managed to leave  his  at Laguna  Store .
I was looking forward to some trail magic here, but I was more than happy with water. So once I was watered up I set off for the big climb. Luckily today there was a nice wind and a bit overcast as normally hikers struggle with this climb due to the heat as the climb would be for most of the day. As the trail winds its way up the mountains the scenery becomes breathtakingly beautiful, cacti in bloom Reds, pinks and yellows. Up and up I go higher and higher after about four hours climbing I stop for lunch and 50 minutes snooze. God the hills just sap my energy and its hot even with the wind.
The next water source is 20 miles as I pass by several people were dry camping (camping not near to water). I felt good so pressed on, but with the trail you never know what’s coming next. … Should have guessed!!!! More and more climbing, then Eric caught me up. I like Eric as he tends to pull me along .Hurrah a sign says 1 mile to go for water , but I’m beginning to fall behind. Now if there is a sign saying water 1 mile then it should be 1 mile, But no !! There is now another sign that says water 1/3 mile and its down hill and i am exhausted. At last i can see the water,there are boxes of water pilled high. I gulp down a few pints then top up my bottles.I’m exhausted and the feet need attention. so i decide to camp nearby. Tents up and another 20 miles done. Whoop whoop
Thanks whoever maintains this water cache
Tomorrow I’m going to take it easy

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Eric (Medway)

Eric (Medway)

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Boots

Boots

 

 

Trail Magic

Trail Magic