PCT 2007 – Day 147 – Stirrup Lake – Gravel Lake

Day 147 8-19-07 Tarp Tent 5270′
Stirrup Lake – Crest saddle between Ridge and Gravel Lakes
20.5 (.5) miles; 2408.8 (79.36) total miles; 4253.4 trip miles
50 Rain, Day ? of rain
Days camped alone 26

2007 PCT Critter Tour General Category
1- Deer count is 132
2- Marmot count is 100
3- Elk count is 65
4- Pika count is 34
5- Goat count is 20
6- Slug count is 14
7- Bear count is 7
8- Rattlesnake count is 6
9- Martin count is 1
10- Badger count is 1

Today will go down as the shittiest day of the trip regardless of whatever else might happen in the next two weeks. I woke to puddle of water on the foot of my tent at 1:30 AM. I pushed it off and tighten up my tent. When I finally got up at around 7 AM, it was still raining. I packed Bessy from inside the tent and then ate my breakfast. I took down the wet tent last and stuffed it in the outside pocket of my pack.

I 90

When I left I was faced with a half mile of overgrown clear cut to get back to the PCT. I was soaked from head to toe in less than 50′. It was insane! I quickly gave up any idea I might dry out today very fast. Beside it raining, it was cold as shit, too.

I hadn't been here in a long time

I got to the PCT and I would say 80% of the trail (14 miles worth) to Snoqualmie Pass was overgrown. I was wet past the bone, my bone marrow was wet. I passed Twilight, and Mirror Lakes, then came Olallie Creek. I passed through clear cut after clear cut and under about 4 power lines. At one point I saw a father and his daughter out for a horseback ride. He was checking out the elk since hunting season starts in a week.

Scott, Sam and the dogs

I left them and double timed it the rest of the way to the pass. I passed Lodge and Beaver Lakes and then I came to the ski trails. I got my first look at I-90 in over 5 months. I hauled ass down to the public bathroom and attempted to dry off some. It wasn’t working; so I went to the grocery store next door and got a hot coco. I got to sit inside and warm up some. It was getting close to the time Sam and Scott would be showing up, so I moved down the road closer to the parking lot where I was meeting them. I stopped to get cash at the ATM and happened to call them. They were still a ways away, so I killed time at the information center for the forest service.

No breaks in the clouds for me

I finally crossed under the highway and found they weren’t there yet so I huddled in the small overhang of the ladies bathroom in the parking lot. They showed up a little after 2 PM. It was great to see Scott, but even greater to see Sam and the dogs. It had been 140 days since I saw them. They brought me pizza and drinks. We set up Scott’s EZ-up and that kept us dry. A little bit later Kris, who used to work with Scott and I at the bike shop, showed up.

Deep thoughts on a rough day

My gear was all still wet and as I organized my pack for the next 3 days, I found out my down sleeping bag got wet. I did a ton of logistics and organized with Scott and Sam what items I needed on Wednesday at Stevens Pass. Scott is planning on hiking in to camp one night with me so he will be coming to Stevens.

Kendall Cat Walk

Around 5 PM they packed up and I had to do 6.8 miles still. I made a few calls to home and my friend who lives north along the trail. Then it was time to hike. It was all uphill to the Kendall Catwalk. It rained more on me as I went up. Once up I had a descent to the lakes at which I’m staying. It was just past 8 PM when I got here. I found a flat spot and set up my wet tent. Then it was time to cook, even though I was tired, wet, cold and not really hunger. I’m now in my bag and once again it’s raining, and since I never seam sealed my tent, it’s dripping on me when the rain gets too hard. Oh, it’s going to be a wonderful night!

Now you might be thinking that this day wasn’t all that bad. Just a wet cold day of hiking! The bad part is a little more personal and close to the heart. Let’s just leave it that I’m no longer whole and part of me is missing…

Scatman 2011- Yeah I got dump on this day.  It wasn’t one of those blind side dumpings that comes from left field.  I knew for over a month Sam was having doubts and we had discussed the possibility it might be over.  Though I had accepted both possible out comes during that month it didn’t make the news any easier.  The reality is we should have done it long ago but neither wanted to cross that bridge.  As a result we faced the reality at a less than ideal time.

I did my best to put it out of my mind as I still had 14 days to go in my hike.  I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from enjoying my last two weeks.  It wasn’t easy and there were moments that I slipped mentally but in the end I finished what I started and it was wonderful.  I’m still friends with Sam today and I know it was the right thing to do.

———-

Scatman

Get out there!

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