I decided if I made it 30 miles yesterday that I’d allow myself a wee sleep in today. I didn’t set an alarm and after waking up every two hours from the cold throughout the night I finally checked my watch at 7:30am and decided I would have to brave the cold wet world outside at some point!
It was incredibly hard to put on wet shoes, rain pants and my rain jacket over my sleeping clothes. I squealed and cursed many times until finally I just jumped out of my tent, rolled up the wet filthy mess into a ball, shoved it into my sponge pack and started to walk. The trail that greeted me was basically a wet swampy mess. At first I tried avoiding the puddles, then realised it wasn’t worth the risk of twisting my ankle and walked straight through the middle instead.
I had two 1000 foot climbs before hitting Hwy 2 at Steven’s Pass. I cursed up the first one as my legs literally felt like lead, and because it was so steep I almost fell backwards a couple of times lacking any sort of momentum to push myself forward. At one point I reached a huge tree trunk blocking the trail. The trail around it went straight down and up, so I decided to mount the tree instead, using my hiking poles to peel myself off and over the other side. If I had a third arm I wish I could have filmed it!
At the top of the second 1000 foot climb I stopped to check if I had phone signal. I wasn’t sure where the person I was so excited to see (no prizes for guessing who) would be, and I was hoping to send him a message to say I was only about 3 miles from the highway. I guess my SPOT message from last night had already alerted him to my proximity.
I was on cloud nine the entire way down to the trail head where Wolfman was waiting for us in his truck. I was hyperactive the entire way to Skykomish but finally crashed after having breakfast and half a dozen cups of coffee. Wolfman offered to take us to REI tomorrow to get new gear for the remaining 200 miles and we quickly popped over to the PO to pick up my resupply. Thanks Steph and Janer for the Canadian chocolates! I’m now even more hungry to see the border in the next 10 days or so.
It’s a dream come true to complete this journey with the man I met on Day 6 down at Scissors Crossing in Southern California. We have shared such an epic adventure, both together and apart on the trail, that it felt somewhat hollow finishing the final leg alone. UB has invested so much in this trail, financially and emotionally like every other thru hiker, it killed me to think he wouldn’t experience the same feelings of pride and jubilation I felt when I realised just how far I’d come on this trail. I hope in these last 200 miles UB will realise that all his efforts were not in vain, that his journey has been as long in time and miles as any other thru hiker, and that this chapter of our journey will finally be complete when we both set eyes on the Northern Terminus together.