Who needs switchbacks anyway?

Whoever designed the last 6 miles of trail heading to Rd 23 into Trout Lake was obviously in a hurry to get there. They decided to abolish the concept of switchbacks completely, and instead just went straight up the hill, and straight down the other side.

The 23.9 miles I hiked to get here were relatively easy compared to the last two days. I only had to climb 2912 feet and descend 3697 feet which was a little kinder to the knees. But I really didn’t feel at all well today. I struggled to eat in the morning and had a mixture of hunger pains and a general feeling of unwell which lasted into the afternoon.

I did see the biggest elk this morning too, which at first I thought was a moose because it was SOOO big and had giant antlers, but I’m pretty sure there aren’t any moose around these parts. A few minutes later I saw a full herd of more elk (I think) without antlers. These must be the females? Obviously I know nothing about these creatures so feel free to educate me!

At lunch I managed to eat two bean burritos and had a good rest after putting in 13 miles before midday. But then after lunch I felt even worse in the stomach, and was pretty sure I would actually vomit at some point along the trail.

The nausea sensations remained with me for most of the afternoon but seemed to settle over the last few miles, maybe because the steep ups and downs were a good distraction. I hit Rd 23 just before 5pm and raced down to ensure a quick hitch into town. That quick hitch took over 1.5 hours. Only two cars went by in that time in the direction I was heading, and it was the second car that took me into town.

I managed to get to the one cafe just before closing time, had a burger, put my laundry in the laundry line, had a cold bath, and am now dressed in a sleeping bag in my room above the grocery store as I have no other clothing. I have saved 31.6 miles in the piggy bank thus far, and hope to keep up a good pace to reach Snoqualmie Pass for my post office pickup next Friday. I’ll be stopping at White Pass on Monday morning, but hope to make it a very quick detour and hit the trail again in the early afternoon.





9 thoughts on “Who needs switchbacks anyway?

  1. Your various sad faces are priceless! Also, spewing on camera would be somewhat undignified, however you’d get reality points for sure. Good job saving up the miles though, keep it up. 🙂

  2. Hello again, Jon is a bit ahead of you now, he was hoping to get finished a little before 25/9. Hope you are feeling better. By the way your rucksack is identical to my own – but your looks cleaner – how can that be?! Roz x

  3. Hi darling, such determination, not feeling well and still putting the miles in even some extra ones for the Piggy Bank, fantastic, great work. Hope that you can have a little rest at White Pass. Keep healthy, love, Mutti xxoo

    • I felt cheated at missing an in-wilderness sighting of elk. However, I was awakened to several episodes of eerie bugling during the night. I hear it is rutting/mating season thus the nightly song. I also saw 3 bow hunters and a couple of hunter camps, a little spooky. First aid tip: around camp it was the consensus that arrows must remain as lodged until it can be surgically removed. Great picture, eh? The ends can be shortened to make hiking out a bit more convenient. LOL

  4. Your hitchhiking video looks like one of those movies where everyone else on earth has mysteriously disappeared… You’re doing great, Muk Muk! You literally take everything in stride, walking on no matter what — feeling ill, being low on water, all the ups and downs of your emotions as well as the trail. You’re in Washington! You’re on track to get to Canada on time, AND some of the most beautiful parts of the trail are still ahead of you. Wishing you much beauty and joy for the rest of your journey.

  5. Roz; the tummy thing is getting worriesome. Giardia? E-coli? Time to pull off to get checked for “critters?” Doesn’t seem like a “pepto-moment” is going to do it this time…have you tried? I’m getting scared…


  6. Hello Muk Muk,

    Having lived in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and the Sierras, I have seen more moose than I can count and many elk as well.

    In all these sightings I have never seen moose travel in herds. Two adults and a baby or two is the most I have seen together.

    But elk is another story. Sounds to me like elk for sure. Keep your eyes open for the big scratch marks they make on the trees when rutting. Also remember they get aggresive at that time.

    Keep On Keepin On !


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