Thankfully nothing freakish happened to me today, other than getting a little unsettled when there was nowhere to camp at the end of the day and I had to push until dark to reach a campsite. The final hustle helped me clock 20 miles on my nero (near zero) day. I was aiming for 17 to avoid breaking the piggy bank, but thanks to the lack of flat ground to camp on I was able to throw in 3 more (total = 34.6 miles = 2 zero days).
I slept in until 7am this morning, then shot out of bed and headed straight to the cafe where I ate last night. I ordered huckleberry pancakes and coffee and had a great chat with Connie the chef/waitress/cashier extraordinaire. I’ve never seen anyone multitask quite like this woman. She could flip French toast, heat apple sauce and ring up my bill simultaneously. I bought a huckleberry scroll for the road then headed back to the grocery store to sort out my food and repack.
There were five of us who stayed overnight above the store and luckily all managed to get a lift back to the trail head with a man named Pat. Pepper Flake and I rode in the back of Pat’s pick up truck all the way back up the mountain in the glorious sunshine. The trail climbed straight away and I took the lead and charged up the mountain with four cups of coffee spurring me on. I only stopped once to pee in the first 10 miles and found an awesome campsite near a pond for lunch. A few of the others caught up, but I packed up after devouring the huckleberry scroll and charged on with a minimum of 17 miles on the brain.
I was doing well for time until I reached the milky Lewis River. I made a very long assessment of any possible rock jumping opportunities, but realised my feet were going to have to get wet so I changed into my Frocs. The water felt ok at the beginning, but it soon froze my feet numb to the point that they were stinging!
From the river it was still over 7 miles to where I’m camped. So often you see campsites scattered everywhere along the trail, until it starts getting dark and you really want to find one, that’s when you can’t!
I just managed to set up my tent before I needed my headlamp. The large animal I heard running through the trees had made me jumpy, but in all honesty, I do freak out a little about mountain lions at night. I try not to, but sometimes I can’t help it. I sang aloud while I set up my tent, and made a point of hammering my tent pegs in noisily with a rock. I’m camped right next to a river which is drowning out most of the sounds outside my tent. I’m going to sleep now so Friday the 13th can clock over to tomorrow without a hiccup!