It’s about 4am and my back is so sore I can no longer sleep. I’m having to wipe condensation off my phone every 10 seconds as I type this underneath my sleeping bag to keep warm.
Yesterday Bad Seed and I left camp just before 7am. It was so wet and extremely hard to put on cold damp clothes when it was still freezing cold and dark outside. Once we got moving on trail we started to warm up a little, and had agreed we would go 12 miles until we reached the Urich Camp shelter where we could hopefully dry out our gear.
The wood fire in the shelter still had some hot coals so Bad Seed attempted to restart the fire. It just didn’t seem to go, and it was so dark in the shelter with the door closed we needed headlamps to see anything. I was starving and decided to make egg burritos, but I added way too much water and ended up having a soupy egg mix on tortillas which honestly made me feel extremely sick for at least a couple of hours afterwards. I’ve been feeling pretty sick after lunch everyday and often don’t feel like eating, but I have an appetite in town and just think I’m so tired of trail food!
We were aiming for Tacoma Pass which was 30 miles from where we camped. My body has started aching in many new placed and my feet just have a constant soreness to them. I know I’m pushing my body through Washington, but it’s starting to get so cold that I’m actually a little scared about the rest of the state as we get higher into the Northern Cascades. I really don’t know how I’m going to deal with snow.
I got a tiny bit of signal yesterday and received a message from Wendy who had just made it to Manning Park. I have a slight complex that I should really be there too, as many hikers I run into these days always seem to say, ‘oh I thought you’d be finished’. I’m happy not to be finished except for the pending freezing temperatures. Bad Seed is worried too, and we spent a lot of time chatting about our gear and whether or not it’ll get us through the colder temperatures.
It’s been great having company on trail the last couple of days. 30 miles is doable but also just so much walking that it’s nice to have someone to laugh and whine with along the way, especially when the climbs get steep!
At the end of the day we needed to get water from a spring 500 feet off trail. It was already dark so we took our headlamps and bottles and set off leaving our packs behind. The trail disappeared so we had to bushwhack down to the sound of running water. On the way back we got disorientated and neither of us had our phones to show us where the trail was. We ended up backtracking to the spring and then tried again, but it was so dark and the trees were so thick it was impossible to see where we’d come from. Bad Seed started freaking out, but I figured we’d get there eventually, and to out fortune we managed to locate our packs again after our headlamps reflected on Bad Seed’s hiking pole strap. Phew!
When we got to the pass to camp we discovered an entire water cache. I had to laugh at the effort we’d just gone through to get water which had taken at least 30 minutes at the end of a very long day. We were in surprisingly good spirits even though we had to set up wet tents again. The sun did come out today but we spent so much time at the shelter trying to dry our gear in vain that we had to keep hiking afterwards if we wanted to make it the full distance.
We made dinner and went to bed around 10pm. Bad Seed saw a mouse and because both of our tent zippers have broken we made sure no food was left in our tent so we wouldn’t have any furry scurrying friends join us in the night. I slept in two layers and was still a little cold which definitely makes me nervous for the weather coming up. There are only 29 miles to Snoqualmie Pass so I’m going to do a full reassessment of my gear and make sure I have everything I need for the final 250 odd miles!