Day 131: 8/17/14, PCT Milemarker 2445.5

Miles hiked: 21.4
Cumulative PCT Miles: 1488.1
Camped at: creek before Deep Lake with 1 Pole

At 2am I couldn’t believe my ears – was Steve packing up?? He had told me he was an early riser but that takes the cake! Actually, at 5:30 when we were both packing up he apologized for the ruckus – a mouse chewed through his tent *shudder* and he had to get it out (obviously). Yikes, am I glad I don’t usually sleep with my food (rain storms are the usual exception) – yea for the ursack, so easy. Tonight I tried to get it off the ground a bit rather than just tied to the base of a tree like I normally do. Steve joked that he was never going to camp with either me or Rewind again – apparently we’re bad luck as the only other time he had a mouse chew through was when he camped with her!

On the trail at 6am, I knew I had quite a bit of elevation gain today and it promised to be hot later in the day. How I love hiking at that hour – so cool and refreshing. The initial 3000 foot climb was wonderfully switchbacked and graded over 6 miles – so easy to keep up a steady pace. Descending into the next valley I realized I’m beginning to dislike going downhill again now that my lungs are cooperating consistently on the climbs – so rough on the knees and feet. I was happy to meet 1 Pole (he hikes with just 1 trekking pole and he’s of polish descent) who is finishing up his several year PCT hike with WA this year – so exciting! Another section hiker was there as well, who’s hiked the JMT. We were all heading to Deep Lake for the night, and leapfrogged going up the sometimes hot steep last climb of the day. Quite humid in some areas with sweat pouring off, nice and breezy in others, go figure. The scenery continued to be lovely, nice views and good trail except for the occasional overgrown section, plus lots of pretty wildflowers and berries continue. What a beautiful state, so loving Washington so far!!

At the end of the day, I had a wonderful surprise, Rewind (Susan, who I started with), who I hadn’t seen since right before Big Bear and the beginning of my medical maladies period, caught up to me at the very end of the day! She’s consistently doing higher mileage, as evidenced by the fact she’s already here in WA just over 4 months in, and we knew she was slowly gaining on me since I started WA. Well, today was the day! She actually camped about half a mile back from me last night, and is at the lake tonight. It was so good to see her again and give her a hug. Hopefully I’ll see her at some point tomorrow and we can catch up some more :).

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