Day 142: 8/28/14, PCT Milemarker 2596.8

Miles hiked: 16.7
Cumulative PCT Miles: 1639.3
Camped at: one of the numerous crossings of Bridge Creek

This morning, I saw several folks I hadn’t seen in ages! I had breakfast with Professor and….Catdog, who I last saw in the southern Sierra before Lone Pine! She wasn’t able to hike most of the High Sierra due to a bad case of altitude sickness, and recently flipped up to Snoqualmie from Bend OR, where she’s from, and will go back there after Canada to hike home. I also saw Kimchi, who I hadn’t seen since climbing Mt Baden Powell the day out of Wrightwood. It was so neat to chat with her briefly.

I caught the 8am shuttle bus back to the trail and happily packed out one of the Bakery’s huge cinnamon rolls for lunch. I hiked out with several others but due to our paces we immediately got spread out on the trail – didn’t see anyone except southbounders all day until I stopped and set up camp. Somewhere I passed Contrail and Journal as I was happily surprised to see them go by when I was finishing up dinner, so funny how that happens. They are going on another 2-3 miles to Rainy Pass tonight. I can hear the road from my campsite, and after so many miles without road noise (there was very little in Stehekin), it’s jarring.

It was mostly forest walking today, though a few views and many lovely streams. The trail seemed manicured while I was still in North Cascades National Park, with a noticeable decline in trail maintenance as soon as I exited the park! There were a few exposed sections today which got quite warm in the sun, but here and there are sprinkled a bit of changing color signaling autumn, nothing major yet. I’m getting eager to plan my autumn hiking now that I’ve essentially made the decision to go home after Canada, and thought a lot about that today. Hmm, the Benton MacKaye trail perhaps, finishing with some more time in the Smokies? The Foothills Trail? New England? The possibilities are endless and I admit I so want to immerse myself in eastern US hiking again during my favorite season.

Best SOBO moment today – a group of 4 ladies moved over to let me pass as I was going uphill. The lady in the lead literally gaped at my feet and blurted out “those shoes have seen some use!” – the Altras are decidedlyfalling apart, thank heavens I only have a few more hiking days in this pair. They looked particularly bad at that point as I had recently gotten them wet in a stream crossing, then walked through a dusty part of the trail and so they were caked with dark dirt. The ladies were clearly out for a week or so, they and their gear looked remarkably clean. Wait till they see some of the other thrus!






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