Day 132: mile 2457.2 – mile 2479.1
Elevation gain: 5,285 ft
Elevation loss: 4,427 ft
NOTE: We haven’t had cell service in days…soo sorry we haven’t been able to post anything. Now we are quite a few number of days ahead of the blog, just FYI. Thanks for being so patient! 😁
Three of the last 4 days have all had us climbing over 5,000 feet and I have to say, it’s kicking my butt. Shockingly, I’ve felt pretty strong and fresh for the morning climbs, but by the end of the day I am dragging! For those of you who know me best, you know I love a challenge, but this is truly next level. Especially when the finish line is so unbelievably close, this is when I know I need to dig even deeper, but man, is it hard! Only 10 days to go now, and with each passing minute I’m finding myself feeling more excited about what’s waiting for me at home, than what’s waiting for me around the next mountain. I know I need to cherish these last few days, really soak in every wilderness moment. But it’s really freaking difficult when the trail is giving us the steepest climbs we have seen since Yosemite, joined with extremely rocky and uneven terrain. There were really only 2 super steep days in Yosemite, but this is going on 2 weeks. The end is near, I know I can do this, I just needed to vent a little there…THIS IS EXHAUSTING EVERYDAY! You might be thinking, “why not lower your mileage? Why not add more days before the terminus?”. But we need to get to Stehekin for our reservation since they don’t have any rooms available any other nights. We did actually lower the mileage to 20-22 a day, but with all this added elevation plus the crazy rough terrain, it’s definitely taking longer to complete the miles.
Today is a resupply day in Skykomish, but the exciting feeling that usually comes with town, doesn’t accompany it this time. We don’t get tasty town food, we don’t get a much needed shower, and we don’t get to do any laundry. There are a group of mountaineers at Stevens Pass who are generously offering to bring PCT hikers their resupply boxes to the trail. Instead of trying to get a hitch or find a ride the 13 miles into Skykomish, they pick up hikers’ boxes from the post office and then bring them right to us. This is great because it really saved us a lot of time, but it also meant no town food for our bellies ☹️ We had 7.6 miles to get to Stevens Pass, and then another 14.3 to get to our planned tent site. So we decided we should get up a little earlier in order to have time for the resupply, hike all those miles, and get to camp at a reasonable time. We were hiking before 6:45am and noticed the smoky haze seemed a tad better first thing this morning. While we were stopped to “water the plants”, Machine walked by with a speaker attached to his pack, playing music out loud. This is always super strange to me…why don’t people just put in ear buds? Most people come into the wilderness for the peace and quiet so I’m always confused why some hikers use these speakers, thinking that everyone else wants to hear what they’re listening to. Later in the day, we even saw another backpacker with a speaker as well…what the heck?
We made it to Stevens Pass just before 10am and found an outlet to charge our stuff, plus a bench to lay out our entire resupply. The mountaineers were so nice to not only bring our boxes, but also 2 plums from their tree, as well as 2 beers (which made Link very happy). I was hoping for a vending machine for a cold drink and candy bar, but there weren’t any to be found. This ski resort was deserted!
We were able to talk to the kids & our parents, charge our electronics, download pix/post the blog, and organize the entire resupply by 11:30. Not too long after starting to hike again, I was hungry and wanted a little snack. So I unwrapped a Kind bar that had a lot of nuts in it, and immediately there were 2 Canada Jays within a foot of me. I had dropped a nut on accident and they were both on it in an instant. When I held my hand out, one of the Jays landed on my hand and started pecking at my wooden ring thinking it was food. I’m thinking they see A LOT of humans on this trail!
We did walk through some really great meadows and we found out that Salmon berries actually turn dark red when they’re ripe. They had all been orange, for weeks, until today. The red ones definitely taste better, but they’re still pretty tart.
We had some great views with pretty blue sky early in the day, but as the day progressed, so did the smoky, hazy sky.
Most of the climbs today were steep and brutal, just like the previous 5-7 days of hiking. So even though we only had the 1.5 hr stop for the resupply, we still didn’t make it to camp until 6:10pm. We are super happy to be up on the top of Grizzly Peak, but sure wish our views were a little more clear. We know gorgeous Glacier Peak is out there somewhere!
We had refried beans with steak, and tortillas for dinner while watching the sun go down right in front of us. THAT, I will miss for sure. The relaxing time in camp, with Link, reminiscing about the day.
Thanks for all your cheering from afar…apparently I need as much as you’re able to give right now! So close…DoubleDown