August 25, 2017: Hiked Miles 2195.4 to 2226.5 (31.1 total)
We woke up to the coldest morning we have had in a long time. The campsite we were staying at had a pit toilet which was somehow way warmer than the air outside. I wanted to sit in it all morning until I warmed up. Instead we did push ups.
But the cold morning did help us with our first climb since we couldn’t feel our legs burning. Our first sight of the day was a look back at Mt. Hood.
We crossed through a beautiful meadow.
But Colton had decided that he wanted to do a 30 miler today. Our first 30 miler. We’ve had a lot of 29s, but no 30s. I’m not sure why we waited until Washington to decide to go big, but there is never a better time than the present I suppose. So I couldn’t lay around in the sun all day, we had miles to crush! And mountains too.
About half way through our day we decided to take a little detour on a trail that supposedly parralled the PCT for a few miles, but was supposed to have some awesome views. And after a steep climb up a hill and some sorta sketchy rock scrambling, we had some views alright.
So we made our way back down to the PCT and kept on hiking. We passed through some gorgeous fields.
We were just about to the stream where we had planned to stop for lunch when we saw this amazing sign on the road:
Wait, did you really believe that? Come on, you know us better than that. Of course we made a beeline for the trail magic.
And we showed up to find a previous thru hiker camped out on the side of the road cooking up tacos. We saw a bunch of familiar faces, some we hadn’t seen since the Sierras, and met some new people too. We grabbed a drink and took a seat to finally relax for a bit. We had fun reading all the ice chest artwork:
The tacos weren’t fancy, but man did they taste good.
We relaxed and talked to everyone for a bit and heard about all of Geared Up’s other adventures and trails he’s done.
After a couple tacos, a banana, and a beer we were back on our way. I wish we could have stayed for the movie, but it was already 4:30 and we still had ten miles to go to reach Colton’s goal.
The tacos didn’t sit too well with me and I was feeling really hot and weak so I told Colton to go ahead and I that I would catch up with him at camp. I had been feeling a bit out of it and tired all day and couldn’t seem to get my groove going. The minutes seem to crawl by and I couldn’t pull out of my funk. But after a few miles, the trail started climbing a long, steep hill. I started thinking about all these incredible women in history who have been brave and strong and done great things and I thought about how much I hope to someday be able to empower other women to follow their dreams and I got this adrenaline rush and burst of energy and I started conquering the hill with a newfound vigor. I felt like an Amazonian queen and nothing could stop me. I pushed up the hill, growing stronger the whole time and really started enjoying this butt-kicking climb. Instead of wondering when the hill would end, I begged it to give me more, challenge me, make me work harder. I told the hill to bring it. And it did. And so did I. The hill reminded me that I am a woman who thrives on challenge and the harder something is, the better I do at it, and the more I try. It’s easy to be lazy and take the easy way out, never climb the mountain, but it’s also not rewarding. But if you don’t push yourself, you’ll never get to see the view from the top. And the view from the top is always worth the climb. So many people muddle through life, never getting what they want because they’re not willing to challenge themselves. You don’t get happiness and fulfilment by being lazy, you get it by getting off your butt and telling that mountain you aren’t scared of it. And then climbing it. Whether it hurts or not. Embrace the hurt and sweat and blood. The smile you will feel at the top is worth it.
And when I finally reached the top and turned toward the sinking sun that warmed my whole body and surrounded me in a beautiful, bright, orange glow, I spread my arms out, tilted my head back, and let the biggest smile spread across my face. Embrace the pain. It will make you stronger. And it will take you up the biggest mountains where you will find your happiness.
I wanted to stand in the sun forever, but now I was in go-mode… and I really wanted to catch Colton. I ran/skipped down the hill and all the sudden came across this little guy in the dirt:
I popped out in the most gorgeous field and said hi to soms hikers camping there and kept on my merry way.
I caught him right at the road we’re going to hitch from tomorrow morning to get into town, and what should we find… more trail magic!
We got Capri Suns, fruit leather, fruit snacks, trail mix, apples, cuties, protein bars, and cookies. We were in heaven. People are so cool!
We shoved our treats in our bag and walked across the road to fill up our water and a little farther to a campsite that was already packed with people. It was almost 8:00 so we set up quickly and stretched as much as we could before making dinner and trying to stuff our starving bellies. We ended up doing 31 miles and picked a hell of a day to do our first 30 with all the hills we had. But there will never be a perfect time so might as well do what you want when you want to. This is the time.