Day 141: Hills, Hills, Hills

September 2, 2017: Hiked Miles 2395.0 to 2420.0 (25.0 total)

I could not fall asleep for forever last night. It was probably 11:30 before I did, and then I tossed and turned all night, waking up constantly. I’ve been feeling a bit run down so I could be getting sick, which would make sense because I never sleep well when I’m sick. Which is ironic because it’s the one thing your body really needs to get better. I also know that long cardio workouts can impact your sleep, so maybe my body is starting to not like all this tough hiking. Or maybe I just need a day off to reset. Hopefully that’s it. 

Anyways, even after sleeping fitfully, I still woke up at 6:15 wide awake. Looks like I’m stuck being a morning person now. The night and the morning were the warmest we have had in a long time. We had heard a warm front was supposed to move in today and it definitely did. Some locals were complaining that it was going to be so hot because the weather was forecast to be in the 80s. It was hard to hold back my laughter. Gotta love Washington. 

Our morning started with a climb, like always. We popped out of the trees quickly and had a view of Rainer to our south, encased in smoke. 

And our trail before us leading up the mountain:

We crested the ridge and had some even more amazing views. 

The smoke even made the views that much prettier. 

We passed above some of the most pristine looking mountain lakes. 

And we climbed up and down the hardest rock trails all morning.

It was exhausting having to concentrate so hard on every step so as to not roll an ankle or land on your face. 

But as always the best views always come with the hardest climbs. 

And these ones definitely made it worth it.

We were exhausted in no time, but kept pushing on, encouraged by our surroundings. The random huckleberry patches lining the trail didn’t hurt either. 

We went through a long dry section, only seeing lakes far below the trail. So we were quite excited when we heard the sound of rushing water and came upon this beautiful waterfall.

We filled up with much needed water and then kept hiking through a beautiful section filled with flowers. 

We found a place to eat lunch finally around 2:00, getting there a whole hour later than expected. Those rocky climbs this morning really kicked our butt. We plopped down in the cool shade and shoveled food in. Our friend Collin showed up so he stopped and talked to us for awhile. Time flies by when you’re having fun, and before we knew it it was almost 4:00 so we pulled ourselves up off our butts, said bye to Collin and hiked on.  

We had an easy couple of miles and then started the never-ending climb from hell. Ok, it wasn’t that bad. But it was filled with hot, relentlessly long switchbacks, overgrown bushes trying to pull you back down the hill, and mostly exposed to the hot sun. And of course, the top never seemed to get closer. I was so busy concentrating on climbing that I didn’t take many pictures, but I managed to grab a couple of the beautiful ridge we looked across to during our climb. 

We gazed at the sights when we had time to take our eyes off the trail, which is not very often if you want to avoid rolling down a steep hill. 

Finally, finally, after what seemed like a century we reached the top. We practically fell on the ground and chugged water. This 80 degree heat actually felt pretty warm. I might be turning into one of them already. 

I rummaged through my backpack pockets and found a couple mini candy bars to power us through the rest of our evening and we took off to hike a few more miles to our tentsite. 

Along the way we got a good view of the fire to the east, which we had heard could close our trail down, but hasn’t yet. 

Unfortunately it looks like the wind is blowing the smoke our way so we’re praying they can get it contained soon. 

We got water and made it to our tentsite a little before 8:00. A long day for only 25 miles. And a hard one. We quickly set our tent up, filtered water, and put on our warm clothes because the temperature was dropping fast. We ate dinner in the dark. Hot food never tasted so good. Even if it is ramen and potatoes. 

It’s 9:30, it’s cold, Colton’s asleep and hopefully I will be soon. Goodnight world. 

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5 thoughts on “Day 141: Hills, Hills, Hills

  1. Goodnight Jenn, goodnight moon! Goodnight to the young lady who’s coming home soon! Goodnight mountains, goodnight smokey skies. Goodnight to the trail life that gives you great vibes! Goodnight sweet huckleberries, goodnight pristine lakes. Goodnight to the Ramen that you eat in such haste! Goodnight to the tent that keeps you so toasty, goodnight to the trail angels that serve you the mostie! Goodnight my adventurous girl who lives life to the fullest. Nana would be so proud of your life, never the dullest! I HAVE GREAT MEMORIES OF READING GOODNIGHT MOON TO YOU, ONE OF THE MANY BOOKS YOU LOVED AT BEDTIME! Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is an excellent poem. I can see where you got your literary skills. I am greatly enjoying your prose and photos, almost as good as being there without the suffering. Steady on. It looks like you are going to make it all the way to Canada. This year of record snows and record fires is probably the hardest any PCT hiker has ever faced. Surviving it is something to be proud of. You really should write a book when it is over.

    Liked by 1 person

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