September 12, 2017: Hiked Miles 2586.3 to 2609.6 (23.3 total)
I was just getting ready to go to bed last night when I started hearing noises around our tent. I could tell it was a big animal, most likely a deer, and figured it would go away. But after a few minutes of it tromping around, it got closer to the tent and sounded really big. I don’t think I normally would have been concerned and would have made some noise to get it to leave, but we had just heard that there are a bunch of grizzlies up in this area. And the last thing I want to do is scare a grizzley. So I woke Colton up and we listened for awhile as it munched away and pounded the ground right outside our tent. Eventually it sounded like it was moving farther away so we opened the tent to take a look, but of course it was gone. We’re thinking it was probably an elk due to it’s size. But whatever it was, it didn’t want our stinky butts for dinner, thank goodness.
After our little adrenaline rush, it took me awhile to fall asleep and I didn’t wake up until 6:45 this morning, surprised I slept in so late.
We woke up to a cold morning, but luckily a dry and clear one. When I sat down to eat breakfast, I noticed a new hole in the top of my food bag. And upon further inspection I found holes in my Oreo bag, tortilla bag, candy bag, trash bag, cracker bag, and caramel sauce bag. Luckily whatever kind of rodent it was, hadn’t chewed a hole through my actual backpack, and didn’t actually eat much food. And it didn’t even touch the cheese or salami. Just the sugar. Whoever came up with the idea that mice like cheese hasn’t spent much time backpacking.
After breakfast we took off hiking and climbed up to Highway 20, where we got a little view of the surrounding mountains.
From the trailhead, we spent the rest of the morning climbing up to Rainy Pass. We passed lots of pretty streams for the beginning of the trail.
We spent lunch discussing all our great burrito ideas since the trail has taught us everything is better wrapped up in a tortilla. We decided baked beans, garlic mashed potatoes, and steak sounded like a winner. We’re gonna have to try it when we get home.
After lunch we continued our descent through the trees.
We have seen at least five runners on the trail today. It’s weird to see people moving so fast. I’m also jealous of their non-existent packs. But very impressed that they’re running out here. These are some long climbs we’re doing out here and they have to be running big mileages with the lack of access to the trail. It’s really inspiring. I can’t wait to trail run again when I get home. I think I will have a whole new appreciation for it now.
I have been smelling the sweetest smell the past few days, and no it’s not Colton. Its like a woody, cinnamon kind of smell so I’m guessing it’s some kind of tree. But it is seriously one of the freshest, sweetest, earthy smells. I get a big smile on my face every time I get a whiff.
We emerged from the forest and climbed through a dry valley between a couple of mountains, through thick, overgrown bushes and grass.
Now that we are getting close to the end of our hike, Colton and I have been reflecting a lot on the whole experience. He keeps saying that he can’t believe that our adventure is almost over and I keep reminding him that this is only one step in a series of lifelong adventures. I see life as a chance to live out our craziest dreams. You can be a dreamer or you can be a doer. Or you can be both. Everyone has dreams and a lot of people never accomplish many of them, because they think they can’t make them happen. But the more dreams I live out and accomplish, the more dreams I have and the more I want to do in life. And the more I know I can do. People succeed in living out their wildest dreams and desires every day. Why can’t I be one of those people? It’s not always easy to do what you want. It might require some planning and money-saving and a lot of work, but any dream is possible for anyone. And the more I try to make my dreams come true, the more I accomplish, and the happier I am.
If there’s anything I could accomplish with this blog, I hope it will be to inspire others to follow their dreams and make sacrifices for what they want instead of excuses of why they can’t. I am living a dream I had four years ago. And I couldn’t be happier.
Anyways… Washington is cold. Especially northern Washington. If we’re not hiking, we’re pretty dang cold. We got to our camp fairly early and ate dinner a little after 6:00 and by the end of dinner, my hands were numb. So now it’s 7:00 and we’re bundled up in our tent with all our clothes on and are still pretty cold. I guess all there’s left to do is read and go to bed early and hopefully get an early start on our big day tomorrow.