Day 152: Snow and Trail Magic!

September 13, 2017: Hiked Miles 2609.6 to 2635.4 (25.8 total)

We were both asleep fairly early last night so I woke up at 4:15 wide awake. I got out of the tent to pee and it was freezing. The moon was bright, but I could see a lot of clouds in the sky. I should have just got up then, but I tossed and turned for a couple hours instead and then felt really groggy when I finally did wake up. It was a freezing cold morning so we ate as quickly as possible. And also found this neat spoon someone must have widdled.

Someone must have had a lot of time on their hands. 

We started hiking and continued our climb up the mountain. The morning was amazing with the mix of the sun and the clouds in the distance. 

But then the clouds started to creep in towards us.

And before we knew it, it started raining. 

And then snowing.

Winter wonderland in Washington in September. 

We crested the top of the mountain and started singing Christmas songs and laughing at this ridiculous, but amazing weather. 

As we made our way northeast, we luckily emerged from the storm and things started to clear up.

We looked behind us and were glad to be walking the direction we were.

Before we knew it we were back in the bright sun, happy to feel it’s warmth. 

We walked out in the open on ridgetops all morning with views of the most amazing mountains.

We walked through an old burned area.

And then we arrived at Hart’s Pass campground and were greeted with the most amazing sight:

Trail magic! Hart’s Pass is the last road we cross before we hit Canada, and Meander, a 2013 thru hiker, was kind enough to come spoil us for one last hurrah.

It was freezing so we appreciated a break in the sun and more importantly, hot food!

He went all out with soda, beer, brats, and cooked carrots, onions, potatoes, and sausage. And it was all piping hot, right off the grill.

We chowed down, appreciating eating real food on the trail. After we filled our tummies, we thanked Meander immensely and went on our way.

We climbed out of the campground and into the sun and life was good. For about an hour. And then my body remembered it doesn’t know how to process real food anymore and it was all I could do to get off the trail and find a bathroom in the woods as fast as possible. I felt pretty sick for the next few hours with no energy, feeling like I was gonna puke. We stopped to take a snack break and I decided to refrain from lunch and give my stomach a rest. It might take me a little longer than I want to readjust to eating real food again. 

After a nice break in the sun to recoup and warm up, we pulled ourselves up to finish off our day. We had some more gorgeous views and were so thankful for how nice the day turned out.

We hiked on and on, freezing when the trail went into the shaded areas and celebrating when it came out into the sun. 

I started feeling better throughout the afternoon, but then it hit Colton and he couldn’t run into the woods fast enough. I guess that’s why hikers don’t carry meat and potatoes in their food bags. Not the best hiking fuel. But very good for cleaning you out. 

We made it down to the bottom of the hill and found some awesome artwork. 

I don’t know where all these hikers are finding time to be so creative. They must really not want their hike to be over. 

We climbed up a steep hill to finish off our day and stopped to fill up with water on our way up. We filled up all our water containers and carried almost 12 liters of water up the hill to our campsite. We’re going to slack-pack to the border and back tomorrow so we need enough for tonight, tomorrow morning, tomorrow night, and the next morning, plus some water to carry out tomorrow on our hike. Since the only water coming back tomorrow will be eight miles out, we decided we would rather carry a lot for a mile tonight instead of for eight miles tomorrow night. 

So we were feeling pretty beat when we made it to camp for the night just as it was starting to get really cold.

We set up camp and cooked dinner inside our tent because it was so cold and windy. Luckily both of our appetites were back even after our not-so-pleasent feelings after lunch. No matter how full or sick a hiker is, give them a couple hours, they’ll be hungry again. Although I don’t think I’ll be craving brats anytime soon. 

Now it’s 8:30 and we’re bundled up as much as can be, snacking on some candy and happy the wind has died down and hoping the storm has passed for good. Tomorrow we reach the border of Canada. I can’t believe the time has finally come. We’re praying for a nice, sunny day, but if I know anything about this trail, I’m sure it will throw something crazy at us. 

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