Daily mileage: 23
Well today is a town day, but I have to get there first. 23 miles to go isn't the shortest walk to town but it's totally doable. I woke up around 4 to see that the clouds had rolled back in and I was in the fog. It seemed a little drizzly but the real drama was the thunder and lightning. Watching lightning light up the fog in the distance was pretty trippy. I fell back asleep for a bit but when I woke up again I decided to waterproof all my stuff (ie stuff into ziplocks) and head out. Into the predawn mist I walked. This is the Washington I expected, misty cold and wet.
Nothing like fog to set the tone of the day. I heard a creepy buzzing noise and entered a clear cut after miles of forest and I felt like I was in a horror film. It took me a few minutes to realize it was just high voltage power lines buzzing away, what an unsettling noise. As I continued to climb I turned a corner and suddenly saw the sun. What views the trees were hiding!
But even as I watched the fog rolled over the hills and I was back in the mist. Another very cool sight, that was some quick moving fog.
Up and down I went in the mist. A quick break at Twilight Lake and then back to climbing. A button switched on and suddenly I was back in the sun, up to Mirror Lake and the land of the day hikers. A few gorgeous miles and lots of chit chat, even some huckleberries.
Then as I turned a corner I was sucked back into the mist. The trail got rockier and I got crankier as town seemed to still be much too far away. Plus it can be very disconcerting to hear what sounds like helicopters for a few miles but not be able to see anything at all.
Down through meadows and then the top of my last climb and past a trail register, I knew I was close with only a mile and a half to go! As I was standing at the top I got to talking to some very excited day hikers and they reenergized me and fed me. Win win situation. Grinning and skipping I headed down the last few miles.
Even as the trail headed down a ski slope and away from town my grin remained. Less than a mile down the road and I was knocking on a motel room and happily surprising Wrong Way and Caveman who weren't sure when I would actually appear. They had done insane miles (a 50 and then 42) and gotten there the day before. But hey 23 by 2 pm was pretty darn good by my standards. Then it was a lovely afternoon of showering and catching up and finally not feeling clammy as can be. Food and other hikers, what more could I want?
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