September 11, 2017
Mile 2526.86 – Mile 2551.39
It got pretty cold last night, but I was able to stay toasty and warm in my quilt, which is definitely my favourite piece of gear. We were out of the tent early enough to catch a bit of the sunrise, which hasn’t happened in a while, and it was beautiful. We spent the first bit of the morning up on the ridge surrounded by the mountain tops being illuminated by the day’s first light, and then began to descend back down into the forest.
We had a big section of downhill to start the day, so we made really good time. The forest was super beautiful, some of the trees were absolutely massive. We had lunch near a bridge over the Suiattle River, and then it was time for the big climb of the day. It was almost 8 miles long, which was kind of scary because we weren’t sure how difficult it was going to be. Well, it turned out to be super easy, and we were able to crush it up to the top in really good time.
As we neared the top, the forest began to thin out and we could catch glimpses of the jagged mountains all around us through the trees. When we got to the top, there were some seriously gorgeous views as we descended down into a boulder-filled meadow. There was a sign pointing to a supposed campsite, and although it’s not really an ideal spot to pitch a tent (rocky and not very flat), this is one of the most epic campsites we’ve had. We’re wedged between jagged peaks on both sides of the meadow, which were lit up in a beautiful pink light as the sun sank behind the ridge.
We ate our cold dinners and then set about making up the rest of camp, and while I was in the tent getting the sleeping bags and pads set up, I kept hearing a rustling noise that seemed to be coming from inside the tent. I dismissed it the first couple of times as either Gummies throwing something into the tent or something shifting as I fiddled with the sleeping pads, but then I saw a flash of grey fur beside me. There was a mouse inside the tent! I obviously squealed and leapt outside, and luckily we were able to get him out the door pretty quickly. I had been dreaming of eating a Twix bar for breakfast tomorrow morning while still in bed, but now it is unfortunately outside in my food bad which is stuck in a tree. On that note, the zipper of the tent door seems to be giving out. We managed to get it closed properly after much finagling, and we only have five nights left after this (!), so hopefully it can hold out until then.
I can’t believe we have less than a week left on the trail. Today we officially hit the point where we have less than 100 miles to go until the Canadian border, and it’s really starting to sink in that this epic adventure is coming to an end. I still feel like I’m ready to be done, but it’s certainly going to be a bit of a culture shock going back to regular life. Today also marks exactly 5 months since we started the trail, and it’s kind of hard to believe that I’ve been out here that long, in the wilderness, hiking. Tomorrow we have 18 miles into the town of Stehekin, which is our final town stop on trail and I’m super excited. I’ll be dreaming of the bakery in town tonight for sure.