I’m up at 6 and writing – I’m still so, so far behind on my blog, and the catch-up has to happen sometime. At 6:45, it’s warm enough to poke my head out of my sleeping bag and I call it, start getting ready for the day.
The gents are hardly moving as I walk out at 7:45, and I wonder if I’ll see them again – particularly since some of them are stopping at Trout Lake, and the first crossing is in five miles. Time will tell, I suppose.
I roll on down the hill, over a dirt road and past a trail junciton towards the piped spring. I’m still stopping to pee every mile or so, making the going slow this morning. This can’t be tenable; I’m losing way too much water. I’ve had problems with dehydration in my frontcountry life – I’ve gone to the ER for it more than once – so I know I need electrolytes to try to get my body to retain at least some of what I’m drinking. I don’t want to break into my salt cache1, but I’ve got a Propel packet in this resupply. The grape flavor tastes like trash – I got rid of all those packets in Cascade Locks – but the kiwi strawberry is tolerable enough. I mix it strong at the piped spring, and force myself to drink it all before the parking lot and the first turnoff to Trout Lake.
From the parking lot, things shift sharply in an upward direction, past ponds lakes full dry.
Go go push push, up up up.
All the way up, up to 2200.
There’s service nearby, and a nice place to sit, so I plop down, drop pack, eat, take care of writing and not-hiking-life stuff for about an hour. It sucks to have to deal with that kind of thing, but the view’s not bad. Chukar Bird passes me as I’m sitting, then McG does the same – I’ve been sitting for like an hour. Ugh. Am I going to make 30 today, when I’ve barely made 12 and it’s 1pm?
I start to walk, come across the two of them taking a break with a view of Mount Adams.
Dang, I always stop too early. But I gotta hike if I wanna make miles.
The landscape is rolly polly for a while; since I’m not climbing, the breeze is chilly despite the sun, and I settle into my windshirt for the duration. The trail teases me with other views of Adams slowly getting closer.
I run into another brown southbounder, Doc Farrow, who’s fun to chat with. He tells me all about the best spots in Washington, and I listen eagerly, inordinately happy to be chatting with a new person who looks like me. McG rolls up while we’re talking, and rolls out when I do; we hike together for a while, since we’re probably going to end up in the same spot. Maybe. I haven’t decided.
I stop to pee – it’s been less frequent than it was earlier, but it’s still too frequent for comfort – and do some more math. If I stop early though – settle for nearly 26 miles – I’ll be able to keep catching up re: writing, to set up and eat dinner before it gets too dark. Maybe, if I take care of myself, maybe I’ll be able to make a 30 – even though the profile will be less gentle than it was today. On the other hand, if I make it to 25, it’s all downhill to 30, according to Halfmile. I’ll see how I feel at 25, I guess.
There’s a warning note on Guthook about all the frogs in this section, and OMG THERE ARE SO MANY AND THEY ARE TINY AND OH GOD I HOPE I DON’T STEP ON ONE. OhgodmaybeIdidalready. We’re losing amphibian species at an alarming rate already without my stepping on the ones that are left.
Through a trailhead parking lot and over some roads and down, down, to a paved road and, just past it, Mosquito Creek – McG has settled in in a solo spot on the south side, but there’s a bigger spot on the north side, and after looking at Guthook and seeing that there’s more climbing before the down – which I’m not up for – I decide to stop early, right around 7.
The joy of stopping early is that I’ve got my pick of nice tentsites. There’s a couple already there – and they’re friendly enough – but I settle into my night chores and set up far away from them to leave them be. As I’m sitting down to cook, my fuel canister feels concerningly empty – having just started to cook, I’m a little unfamiliar with how many meals I can cook with it, and I’m concerned I won’t make it all the way to White Pass with the fuel I’ve got. Cold soaking this food would suuuuuck. I’d do it for the calories, but it would not be fun. As I’m eating, Chukar Bird rolls in, greets me, and sets up as well.
I finish eating just as it’s getting dark, and, since this is a well-established site and I’ve heard great rumors of vicious rodents in Washington sites, I rodent-hang my food – or I hope I hang it such that it’s unattractive to rodents. It’s in an Ursak. It should be fine.
I get into my tent and limber up for tomorrow – I stretch out tight muscles, use my tennis ball on my thighs and calves, and do ankle alphabets in my attempts to give myself the best chance at a 30 tomorrow. That was the tradeoff, after all. Then it’s a bit more writing before curling up to sleep.
Start: 2190.5 • End: 2216.2 • Day: 25.7
Notable Accomplishments: Real-world accomplishments • 2200, 460 to go • Accepted lower mileage, hopefully in exchange for feeling better tomorrow
 Yes, I add salt to already salty hiker food. I’m a salt fiend.