Day 130 – At Least Once

I sleep alright after I put my earplugs in, dull the edges of the sounds around me. I wake a couple of times given that, with earplugs in, there’s no really localizing sound, and there are a couple of sounds in the night that could be… well, could be whatever; my brain doesn’t care about them, and puts me back to sleep. When my alarm goes off, all it cares about is coffee and food, and I’m the first up and first out, grabbing water at Lava Spring before I head northward into the morning. Continue reading

Day 127 – lol nope

There’s so much to catch up on when my alarm goes off at 5:50 – I start writing furiously about my Labor Day weekend and yesterday and entering Washington and and and. My sitemates start moving around 6:15, so I guess it’s cool to properly start my day. I cook and eat dinner – so much easier to eat when food is hot, even if it does take forrrrreeeeeeverrrrr to cook – and chat with my spotmates who are either being nice or being so passive aggressive that it passes for nice. Well, it’s not something I can fix now, though I do throw out another apology for rolling in late last night. I try to pull chocks fast, and I’m out by 7:45 – an hour and a half with dinn-fast, not bad – before they start making moves in earnest. Continue reading

Day 126 – Last State

We’re up pretty early, earlier than Seamus needs to be, so he can take me back to Cascade Locks. I’m wistful about leaving – Seamus has this view of the world that cuts through a lot of my the bullshit, and his honesty has this way of speeding me to conclusions I’ve nearly arrived at myself. He’s always a breath of fresh air, and my time with Alice and him has been a healing one. Still, I’ve one more state to walk, and it’s time to get to chores so I can get to walking. Continue reading

Day 125 – Just a Little Bit

It’s Labor Day, so post offices – like the one in Cascade Locks, where a new pair of shoes and my 3F sleeping bag are waiting for me – are closed, so it’s a vaguely-guilt-free zero in the Portlandian suburbs today. It’s 6am when I find myself awake-awake – curse the sun and my inability to stay asleep long while it’s up! It’s entirely too early for Seamus and Alice to be moving, so I guess this means getting my writing and internetting out of the way so I can spend as much of my waking time chilling with them as possible.  Continue reading

Day 124 – Soar

6am is the new 5am – between the days getting shorter and the seemingly ever-present cloud cover, it’s basically still dark. But by the time I deflate my sleeping pad and evaluate the day’s water and elevation and mileage, it’s light enough to see by. I touch the things I’d hoped would be dry – my wind shirt, my socks, my gaiters – and find them all still damp, and in the case of the last two, that were cozied up under my sleeping pad all evening, more damp than they were before. The magic of the Cascades. Continue reading

Day 123 – Hood(ie) Weather

It’s a cold, wet night – I burrow down into my bag, but it only helps so much, and I’m grateful that my 3° bag is headed to meet me. Not that it’ll be warm if I’m not able to keep it dry, which is not so difficult while it’s in my backpack so much as difficult at load-in/load-out time. I wake a couple of times thinking the bag’s gotten wet somehow, but it’s just the cold – my Mountain Hardwear tent, despite the wet, is holding strong. My leg is pretty annoyed by the bite/sting/whatever though, forcing me awake to try to make it comfortable. At 6, it’s still too cold to leave my cocoon, but at 6:30 I have no more excuses. I start my coffee and the sad business of putting on cold, damp clothing.

Continue reading

Day 122 – Poisonous and Venomous

I wake several times in the night to particularly loud droplets splattering on my rain fly and the snores of my compatriots. Once, I even think I hear something moving out there, and when I fall back asleep I continue a murder mystery dream I’ve been having on and off again on trail where my two next door neighbors die and I look culpable. I wake up at 6 and peer out, happy to hear Zippee’s call and Sleepy’s response about the dark and the cold and the wet. We hold out as long as we can before it starts to get ridiculous, and I’m out and moving by 7:45. Continue reading

Day 120 – Into the Mist

I wake at 5:45, and while nobody’s rustling yet, it’s time to get out and moving. I’m hoping to do 30 today, but I’ll settle for anything over 25, really. Just a solid day of moving down the trail. It’s 6:45 by the time I’m ready to roll out – a little later than I’d like, but it can’t be helped. I can’t get out in under an hour, apparently. Still, I’m reminded that I’m earlier than I could be as I wave to Butterscotch, doing his first stirring in his bag. He’ll catch me, and then I’ll have company, at least for a minute. Today’s going to be a good day. Continue reading