I wake up and I am wet, but also warm. I eat two bars and some chips for breakfast, two other hikers wander by and give me fuel and so my coffee is piping hot. I’m almost to town, if I hustle I can be there by noon. I am 10000% over being isolated and soaked in the woods, and I’m going to make it happen.
My pack feels like it weighs twice as much on account of its complete saturation. I am stressed by my wet quilt, my wet electronics bag, my wet steripen. I tell myself Skykomish awaits, that I’ll shower and eat and dry out there. The state of my stuff doesn’t matter so much now, I just have to go.
And so I do. I race to Carrot and food and a clean, dry bed. I find her in front of our motel room, smiling in a soft shirt covered in ferns and with hair bleached like the sun. She brought me Indian food in shelf stable pouches, kombucha, baked tofu, iced coffee and salad greens. She carried two huge heavy grocery bags on two busses, complained not even once. She kisses me outside the restaurant, in the hiker lounge at our motel, in the train museum, at the deli, at the post office where I send my microspikes home, in our bed. We touch one another very softly all over and then we take a zero. Bogwitch joins us again, full of their own stories of struggle and rain in the mountains and I am full and dry and content.
Tomorrow, we hike.
📍 This section of the Pacific Crest Trail is on unceded Puget Sound Salish and Columbia-Wenatchi land.