We don’t set an alarm. We wake up at seven, or maybe eight. Even when we wake up we don’t move quickly. I touch Carrot’s soft duck hair. She kisses the bottom of my chin. I like it here, with us together.
Eventually, she raises the shades. Golden light streams in and for the first time in a long time, I don’t think it will rain today.
We pack slowly and Bogwitch says they are physically and emotionally exhausted, they’re going to stay behind and take a zero. I understand, but it’s sad. I want a big gay hiker group!!!! Maybe after Snoqualmie.
We hitch from the Deli back to the PCT. There is a cardboard sign you can borrow from the deli, it says “PCT hiker to trail!!!!!” And it’s very cute but we don’t even need it. Everyone is Skykomish knows about the greasy puffies and the wild eyes. We are the people of the trail, and we get a ride within five minutes.
A woman with a chocolate lab picks us up and she asks a lot of questions. Eventually, we are to the trail and she bids us farewell in the parking lot of Steven’s Pass. There are a million little kid cyclists. There are a lot of day hikers. More people ask us a lot of questions and I feel overwhelmed and tired.
It’s time to hike.
And so we do! Up and under non operational ski gondolas, amidst the lupine. We climb steeply and we feel tired, sore, out of breath. We stop a few times to say “whooooo nelly this trail is hard”. We’ve both done this section before, Carrot many times over. But still it’s hard! It probably always will be.
We go up and down for many hours and then we are spent. Today, we’ll stop at 14 miles— just for fun and just because we can. On the way to our site I roll my ankle and fall, my knee is all bloody. I come up with a new theory that I roll my ankle in the beginning of each section, because it is when I have the most food, when my pack is the most heavy.
We find a depression we decide is a campsite amongst throngs of weekend campers near Glacier Lake. The water is cold and clear and very blue, I see why the weekenders came.
Carrot sets up the shelter and I gather water. We make greasy noodles for dinner and talk about slipping through the cracks in high school. We were both bullied and no one seemed to notice. I know teachers have a lot on their plates but I feel defensive for past us, regardless. Instead of wallowing, we lapse into our dog voices, though. Everything is happy and light in dog voice? Even past trauma, even slipping through the cracks.
📍 This section of the Pacific Crest Trail is on unceded Puget Sound Salishand Columbia-Wenatchi land.