I don’t sleep enough, but the sleep I do get is hard and good, a solid gesture. My throat feels weird, I eat ramen for breakfast, I drink instant coffee at the picnic table.
Eventually, we are ready to go. I hike for a five miles that truly flies by. I stop to poop, and the cat hole I dig is easy and good. There’s not much to focus on in the woods, and so I focus on that. It feels good to dig a good cat hole. It’s not as easy as one would think.
I hike to Blue Lake kind of dazed, kind of bored. The forest is generous and lilting and soft and to be bored is an offense but I am a human, a deeply flawed human. I at least try to handle my boredom eloquently, try to not complain in my head too much.
I’m sorry I say to the forest. I’ll try to be more appreciative.
We have an early lunch at Blue Lake and it is a glittering jewel beneath us. After lunch it’s lava fields and a sloping downhill that does not end and coniferous forest. I see Dave and Sunkist and Blue Jay, they’re stopping to camp a few miles before we do. We are now solidly between PCT SOBO hiker bubbles and it’s very lonely. Mostly I see north bounders all ripped and rangey and windburned and we don’t talk at all. I absolutely hate the idea of hiking Washington in September in the freezing rain, and I hate the idea of northbounding so fast that I’d finish before the rain came. For these reasons, I thought I’d never want to NOBO the PCT, but from this vantage point, it doesn’t seem so bad.
📍This section of the Pacific Crest Trail is on unceded Chinook land.