That’s what this whole section felt like. Walking on a saw blade.
The elevations aren’t very high like the Sierra, topping off at only 6,400′ or so. But each day is a day of tough elevation gains and losses.
If you’ve paid attention to the numbers at the bottom of each day, you’ll recall that we were consistently hitting 24-26 miles per day in northern California before we skipped up to Washington. Here an 18 mile day is a tough day for us. A 19’er feels epic.
But we keep at it.
So things like this happen.
That’s our quickly scratched marker to signify that we passed 2,000 miles on this hike.
It’s not as fancy as the usual ones every hundred miles that someone has done, but it works.
Day 152 – 19 / 2,003 (2,431)
More sawtooth. Plus a day of water crossings.
Late in the day we ran into an older couple that warned of us a wasp nest on the climb few miles ahead. Something to look forward to.
Late afternoon, we arrived at a stream next to a campsite and called it a day. Our intended campsite was just another two miles or so, but at the top of a very steep climb that gained 700′ in half a mile. We did the math and figured we’d limp in to the campsite after dark. That assumed that there was space, since there was room for only 2 tents. If not, the next campsite was 5 miles after.
Not to mention the wasp nest on the top of the climb. We didn’t want to run across that in the dark.
So we had a relaxing evening after a tough 16 miles.
Day 153 – 16 / 2,019 (2,447)
“How do you make a hankie dance?
You put a little boogie in it”.
Old boy was slightly mistaken in his details about the wasp nest. He said it was the third switchback (of 20) from the top.
As soon as I turned the second switchback from the bottom, I saw the log that gave me a funny feeling. A few steps later, the hot poker in the calf. I yelled at Jen to run.
From her point of view, I started dancing a jig next to a rock about 10 feet in front of her.
I turned back to look at her standing there, considering how to run past a rock. With the nest at her feet. I yelled “run” again, just at the time she had a little bit of boogie put in her.
She had made it this far in life without the experience of a wasp sting. Now she knows.
As we got closer to Stevens Pass and the section and day hikers became more plentiful, we experienced what we had read and heard about – with just a couple of hundred miles to go to the border, thru-hikers are like rock stars.
The greetings, the questions and the cheers are very cool. Everyone is so supportive, even when we explain that we still have Oregon to finish.
But for now we are only a week and a half from Canada!
Day 154 – 15 / 2,034 (2,462)
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