Day 130: More rain, more forest, more exhaustion!

Day 130
August 26
27.1 miles

I was so exhausted that I didn’t even want to sit up and check whether rain was coming into my tent last night at 10:13! I could barely open my eyes!
In the morning, I ate half a ziplock of granola with milk and then had one poptart with my coffee. It was a good combination of nutrition and sweetness! I wonder why it had taken me so long to figure that one out!
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I started hiking at 7:50. The air was cold and I wore my rain layers as I walked. The trail once again remained in the woods. The lady I had met at the Bridge of the Gods was right! Washington was very forested! I was not expecting this!
Immediately after I took a pee break, I reached a camping area with an outhouse! It was around 9:30 am, and a man was just breaking down his tent.
Once across the road, the trail climbed about 1500 feet. After a couple of miles, I passed by Sheep Lake, which my guidebook described as “gross, disgusting water”. It also seemed to be called “Duck Pond”.
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I continued to climb and found a sign that announced a shortcut, which seemed appealing. Not knowing where it actually went, I kept on the PCT.
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Just as I decided to take a break, the rain started coming down again! I hesitated and thought about continuing on, but then decided I needed a snack. I found a tree to sit under and since I was so cold, I boiled some water for my second cup of coffee. I found that I had reception and received a rare comment on my blog which gave my spirit a boost. It’s amazing what a few words can do! As I sat there, I heard some very loud voices approaching. A father and his three children eventually appeared and he apologized to me for the noise. He said he was giving them a botany lesson. They had been discussing the different colors of the berries along the trail and what the colors meant.
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Although the rain was very unpleasant to hike in and the temperature was cold, the miles were fairly easy. I listened to my yoga playlist music, which helped me get my mind away from things that have been bothering me. I also ate a second Snickers bar again. So much of my food was inedible to me now- either because it was stale, or because I could no longer stand it. My diet was starting to consist mostly of chocolate and coffee.
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I planned on stopping at the tent site right after Mosquito Creek, but when I arrived, I saw Story Time and a woman who I couldn’t see very well already set up. The woman waved to me and I waved back and then kept walking. I hadn’t collected water at the creek, as I had planned on walking back to it after I had set up. Now, I wasn’t sure what I would find ahead. According to my guidebook, the next source was nearly three miles away. The rain started once again and my spirits sank. Fortunately, I came across a nicely running creek and was at least able to collect water for the night and morning. Now, I just had to find a place to sleep! Thick plant growth lined both sides of the trail. I bushwacked down the trail a bit to check out a potential area, but it turned out not to be suitable. Later, I again went off the trail when the terrain flattened out. This time, I thought I could set up my tent in a small area in between some young spruce. It was now about 7:20. Again, I struggled immensely with my tent set-up. Knowing that it was going to be another wet night, I had to get it taut enough so the rain wouldn’t drip inside, but still be able to close my tent zipper. I cooked my dinner, washed up, and crawled into my sleeping bag. After another long and trying day, I finally closed my eyes.


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