Archive for September 10th, 2006

Reflective feel

Destination: Cougar Creek
Starting Location: Bumping River Ford
Today’s Miles: 31.40
Trip Miles: 2285.10
Bumping River (2317.4, 4100) to Cougar Creek (2348.8, 578) ascent (6673) descent (4698)

It’s 9:00 so this is going to be really short. Our plans to go to the shelter did not materialize as it was too far. But we did push all day with a goal of Morgan Spring. Well, 4 good navigators could not find that damn thing at 8:00 pm & so we are dry camping & conserving water on Cougar Ridge. It seems we are right in the flight path of SEATAC airport as well. The planes are losing altitude fast & making quite a racket.
The weather today was likely the most perfect of any day on the trip. It was chilly in the morning & gloves were nice. Then it warmed to a glorious 74 degrees with clear skies. We saw that Mt St Helens was blowing off some steam & Mt Rainer was our constant companion as we skirted the boundary & crossed into the national park.
What a people contrast from yesterday. Yesterday was camouflage & denim & today was tourist in white blouses & golf shorts. The parking lot at Chinook pass was filled with folks out for a beautiful Sunday drive. Some even ventured up the PCT a ways. Most were friendly, a few were neutral, & a couple were simply rude. I actually said good morning to one couple & commented on the beautiful day, and they both instantly looked at the ground, said absolutely nothing & kept walking. I could not help myself and so in my cheeriest voice I said “it was very nice talking to each of you, have a wonderful hike”. Funny thing is, I actually did hope they had a wonderful hike. They clearly needed it.
I wonder what it will be like not to hurt all the time. Right now my dogs are really tired and they simply hurt . . . They always hurt and it is only a matter of how much they hurt. I was looking at my feet at White Pass & it is obvious that my index toe has flattened and is now close to the end of my big toe. This is particularly true on the left foot.
The hike, while a long way from being over, is taking on a bit of a reflective tone. I have been thinking a lot about where I have been, what I have seen, what I have felt, how I have changed. Really neat stuff & a fun phase of the hike.
Must sleep now!


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