Mile 2111.7-2121.4 (9.7)
Pat drops me off back at Lolo Pass at 5:45pm. We say our sad goodbyes, then I disappear into the woods. I want to get a few miles in tonight before camping.
I give myself another little pep talk about how great Washington is going to be and how it will be OK to go another three weeks without seeing Pat. I have been so spoiled this last month, taking off nearly every weekend to spend time with Pat. Now, I am back to full-time hiking, no more days off. It may not be easier, but it is simpler. Just hike, all day every day. And I’ll see Pat again after I’ve reached Canada.
I only think about those things for the first hour. The trail is soft under my feet, the pines are so lovely. The sun dips toward the horizon, disappears in a blaze of orange, the sky darkens. I’m walking on a ridge and there is a steady wind. I see a clear blue lake down below me. Further on, Mt. Hood appears over my left shoulder. It starts to get dark and I think about setting up camp. There’s a campsite in 4 miles, and I consider going for it, but then I see a nice flat dirt patch, just right for cowboy camping, with a good view of Mt. Hood. Home for the night.