PCT Day 109: Can’t Escape the Rain in Washington

August 8

Mile 2331.6-2361.6 (30.0)

I woke many times in the night. My cramped body needed to shift positions constantly, always avoiding the puddles in my tent. Marmots called out to each other. The rain thundered.

It was quiet when I got up. It was still misty and wet but there was a break in the rain. My sleeping bag was damp but had dried a bit overnight. My shirt and jacket had dried, too. My pack, sleeping bag, and ground cloth were really wet. I started packing up.

There was a shelter 13 miles away, and I knew I could hunker down there if the weather got worse. Maybe there would be a fire and I could dry out my gear. I walked toward that vision. Keep going, don’t stop.

It rained off and on. The forest was so quiet. I passed very few people. I saw very little beyond the wall of fog.

I got to the shelter and saw it was empty. I had nothing to start a fire with. I layed out my gear hoping it might dry a little anyway. I sat on the porch eating dried strawberries and mixed nuts and thought about what to do.

In half an hour, I packed everything up and started hiking again. I hoped to get to Snoqualmie Pass tomorrow. I had to get in some more miles today to make that possible.

My feet ached a little. I missed the scenery. The conifers were pretty in a dark and serious way. Small birds fluttered around. The quiet weighed me down.

More rain. I counted down the miles. I wasn’t drinking much water but stopped anyway to fill a liter and chug it down. It’s always harder to keep drinking when it’s raining. Rain let up. I ate some snacks. I tripped on a loose rock, banged up my toe. I saw a precious spot of blue sky in the distance, then I climbed up into a denser cloud. It rained hard for a minute, then returned to misting.

I was glad when I got to camp. If the weather had been good I would have kept hiking. But all I wanted to do now was curl up and go to sleep.


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