Mile 2440.1-2461.7 (21.6)
Up before dawn, packed and walking in the early morning glow. Felt like I was sleepwalking. Took a few miles to warm up.
There were a few short, steep climbs between me and Steven’s Pass. I aimed to be at the post office before it closed at 3:30. Given my variable energy level over the last few days, I gathered all my tools: green tea powder, instant coffee, upbeat music, sugar snacks.
I charged up Piper Pass, totally awestruck and in love with the forest and mountains all around me. There was a clear and inviting lake below and I wanted to go swimming. Alas, the trail did not descend to it and I trudged on, now sweating profusely under the strong sun.
The final climb was not shaded, and the bugs came out in full force. These biting flies draw blood. When I hiked into the ski resort at Steven’s Pass, I was covered in sweat and dirt and dried blood. I smelled like vomit.
It was 2pm. I was in good shape to get to the post office as long as I got a ride to Skykomish, 15 miles west, within an hour. The highway was busy and in a few minutes a silver truck pulled over. I felt so bad about my smell and grime that I sat upright so as not to contaminate the car with my sweaty back.
In Skykomish, I picked up my package then connected with Tote Bag and Hot Wings, who said someone would be by shortly to take us to the Dinsmore’s. I gathered food for myself from the hotel restaurant and the deli and the fruit vendor in the parking lot, then sat on the shady porch and called Pat.
Whistler and his girlfriend drove up in the Dinsmore’s truck and all us hikers piled in. In no time at all, I claimed a bunk in the garage and had showered and started a load of laundry. Then I sorted my resupply and ate the rest of my town food sitting on the back porch talking with all the other hikers. So thankful for the generous Dinsmores!