I took one day off and its like I woke up in an alternate PCT reality. The lake steamed and my new friends’ heavy breathing told me all I needed to know. I quietly but excitedly slipped away. The trail this morning has been mostly snow free and my pack feels infinitely lighter even though I’ve been eating other people’s food and not much of my own. All of the river crossings have big boulders to walk on – no more death defying log crossings. My mind is free and the wheels are turning on all kinds of ideas that I haven’t had the extra brain power to think about. I feel… light, and free, and like I Can do this.
And now I’m in Lake Stevens. I’m clean and full and my laundry is done. My thirst for family is quenched; I’ve spent the evening watching TV and playing games, the guest at a familiar barbeque with my new friends. They took a shortcut and found me hitchhiking from Stevens Pass in order to resupply. Taylor’s girlfriend picked us up and immediately invited me to dinner with ‘Cathy,’ who was purported to be a great cook. She didn’t disappoint. She prepped kale salad with grilled asparagus, and raspberry cobbler from scratch, while Jesse, her soon to be son in law grilled up corn and flank steak to perfection. Cathy even made homemade whipped cream. We held hands and Leanne, her daughter, said grace for us. Then we chowed. We stayed up till midnight paying hearts and watching Baby Mama and an episode of Parks and Rec. When everyone was good and melted into Cathy’s divine couch my new friends took me home and Adam, although he’d already settled into the spare room, took the couch and gave me the futon to help me escape the cats. I’m allergic.
So here I am. In six hours I ate lunch (a half pound bacon cheeseburger with a mound of crispy steak fries,) a snack (the world’s biggest triple chocolate chunk cookie and a caramel peanut butter pastry bar,) dinner (steak, corn and salad) and dessert… Twice (the second dessert was these delectable 75% dark chocolate dipped frozen bananas that Cathy had found time to make before we arrived.) That’s a lot of food, maybe more than I’ve ever eaten in that short a period of time, and I just feel mildly full. I joked to Adam that I’m really hiking the trail to cover up an eating disorder. I know, this stuff sounds mundane, but its really meaningful to me.
Start: Lake Janus
Camp: Not tonight!
Distance: 8.5 miles