I’m in Washington, the final state of the PCT. According to the data book there are only 500.3 miles of trail once you cross The Bridge Of The Gods at Cascade Locks and that’s what I did this morning. Galen, Riddle’s unfeasibly tall brother, dropped me off on his way to Portland. After I crossed the bridge, taking photos and video during gaps in the traffic (there’s no foot path, one has to hope two trucks don’t pass a walker at the same time), I began the mean climb up to Table Mountain.
Washington certainly wasted no time in teaching me why after 4 months of pretty intensive training I still won’t be able to breeze through the last few sections. It was already warming up in the forest and I sweated my way up the trail alone with my thoughts for quite a way. I briefly entertained the idea that I have done enough and I can go home now, but that didn’t last long. The dreams I’ve had that have me home without completing this are enough to keep me going. So go I did.
I came across a south-bounder who started on August 8th and reported no snow at all which was good. I found it really hard to listen to him though. It was as if he’d just taken one too many Prozac, so slow and dull that holding a conversation with him was dragging me down too. The next two were far more active, but hadn’t seen the Noodleheads. I finally got news of them as I reached Rock Creek and I expect to catch up to them by lunch time.
I’m very glad they suggested sending my food box to Stabler’s Country Store (12 miles from tonight’s campsite). Carrying 6 days of food over today’s hill would have been really tough.
I saw three snakes today, nearly stepping on two of them. For creatures that are supposed to sense ground vibrations they did a poor job of noticing me stomping down the trail. They were all quite small and had black and white stripes running head to tail giving the illusion of staying still when they were really moving.
At the Ballinger household I saw a quote from Riddle’s journal about PCT hikers being like ants. I especially like the one about how our purpose in life is to follow the trail.
More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Cascade Locks to White Pass