9/22 I wake up on the top bunk in the Mountaineer’s Lodge and hobble downstairs for coffee. My balloon version of feet are so swollen and cracked. I eat what is left of the breakfast – oatmeal and bacon – while chatting with Sam. I finally disengage with my phone and go downstairs to pack up. Twenty or so other hikers are also packing. We are all anxious to get back out there now that the storm has passed. We have a window of good weather for eight days.
I hike 22.5 miles, and pitch my tent in the dark, right off of the trail.
9/23 I wake to lovely and weird nature noises. In the morning, as I drink coffee, grouses come to visit me at my tent. I Slept well. I hike 26 miles through mossy, damp and dense forests that open up to blueberrry and scree fields. I enter Glacier Peak Wilderness, a magnificent area with beautiful views. I grow nastalgic for the footprints I leave behind here.
9/24 25 mile
Hawk two feet from me on trail .Glacier. Beautiful views all along the way. Hold out to eat lunch and dinner on the peaks, after some seriously tough and long climbs. Feel a nostalgia for the one step behind me. Nearing the end of the trail! Run into Triple F, Taylor and the Swiss two miles before camp. The whole crew is camping there tonight. Eat a lot today: tortillas with sausage, cheese and mayo, two belvitas, jelly beans with trail mix, dried mango, pad thai, chips, and two hot cocoas.
Wake at the junction for the old pct route and decide to take it. It is overgrown and wild. Vibrant green moss covers everything. Taylor and the Swiss catch up to me and we climb over fallen logs and ford the river together. After a 8 mile and 6,000 foot climb, I eat lunch. Onward! I want to make the 9:15 am shuttle bus to Stehekin tomorrow. On the decent, I see a big ass porcupine on the trail! He was slow and waddled his shy body off the trail and went up a tree to avoid me. I hike into the night, setting myself up for making the shuttle in the am. Feet itchy and sore. Saw porcupine on trail and climb tree. Hike w Taylor and the Swiss. Bakery tomorrow! Hungry