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Day 140: Waiting II

Day 140: Waiting II

We had shared the hotel’s bunk room with Doc and Colin so we had breakfast with them – a buffet on Sundays, perfect for hungry hikers. Endless plates of bacon and Spanish omelette, blueberry pancakes and fresh fruit. And coffee, of course. Given we weren’t planning to leave Skykomish today, we went along to the home of trail angels Andrea and Jerry Dinsmore and their converted garage called Hiker Haven. They have an old TV and DVD player so we…

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Day 139: Waiting

Day 139: Waiting

Skykomish is a pretty small town, with one hotel, a pub and a post office. The food at the Cascadia Inn is pretty good, and the library opens on Saturdays. We caught up with Doc and Colin over breakfast, which was great as I haven’t seen Colin since the desert. We also managed to get laundry done at the new laundromat, which apparently was a big deal when it opened in the last couple of years. Whilst we had things…

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Day 138: The Day I Flew Out of the Mountains

Day 138: The Day I Flew Out of the Mountains

We had been hoping that Chug’s knee would improve overnight but it became clear early on that that was not the case. He couldn’t put weight on it, barely able to hobble round camp supported by trekking poles. I had no cell service (normal for the mountains) so I ran down the hill to where I’d seen two thru-hikers camped last night, to see if anyone had cell service with a different provider, or perhaps a number for the district…

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Day 137: Wet Walking

Day 137: Wet Walking

Today was rainy and misty for most of the day. The lake we had seen from camp the night before was blanketed in cloud as we hiked down the hill towards the Waptus River. The rocks and the wooden bridges were slippery and it was a relief to get into the forest where the trail was softer. I don’t know if it was the rain preventing proper refuelling or the tricky surfaces, but going was slow today. In addition Chug’s…

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Day 136: Washington’s Beautiful

Day 136: Washington’s Beautiful

This morning I woke to frost on the ground and ice on the tent. The early morning sunshine hadn’t yet reached our campsite and the temperature remained low enough to preserve the sparkling crystals on everything from leaves to trekking poles. The chill didn’t deter the camp robbers though, the gray jays. As we breakfasted and packed up camp I was diverted often to scare off a newcomer hopeful of some food scraps. Fat chance. The trail was steep and…

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Day 135: Civilisation and Wilderness

Day 135: Civilisation and Wilderness

Leaving Snoqualmie Pass was harder than I imagined it would be. Despite the patchy sunshine there was a definite chill in the air and the damp I associate with autumn hung over the valley. We delayed the inevitable as long as possible: had a lazy morning, a late breakfast and did a good amount of lounging on the sofas in the lobby of the Summit Inn. We also had a great lunch from the Asian-inspired food cart across the parking…

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Day 134: Snoqualmie Pass

Day 134: Snoqualmie Pass

The 18 miles to Snoqualmie Pass were supposed to feel quick, compared to a normal 25-30 mile day, but the terrain is pretty rocky with some steepish climbs and descents so it didn’t quite work that way. Nevertheless we could hear the roar of I-90 by noon and we were at the pass before 2:30pm. We arrived to find a small crowd outside a food cart, including Jaywalk and Thinmint who had arrived a couple of hours before us. They…

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Day 133: Washington Trail Magic

Day 133: Washington Trail Magic

The inhabitants of Camp Urich awoke this morning to misty meadows. We, and Stargazer, were the only ones with dryish tents having pitched in the woods, whilst those close to the meadow or in clearings were covered in dew. The hike up the hillside was chilly and damp, and we moved in and out of the cloud for over an hour. We stopped by a small spring as the sunshine was just appearing through breaks in the cloud and I…

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Day 132: Social Day

Day 132: Social Day

We left the strangely well-populated Dewey Lake early, and soon came upon highway 410 at Chinook Pass, a major route into Mount Rainier National Park. There were already lots of cars there and we could see where the weekenders had come from. It also had an outhouse. Luxury. Not far along the hillside we came to Sheep Lake, also popular with day hikers. We stopped to eat second breakfast and enjoy the views before¬†climbing steeply out of the lake bowl….

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Day 131: Autumn Leaves and Snowy Mountains

Day 131: Autumn Leaves and Snowy Mountains

Today started well with real coffee and breakfast in a warm trailer courtesy of Joan and Dave. They also gave the three of us a ride back to the trail at around 7am to get a good early start on the hiking. The highlight of the day was the vivid autumn colouring that was so prevalent in the bushes. Inside the forest the lower plants remain green and lush still, despite the dryness of the year. There are grasses, thick-skinned…

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