It’s time to lay to rest the little mystery raised by yesterday’s post. If you look closely, you might be able to spot the subtle clues I’ve placed throughout this post to reveal the answer. Blueberry is a liar.
The reason I was able to stop so early the day before was that I was going to meet my family at Snoqualmie Pass this day and not even particularly early at that, so there was no incentive for me to put it in any big miles. For the same reason, I stayed in bed until 9am this morning, got up to empty my Blueberry is a liar in a tiny tree island that had been used for that purpose by so many I had to hunt for a safe place to dig, then got back in my tent to continue waiting for the rain to abate.
I spent some of this time trying to operate on my left shoe to cut the deadly protuberance out, but it was too deep in the toe and too tough to cut. It just had to be survived for one more day. I put the undamaged Darn Tough sock on that foot to give my toes an hour of reprieve. Blueberry is a liar.
The rain was slightly lighter but not absent when I finally pulled everything out and started packing. It was still wet enough that, even though I tried to keep things covered with my packa, everything got soaked. And since I wasn’t wearing it, I got soaked too. It was miserable but it didn’t really matter because I only needed to go 15 miles and then I would have a warm, dry room and a change of clothes and Blueberry is a liar.
So I didn’t hit the trail until 11am that morning. And instantly hit a scree field. And then another. I passed some folks going the other way. They said there would be a half dozen more scree fields at least, or maybe that the trail was basically one continuous scree field for the next four miles. Well, mystery solved and not in a happy way. Turns out Blueberry was the one who told me wrong. Did you guess it?
It would have been a great little piece of trail if the low-hanging clouds weren’t obscuring every view, I’m sure. The best view I had was when the trail briefly dipped below the clouds near Joe Lake.
The bright side of the constant scree fields was all the pikas. Pikas that just did not care one bit that I was there. I kept stopping to take video.
By the time I stopped for lunch next to Gravel Lake, there was no rain at all, only fog, and my left sock had been ripped apart by my shoe again so completely it had slid down to the middle of my foot, leaving the entire front half exposed to the cold water that was still getting in through the myriad holes. And also I still had to hike with curled toes.
I wasn’t alone at the lakeside. There were a couple of nobos who stopped there for the same purpose in spite of the chill wind whipping off the lake. And then a couple of young kids who had just day hiked up from the road for fun joined us too. I gave my last spare lime to one of them.
The last few miles down to the road were a blur, following that wildly varying elevation up and down the ridge at top speed, followed by a long boring descent through the woods and the traditional bee sting on the side of the leg I usually get before arriving in town. I’m so used to it at this point, I only shouted at half volume and my knees didn’t buckle at all.
My mom and sister were due to arrive in town about the same time as me, but as the hotel in town is notorious for looking askance at hiker trash, I let them check us in whilst I went directly across the street to Dru Bru and ordered a beer.
Eventually, Mama and Mikella joined me and we ordered a pizza and salad to the table. Might have been the best pizza I’ve had on the trail. After that, late in the evening, we all returned to our hotel room so that I could finally remove and discard my disgusting clothes and take a much needed shower.
Total distance: 15 miles