LONG HITCH TO SKYOMISH
PCT Day 141: Mile 2450.7 – Mile 2465.7
Thursday September 1, 2016: 15 miles (24km)
It rained on and off overnight and the wind came in gusts. At times it felt like the tent was going to get airborne but all was well in the morning. I woke early as usual but as it was raining I thought it was worth waiting a while and promptly fell asleep again. When I woke again later on the rain had momentarily stopped and so I hurriedly packed up and got on trail. I hiked less then 5 minutes when the rain started again. So much so that all seasonal streams had a good flow and the cloud hung low on the landscape.
There was not many photos taken as the rain was so heavy that I had the phone buried below 3 zippered garments. It was also surprising that there were a few groups heading out southbound in the inclement weather. They were all very cheerful almost as though this is what they expected.
I made reasonable time to Steven’s Pass and the closer I got the more the weather outlook improved. It was then a matter of hitching the 18 miles to Skykomish. Windy, a fellow hiker also had his resupply package sent there so we teamed up to hitch. Corky and I have been extremely fortunate that we have not waited longer than about 10 minutes for rides in the past. Windy and I were not so fortunate, although there was a lot of traffic, it took about an hour and a half to get to Skykomish and perhaps two hours to get back. There were good burgers to be had at the cafe and finally a chocolate milkshake and a beer.
Windy is from Boston and grew up right next to Heartbreak Hill hill on the Boston marathon course. He is also an accomplished cross country runner and although he has had Boston qualifying times is yet to run it. When he does run it he wants to try to finish in the top 100 which will mean an outstanding time of around 2.20.
Once back at Steven’s Pass, I caught up on some correspondence as there has been no phone service for 3 days. It surprising how many emails and Facebook posts came in. It was then a matter of jumping back on trail and managed to get about 3 miles in before darkness came and fortunately the rain held off while I put up the tent. I cannot complain about the rain as the last time the rain gear was on for rain or snow was about 1500 miles ago.
I now have about 180 miles to the Canadian border and lot of hikers are asking themselves or others “What’s next’? Some are continuing their hiking journey by going to New Zealand and hiking the Te Areora trail. For Corky and I it will be some car touring of the Jasper and Banff regions of Canada and then Washington and Oregon. Costa Rica, Guatamala and Cuba are also side trips to Colorado, Southern California and New York before returning to Australia towards the end of December. So the adventure will continue.