a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 2147.1 to 2162.1. Cascade Locks to woods camp.
We caught up way until after hikers midnight last night. So we sleep in, take showers, eat spaghetti leftovers for breakfast, write some emails, pack our stuff. And are ready by 11am. We stayed about 2 miles away from the Bridge of Gods across the Columbia river, which is the state between Oregon and Washington. And every aspiring thruhiker knows this bridge. It‘s a big milestone. Even for us who skipped the last 49 miles to get here. It‘s also known among normal people who read the book „Wild“ by Cheryl Strayed. Or watched the correspondent Hollywood movie with Reese Witherspoon starring.
We don‘t want to hike the 2 miles of course because they are of the kind that don‘t count. So let‘s try hitching on this rather rural street. But we were lucky yesterday when we went grocery shopping so let‘s try again. And again, the first car stops and takes us directly to the Bridge of the Gods. It‘s a big deal walking across it. It‘s rather long, it‘s high up with beautiful views on both sides. We are not really in a hurry since we only want to do about 10 miles this afternoon. We take our time, take pictures and take in the change of states. We made it to Washington.
We know Dario and I, unlike BigBro, didn‘t do the whole thing. But sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we still hiked more than 1700 miles and have been living trail life for 115 days now. It’s more than we ever dared to think about. So crossing this bridge, it’s a big deal.
And Washington, from the start, isn’t making this easy. We’re back in the woods, it‘s going uphill, it‘s going uphill fast and we realize that the altitude on our app has again been adjusted to match the terrain. A steep mountain on the app is a steep mountain in Washington. Here we go.
After about 40 minutes Dario realizes that he must have dropped his sunglasses. He turns around while I wait for him. BigBro is long gone by now. He finally comes back 35 minutes later, completely out of breath, having run the whole way back again, down and back up the mountain. At least he found the sunglasses again.
We meet BigBro out on a clearing where we decided to have lunch before and just when we start eating our couscous, it starts raining. We eat very quickly and start moving again, putting the rain covers back on our packs. And off we are again. Not exactly the most relaxed lunch break, but that‘s what it will be like from now on. We have to adjust to the weather and take our breaks when it‘s not raining. The trail leads further uphill, and our tentsite will be on top of that mountain. We are very focused now to reach it soon and hope it stops raining soon.
It does stop raining very soon and the sky is beautifully clear, but when we reach our campsite we find out it‘s already taken and there is no room for both our tents - which is why BigBro probably went on. We keep hiking straight for another mile, it‘s dark now, when we finally see a flashlight and hear BigBro calling out to us. He found some flat ground but there‘s not enough room for both tents. We are in pretty dense and steep forest and it‘s hard to find a large enough area, but we encounter one eventually and set up our tent in the light of our flashlights. It‘s nice to have company tonight in this very remote and dark forest. Our first night in Washington, and with new and functional inflatable pillows. Yay! Dario and I will get up early tomorrow to cover some ground before BigBro gets up. We will try to do 22 miles every day now so that BigBro will reach the Canadian border in time for his flight. We are aiming for the 6th of October.
The sky is clear now, but the trees are still wet and keep dropping down on our tent. A ground sound to fall asleep to.