Pacific Northwest Trail; mile 404.9

Thursday, August 22, 2019; day 33

I woke early and so happily in Sarah’s home. We sipped coffee over conversation. We talked about travel and exploration and the nature of small towns. She expressed interest in pursuing her own backpacking adventure! I encouraged her to do so.

She offered breakfast and blueberries as she prepared her morning smoothie. I was delighted with the hot coffee, and a handful of sweet berries.

Soon, I was over to Jaelle’s to say goodbye. Sarah and I hugged farewell. It was such a pleasure to get to know her. I will always remember her kindness.

At Jaelle’s they were eating a breakfast of rice and beans and tomatoes. Jaelle likes to feed people. I joined in. We chatted and ate.

They looked at my leg. “Oh, so much better!” they remarked.

I thanked them for their kindness, and headed out.

I crossed the bridge over the Columbia River.

I hit a downhill slope of travel. I let it propel me forward. My leg feels better. I feel motivated. I can do this.

The most challenging part of the road walk was the exposure. The barren stoney, tarry, dusty road reflecting a mid-day sun, in the oven of a valley.

Oh yes…and the strange metal creature with a human brain, and all their unpredictabilities as they merge as one at 30 to 60 mph.

I stop for lunch at Sheep Creek Campground. I eat at a picnic bench. I then lay myself flat on the ground with my feet elevated on the bench. I hold the position, imagining pools of blood and swelling rushing from my toes and pads of feet and calves and knees, flowing towards my heart; towards the mothership.

A bird came very near. The wind blows. There is cloud coverage. It is cooling.

The river was beautifully vocal.

I continued on.

Cows.

I watched them. They watched me

They walked away. I walked away. We both turned back to watch each other walk away.

I searched and searched but I could not find the listed spring, in the darkness. It being late August, it was very likely dry anyway. Besides, the nearby campsite did not look all too appealing. Roadways flanked each side.

I carried on. I came to a stream in about 1/2 a mile. Oh, what joy!

I looked around for a flat space nearby. I did not anticipate rain, I planned to star-camp.

I set myself up amongst twigs and leaves and duff and fallen trees.

I could hear the small things buroughing, and wading their little feelers through the forest floor; or it could be all my micro movements sending ripples through my down and water-resistant fabrics.

I left my sleeping bag partially open and my puffy unzipped. It was a warm night.

Oh what a weightless fluffy delight my sleeping bag had transformed to after a proper wash and dry!

I took two 25mg Benadryl. I settled in. I fear spiders more than I had before.

I read Almost Haiku #10 for the first time. It was a poem from the dear woman I met in Metaline Falls. The poem caused me to well with emotion.

It gives me the hope and serenity I need as October nears.

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