Pacific Northwest Trail; mile 713.3

Friday, September 13, 2019; day 54

I had a terrible time willing myself to rise this morning. It is raining, but hardly.

The drops fell so hard last night that they shoock the ceiling of my tent, causing little drops of condensation to fall within.

My sleeping bag is warm, and my socks are dry.

I consider how this will be the longest stretch I have spent in the wilderness. I consider how powerful it has been.

The rain picked up again. I missed a clear window to break down my tent.

I am so thankful for the dehydrated meal of beans and rice I had been gifted. I portion the meal in to two servings: one for today, and one for tomorrow. I have done a good job of rationing food, this stretch. I have certainly felt the pangs of hunger, but have not felt weak.

I have been wearing the same wet socks for days now. My logic being, that donning my dry pair would only provide momentary comfort that would result in extra, wet weight. But the skin on my feet has begun to turn white and puffy. I think the time has come to change my socks.

I listen to the rain. A distant woodpecker joins the song. Tonight the moon would be full.

I am thankful, that despite these difficulties and discomforts, I am so happy. I am excited to hike. I love what I do.

The rain ceases as I gather water. I find my way among the numerous offshoots of paths.

As I climb, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace.

How amazing it was to be out of regions of burn, to be amongst the fresh, living green; inhaling a fragrance bursting with life!

The mountains were cloaked in fog.

I realized that my feet were so wet, due to two sizeable holes forming on either side.

I stopped. I sat on a fallen tree, pack still on back, and removed a large pebble from shoe. I ate 1/2 of the days portion of rice and beans. Oh, how delicious! I could feel the nutrients mash out of each red bean as I chewed. As a friend once told me: hunger is the best seasoning.

I move amongst such lush green beauty. The brush is very wet. Soon, I am very wet. The brush offers huckleberries, however. This softens the wet blows from each bush as I pass.

It was terribly cold as I reached Devil’s Dome, at 6,982.

I feared that night would bring rain. I feared over exposure in the cold.

I could not help but turn off trail, towards Bear Skull Cabin (which was actually a 3 wall shelter).

I am thankful for the planks within the shelter. They provide a buffer between myself and the cold ground. I hang my wet things on a line, and adopt a pair of large gloves that lay in the corner.

Rain did not come, only the light of the moon.

Maybe I should have pressed forward. I am disappointed. Disappointment does no good, however.

The Pasayten has proved an amazing teacher. I should be happy to spend one more night within its bounds.

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