Pacific Northwest Trail; mile 170.1

Friday, August 2, 2019 day 13

I woke up rather warm. The humidity level had risen while I slept.

It felt good to wake up in the woods, instead of roadside.

I packed up hurriedly as it began to lightly sprinkle.

Thunder cracked loudly.

It was 0714, it was time to go.

As I began my descent, the rain fell hard. I was so thankful that it did not rain on me last night.

I felt tired. I yearned for coffee. I had just over a half liter water. The next water source was roughly 3 miles away. Coffee would  have to wait.

The wind moved loudly, changing direction often.

Th woods are so beautiful. The forest floor rejoiced, illuminated by each drop of rain. The scent of moist dirt and wildflowers filled my soul.

But I am cold. I long for the sun.

I passed the water source. Tucked away within some brush, the spring was not clearly visible. Due to the rain, I was unable to hear its trickle.

I turned back, trying desperately to hear it through the rainfall.

I spotted a light footpath in the tall grass.

The spring was fantastically beautiful. It was not flowing strongly, however.

I collected enough water for breakfast and coffee. I then propped up my Smart Water bottle with stones to catch the tiny streams of water as I ate.

The rain ceased as I unfolded my mat to sit upon. The sun came out and kissed my skin.  I removed my hat and let sun-rays flood my face. Every once in a while a spattering of drips called my attention, but to my relief it was just the breeze casting residual water from the pines of the trees. The warmth came and left and came again with the passing of clouds. Oh please stay uncovered in all your glory, dear sun!

I finish breakfast and coffee, and prepare a lunch of textured soy protein, walnuts, nutritional yeast, and seasonings. I have determined that I am just fine with textured soy protein as a backpacking food. It was especially tasty with sun-dried tomatoes, though I had mindlessly depleted my stash one by tasty one last night.

I could hear the Earth suck the spring water back down and under where I sat. At first I thought it was an animal through the woods, but the perfect rhythmic patterns of sound, and no response to ‘hey bear!”, made me realize otherwise.

I knew that lounging in the sunshine and slowly taking in the beauty of it all would lead to having to face worsening weather down the line. Somehow, I did not care.

I continued on my way.

I move slowly, but with persistence.

I gazed at Mount Henry. I could see a tower at it’s peak. That was where I was headed.

I made it to the look out tower by dark. The wind was a monstrous force.

The structures windows and door were barricaded by wooden planks. In the darkness I could not spot a way in. I tried lifting planks, only to find resistance. Finally, I lifted a plank part way to shine my headlamp through the window. I saw the door on the opposite side. I went around and found that the plank covering the door was easily removed. I entered. It was quite cozy. I was rather pleased with my home for the night.

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