Pacific Northwest Trail; Cascade Trail Alternate

Thursday, September 26, 2019 (day 67)

I woke early, catching the tail end of the lightest knocking against the bedroom door.

I dressed and packed up quickly and Dave and I headed in to town for a morning coffee. I ordered¬† black drip with a shot of espresso, Dave a decaf Americano—he only drank the real-deal on race days.

We reached Baker Lake Dam before the sun. I connected my footpath and continued on my way to Concrete.

I stopped at the heated bathroom, not far from the dam. I had cellular service there. Earlier in the day I had noticed an e-mail confirmation from Lowa, concerning my replacement boots. They had mistakenly sent the boots to the address on file: my dad’s house in Northern California. Now I had to coordinate getting the boots to me. Satisfied that I had the ball rolling in the right direction, I ripped a compactor-bag up the side, draped it over my pack, and tied it around my neck. I stepped out of the bathroom and in to the rain.

About two miles in I realized that I had dropped a glove. I had no choice but to turn around. I scanned the ground with every step. It may be in the bathroom; this was likely. Upon arrival, I discovered no glove. I continued. I continued all the way back to the dam. There it was, wet and flat, sad and abandoned, in the middle of the road. I retrieved it with one swift downward motion and continued back again. I sighed deeply. At least I had found it.

Beautiful little mushrooms stood perky in a row; standing proudly in asphalt defiance, in embodiment of the Green Man. They uncovered a smile, causing me to kneel in awe and observation.

A fully-loaded logging truck slowed to a halt to offer me a ride. I was surprised at the unsolicited offer. I thanked the driver kindly, informing them that I wished to walk. 

I listened to the elongated bird cries from the misty woods; the crunching of gravel; the whispering brush of wind on leaf, leaf on ground.

Finally, I was in town.

I followed the Cascade Trail to the grocery store to meet Kay and purchase 26 miles of rations.

Back at their home, I picked fresh veggies from the garden as spaghetti squash baked in the oven. Dave and I snacked on raw beet as we all stood around the kitchen chatting.

Kay and I carried on in conversation and sipped tea into the night, long after dinner was over.