Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mile 2401.7: night hike first

We had 25 miles to do today, and Micro's dad was going to meet us at 6:30 at Snoqualmie Pass. In order to make that happen, Micro and I woke up at 4:30 and hiked together for the whole day. I felt bad that she had to wake up early and hike slow in order for us to make our rendezvous time, but she insisted that she wanted to.

We started hiking in the pitch-black, and watched the horizon get splashed with color, blaze brighter, and finally the sun come up. It was really beautiful. We passed lots of blueberry and huckleberry bushes, I practiced my stealth-nab: not stopping to pick, but deftly grabbing one as I trot by. It sounds cool in those words, and feels cool when it works, but I mostly just get empty or purple fingers.

It started drizzling 1-2 hours before we got down to Snoqualmie Pass and I-90, and going downhill through rocky stretches hurt my knee so bad, but it was hard to be miserable with a warm, dry car so close. We made it to the pass by 5:35, and thanks to cell service, Micro's dad was waiting for us.

As we loitered in the parking lot, a guy rode his bike-trailer up to us and started talking. He had a straggly white beard and leathery skin, he was missing most of his teeth, and those that were there were sharp and brown as coffee with just a splash of cream. His clear-blue eyes had teeny-tiny pupils. From looks alone, I would have called him a crazy old meth-head homeless guy, but he told us he had just finished hiking the Appalachian Trail last year, he road a bike from Maine to Washington this year, and now he's going to ride down to the Mexican border so he can hike the PCT next year. He kept telling us how much harder the AT is than the PCT. I'm fully aware that the AT goes straight up, over, and down steep mountains on rocky, rooted trails, and I have no desire to ever do it myself, but I do wonder what he'll think of waterless stretches, post-holing over snowy passes, sketchy river crossings, and the like.

Micro's mom greeted us in their Seattle driveway saying, "Hippie's use back door! You aren't nearly as aromatic as younwere in White Pass... But still, dirty stinky hippie hikers use back door!" After Micro found our missing passports in her desk, her mom said, "Whew, we nearly got a divorce over those documents!" We ate curry chicken (super good), pilaf, and carrots for dinner, and passed out as soon as we could politely get ourselves to bed.

- Typoed on my iPhone

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