Jeez, this will be intense.
Monday, March 16th
Last Friday and Saturday, I hit the trail with my pack fully loaded, hoping to clock some solid miles with my fully-weighted pack! What an adventure. Friday was absolutely beautiful, and I started at the North end of Bridge of the Gods, and headed North up the PCT into Washington. I hiked for 6 miles, before I was distracted up a steep hillside, and decided at the top is where I would eat lunch. I dried my feet off while laying in the sun, and read for about an hour. Once done, I headed back down, and celebrated with a victory beer at Thunder Island Brewing. I am assuming I did about 15 miles total. I wish I had poles.
That night, I slept at the trail head for Eagle Creek. Half way through cooking dinner, I realized my fuel was empty, so my potatoes were partially warm (meh)... should have ordered a burger at the brewery. While sleeping, the trickling sound of the rain slowly got louder, and louder. To the point, where I dug for my earplugs, and tried to get some solid sleep the last part of the night. I woke up to cars peeling into the parking lot around 8am (so lovely), and decided it was time to get moving. Within an hour of hiking, I was completely, utterly, and absolutely soaked with water. Stopping for food became a pain because water would drip into my bag, and I would begin to shiver from the cooler temperature. I passed Punchbowl Falls (Mile 2), the High Bridge (Mile 3.3) then Tunnel Falls (Mile 6). I continued into Mt. Hood National Forest, with the goal to sleep at Wahtom Lake, 13 miles from the trail head. I was surprised to see my fingers were evening pruning because of all the moisture. As I continued, I came to several river crossings, that took some creativity to leap over. Then came to a fork, with a half torn-down sign, and not too much clarity of which way to go. I knew East was the main direction, so I turned left. At this point, I had not seen anyone for a few miles, and my soaking wet attire was beginning to irritate me more and more. I then came to another fork. Eagle Crest left, PCT right. PCT... wait, I want Wahtom Lake! It was 2:30, and I was either going to be hopeful and choose one of the trails and hope it went somewhere I recognized, or set up camp and try to immediately maintain warmth, or book it the hell out of there. I started to think of my bed, and Adam, and what if I got myself lost, and how I just wanted to have Adam there, and how hiking the PCT is crazy... and as a million thoughts plummeted through my brain, I began the decent downhill, towards my car, over 10 miles away, hoping to arrive before nightfall. The creek slowly began to get dark as I backtracked my steps. I wasn't so lucky heading down the trail with those river crossings, and the first one I fell in after slipping on some moss. Scared me. I couldn't get Adam off my mind. I wanted to be home, I wanted to get in bed. I wanted to be warm. The first person I saw on my return was probably 4 miles from the trail head, and I immediately felt slightly relieved. I returned to my car and changed into my wool shirt from Adam. It felt so nice against my tender and cold body. The drive home was wet, the freeway was flooded, but I didn't care. I wanted to hold Adam. I wanted his warmth. I wanted to tell him please don't give up on us, I am going to hike this trail but I will carry you in my heart. I wanted to tell him I love him and I can see my entire life with him if only we could work more on our communication. I wanted to ask him to marry me right on the spot.
And then I made it to my old place.
Soaked and shivering because my car heater is not working, I ran up the entry stairway, up to the second floor, and entered a cold, and empty room. My stuff half boxed, and no Adam.
He was gone at the coast until Sunday. Camping.
Fml. Hello PCT.
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