Happy Arrival in Cascade Locks!
We don’t need to hitch into town, the PCT goes right through it.
We do our usual town tasks (shower, laundry, resupply) and not to forget eating!
I also get to pick up my parcel from REI. I had ordered my third pair of Merrell Moab Mid boots the last time I had an internet connection.
Yes! Shiny new boots to hike Washington with!
Also, I go to this super cute post office any send home my microspikes! I don’t need these things anymore!
We check out the river and have a late night peek at the Washington side before we go laying down in our amazingly comfortable hotel bed.
After breakfast, we will finally be walking over the Bridge of the Gods.
That’s such a milestone!
If you have seen the Wild movie, then you have seen this bridge. It’s the point were Sheryl Strayed ended her PCT. The guys and me though still have a whole state laying ahead of us!
“OK guys, let’s do this, let’s head over The Bridge.”
Oh my goodness it feels awesome to walk over the thing.
I am rather proud of myself to have made it this far.
It is now exactly 4 months ago since I started my journey in Campo at the border to Mexico.
My goodness it has been epic already! And there is more to come!
So here I am, walking over The Bridge into Washington, together with my trail family!
Alright, this was fun.
Now we have some serious business to do. It is going to be up all day. And there will not be enough water, so we have to carry extra. And I have this annoying pain in my Achilles tendons. Painful in my left leg and very painful in my right. And on top of that, I seem to have a cramp thing going on again in my right calf.
Oh my, today is hard.
I am struggling.
I take lots of Ibuprofen and will take some more when I go to sleep.
Passing out by 8 pm.
I slept well, my alarm goes off at 5 pm. We had agreed that we need to get more miles in per day if we want to make it to Canada before the snow comes.
It is my birthday today.
Weather a bit cloudy this morning, but that’s totally fine! I was longing for this kind of weather!
After lunch, Felix and Andy have a surprise for me! They both sing Happy Birthday and hand me a super cute card they head written.
Plus, I get a huge super amazing fudge from Felix!
That’s the perfect gift for a hungry thru hiking Heidi! Big smile on my face!
I eat half and save the rest for later. It is too precious to gulp down in on go.
Andy: “Do you want my gift now or later tonight when we have dinner?“
Oh! I get more presents!
“Uhm, I wait for dinner, so the surprise lasts a bit longer”.
Are these guys not absolutely wonderful?
We hike on and get slowed down by all these berries!
Oh its a long day, and we are all super tired and ready for camp.
No dry camping tonight though, we have plenty of fresh water from a river we camp right next to.
So appreciated! We all have a bath, even though the water is rather cold!
I am knackered and totally done with hiking for today.
“Do you want your present now?” Andy asks?
“Close your eyes”.
I open them and Andy holds this bottle of red outdoor vino in front of my face!
“Holy shit did you carry this?!”
“Thanks so much man!”
I am totally overwhelmed by my trail family once again.
Here are my presents:
[I know, I look pretty damn old and knackered in these pictures, but Felix says:
“Not many people have hiked 20 miles on their Birthday”.
I guess that’s true! So it’s OK.]
We open the bottle and pour wine into our outdoor plastic bowls. It tastes amazing and I get tipsy right away.
“Thank you so much you two wonderful guys!”
We even have a freeze dried dessert tonight! Extra special birthday treat!
I go to sleep tipsy, and very happy.
We agree to throw our 5 am plan over board and get up at 6 am.
A lot of uphill again today.
I hike up the mountain pretty fast and feel this pain in my right calf but ignore it.
It gets worse, I still ignore it.
“Outch! Oh my! That’s not good anymore!!”
Something seems to have snapped in my calf.
I still try to ignore it but ignoring does not seem to work.
I can’t walk anymore! It hurts too much!
I take a strong painkiller and hope it gets better soon. I sit there a little with Felix and wait for the pill to kick in.
Hmm, OK, I can walk now, but only if I try not to use these muscles back there.
I hobble up the mountain and am miserable.
Well, what can I do. I need to take a few more painkiller and try to relax and walk in a way so that I don’t stretch these muscles back there.
Be strong Heidi, you can do this!
Remember what PCT stands for; “Pain Constantly Tolerated.”
We hike through endless woods still. Some of them are amazing, lush and green with lots of ferns, and moss.
But some are a bit, well, never ending.
Never bloody ending pine forest!
Almost all of Oregon was forest and the first days of Washington are too so far! I really look forward to some changes in scenery soon!
I imagine that one can perhaps go a little bonkers on the PCT in those woods if one hikes alone?
Great though we get to pick all these delicious huckleberries still!
So but today is a big day! It’s August 21st.
The Solar Eclipse is happening!
Back home, I had planned trying to be in the zone of totally today. But as I know now, there is not much one can precisely plan out here! We are too far north already.
(And there is smoke from the wildfires further south anyway).
But we probably still get too see a perhaps 90% eclipse!
Felix has a plan:
“If we leave the trail a few miles after camp and bushwhack a bit through the woods, we will come to a dirtroad outside of the trees and will have a full view to the sun!”
So that’s what we do, and sure enough get a view at the sun sans trees in the way!
We now sit here on this hill and watch the eclipse!
It is getting darker and cold as the moon inches its way towards the sun.
We are all amazed!
It its just a little sad we are about 120 miles too far north now already to get to see the Corona.
But as I always say on the PCT:
“Don’t ask for more when you get oh so much already!”