Southern Washington is hot, humid, and full of mosquitos. It makes you wonder if it was a good idea to ban DDT.
- my mosquito head net is the single best purchase of my adult life*
- my tent is failing on me
- OMG! Less than 300 miles
For the past 1000 miles I’ve been hiking on and off with Radar (the owls met him in Shasta). He originally was aiming for trail completion in under 100 days, but didn’t start doing larger miles until Northern California. To keep his dream alive, he kept pulling ahead of me and I thought I would never see him again. However, due to injury, bad hitch-hiking luck, and his pursuit of a short trail romance, I kept running into him. This happened around 5 times. We’re now hiking together and are aiming to be in Manning Park on the 11th — finishing the trail that morning or on the 10th.
Meanwhile, gear is failing on me. My tent is no longer bug proof as both zippers have broken. I tried to have the company overnight some replacement zippers to me at the gas station at White Pass, but they used priority mail and I missed them by 10 hours. I’ve stitched half of my tent together using my mini sewing kit, and procured some safety pins to close the other side in attempts to make it mosquito proof. Ugh.
Prior to the safety pins, I was sleeping in my head net and zipping my sleeping bag up all the way. This would have worked fine if it weren’t for the fact that Washington is way too damn hot. I can’t sleep in a zipped bag at all, and the condensation is miserable. But hey, I’m done soon!
I’ll be in Snoqualmie the morning of the 2nd, and then I have but a quick skip and a jump to Stevens Pass before my final resupply in Stehekin were I shipped up some new old shoes that should last the 100 miles. Meanwhile, my Altra shoes are failing (OMG Tom, they’re terrible!)
SOBO trail rumor has it that Stevens Pass to Stehekin is as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest. Silly SOBOs.
Anyway, this will probably be my last update before Canada (assuming the fire raging up there doesn’t close more of the trail)
With excitement to be finishing,
Jeff (badly in need of a pedicure)
*The single best purchase of my non-adult life was obviously a Black Lotus