Stevens Pass to tent site
19.9 miles 5619ft up. 5274ft down
I was nice to sleep inside in a bed. There were pillows and blankets on the beds but it was so hot. The trains rumble through and one particularly kind one blew it’s horn at 3:48am.
Marvin and Sue had their tent on the lawn. At 7:30 Marvin drove me, Spider and a Drake back to Stevens Pass. We had planned to get breakfast at 8 but nothing opened until 9. Drake and I decided to hike out (Spider was going north) as we have plenty of food. I swapped out one of my chilli con carne mountain houses for a beef stroganoff, and because I lost my original avocado in the back of Sue’s car they had bought me two replacements so Marvin loaded me up with them before we set off. How nice are these people?
I set off with Drake behind me which required me to put in a much better performance than I’d been giving recently. We chatted as we walked and we bashed out the first climb in no time at all. We got to the ski lift and said goodby to our cell service for a while. (I had no time at all really in town to send messages or connect with anyone. I put a few pictures on Instagram / FB just to let a far reaching audience know I was still alive).
The bugs were too much for me so I hiked on and left Drake making a few final phone calls. The sky is clear blue and already at 8:30am it’s super hot. Hopefully it will be a little cooler up higher. And last time I walked through here all I saw was rain and cloud so I might get a few views this time!
I stopped to take a picture and I have developed a technique where I hold the camera in front of my face and I stretch the other arm fully forward to reduce the glare from the sun when I’m taking a picture with my phone. As I was doing it I realised that it looked like a Nazi salute. As I was chuckling to myself about the ridiculousness of it a man seemingly came out of nowhere. Turns out he photobombed my picture.
Flow from Switzerland passed me. He has a lovely way of saying Puff Puff. We have now officially entered the Alpine Lakes wilderness
I passed a few more people who weren’t keen on stopping to talk. A couple of guys with no tops on. Drake caught me up again, he is telling me that he is slow and does low miles. Nuh-uh. He is quick! So we hike together and get to Mig lake to take a break. I eat a few Goldfish and move on, Drake eats some real food. He is aiming for 15 miles. I’m aiming for 20. I’m not sure if I’ll see him again today.
I was climbing over an easy to get over log and I caught a side pocket on a pokey bit. It ripped it. Bugger.
There is a long traverse through the wildflowers and looking down onto a beautiful lake (a lot more lakes to come in the alpine lakes wilderness.) A big rocky and steep climb took us above the lake. I rested at the top and spoke to a guy from Texas. He said this was the toughest section and that I would struggle to make it in four days (well listen here Tex. last year I did it in 3). What was it? Because I’m a girl? Anyway.
The next section was cool, it was a big boulder section where the rocks had just slid down the mountain. And there was a perfect path straight through the middle. It still amazes me that there is a trial through these areas.
Water is plentiful and I take some water from most streams we come across. Not icy cold anymore but good nonetheless. Ups, downs, wildflowers and lakes.
The second big climb of the day was up a big rock slide, I stopped to speak to a man with no teeth for a while and you could see the trail below all the way up. I thought I might see Drake in his neon top. I stopped half way up to eat and then carried on slowly. Gorgeous views of glacier peak in the distance – views I had never seen before!
Suddenly Drake came powering up behind me. “I love the ups!” He pulled me up the last half mile and we were at the top before we knew it.
Only 4 more miles, he decided to come and camp with me. And it was all downhill. We powered down to deception lake and quickly got water whilst fighting off the bugs, then we powered through the remaining 2 miles and chatted about our lives. I found out what it means to be Mormon. I love hearing about other people’s lives – especially when they are a world away from your own. I have 7 cousins. Drake has 70!!
We found our camp spot and I pitched my tent fast to escape the mozzies. It’s a cosy spot. It says room for 3 tents but we are right next to each other. Almost on top of each other!
I cooked dinner in the safety of my tent. And oh my god it was delicious. I have discovered a taste sensation. Using your chilli cheese Frito as a scoop for the avocado. Frito. Scoop. Eat. Mmmmm.
That was my starter, then for my main a 2.5 serving Beef Stroganoff. Topped of with some chocolate from home. Yum.
I did all my camp chores. Blew up the inflatables. Organised the tent. Put stuff on to charge. Packed away my food. Finally all that was left was to wee and brush my teeth.
I got out the tent and I was fiddling with my pack and I felt something bite me on the side, I gave it a smack which hurt so I gave it a rub. Oh man what’s bitten me, that’s one hell of a lump. Weird. Then I felt the other side. An identical lump. That’s from my pack. My pack has created 2 egg like (small eggs, like a Waitrose essential quails egg) on my back. Today was the first day I carried my pack without the foam pad underneath it. It can’t have created those lumps in just a day can it? But I’ve not noticed them before.
All the bugs here buzz.
I fell asleep mid typing.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.