Trout Creek – Cascade Locks
30 miles. 6668ft up. 7645ft down
It was so warm last night. I needn’t have bothered with my fly or my sleeping bag. I didn’t get up in the night to see the meteor shower. I was too tired. The alarm went off at 5 but I reset it for 5:30.
I packed up and I was on the trail at exactly 6am. I got about 20 minutes of relative coolness before it got really hot. Today consisted of a giant climb then a giant descent, then a giant climb, then a giant descent.
The first climb wasn’t too bad. And I was maintaining my 10 miles in 4 hours pace. As I started the descent I started to see all the nobos (I saw 53 nobos today, I think around 5 people may have been section hikers). It’s funny, when you tell them how many you’ve seen they are all so surprised that there are that many people out there.
The morning sunlight looked beautiful in the trees. I spent most of the morning wiping the cobwebs out of my face.
I spoke to a couple of girls, one English living in Seattle. She wasn’t the first to say she thinks there are more foreigners on the trail than Americans this year.
Mostly though I didn’t stop and chat. I didn’t even find out anyone’s names.
After 10 miles I got water from this stream: I cameled up and took a litre with me. It was seriously hot again. I saw a bunch of trail crew, lead by Freefall (a triple crowner). Consisted mostly of some sullen kids.
The next climb really took it out of me. I was moving slowly. The heat, well more the humidity, was draining. Half way up I ran out of water. The two next marked water sources were dry. I was a bit sweaty in the body but most of it was coming out through my face. I had to wipe it every few paces. It was rolling down my cheeks and dripping off my chin. Near the top of the climb the trail was hot and exposed, the sun was beating down, I could feel it burning the backs of my legs. I was looking forward to the long descent into cascade locks, but the trail was rocky. Great. I was hoping to make up some time on the downhill. I was now a mile behind my pace but I was still hoping to get to the Ale house at 6:30pm
I moved slowly through the rocky bits and picked it up when I could. I felt unwell, nauseous and dizzy so I sat on a log for a bit and as some Fritos to try and replenish some salt. I really needed water.
I carried on and I could hear water flowing in the valley so I ran for a bit on the nice clear shady forest path until I came to a trickling seasonal stream. The water initially looked a bit ropey but it turned out to be cold clear and delicious.
I saw a couple of people lying down in the shade, trying to find some escape from the heat.
I could see the Columbia river and the bridge of the gods. I was so close yet I still had about 5 wiggly miles to walk. With about 2 miles to go I meet a nobo I know from Instagram. We had been anticipating meeting each other and it was really cool to finally meet in person. She is cruising, bashing out 40 and 45 mile days!
I finally make it to the road and slowly walk over the bridge of the gods, leaving Washington behind.
I walk into the ale house at 6:45. Not too bad. I get greeted by Jules (who I met in Trout Lake) and handed an icy water.
I order a burger and a Sprite. I have been thinking about them all day. I am so dehydrated. The Sprite feels incredible. I wonder about the place chatting to other hikers, one recognises me from my blog. There are about 12 nobos there but no SOBOs.
A guy called Matt comes to pick me up. He has offered me a place to stay. Back at his cabin / bachelor pad I shower finally which feels so good. And I get all my laundry done. I sit outside on a chair (novelty) for a while and eventually have to turn in. My legs are zinging
I saw lots of snakes today and the trail smelt like rotten fruit.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.