PCT Day 92... Final Preparations

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I set my alarm with a goal to wake up about 30 minutes earlier, so that I could make it to the trailhead at Rainy Pass as early as possible. But as the alarm sounded at 5 am, I made the executive decision to sleep bit longer. And when my regular alarm went off at 5:30, I knew it was time to get a move on. 

At some point last night, I woke up to the feel of a mouse running on the bug netting over my face. And as I packed up my gear, I had to knock off some poo from the mouse off my pack. Good thing I set up my bivy.

Once I was on the trail, I made good time. I was motivated since my parents were flying from Austin to Seattle today and had rented a cabin near a town named Winthrop. They were going to pick me up when they passed by the trail around 2 pm. 

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Five miles into the day’s hike, I hit North Cascades National Park. In the National Park they require an additional permit to camp which the long distance PCT permit does not cover. The trail, as it had done for most of yesterday, followed near a river in a valley. Today, the trail stayed in the valley for the entire day which made for easy hiking and some decent views.

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I switched out of my socks about halfway through the day’s hike. I was taken aback by the stench. Even when I put them on the back of my pack, I could catch a whiff of them now and again. As the sun baked the moisture out of them, the smell decreased; but it is obvious that not being able to get cleaned up since I left Oregon was taking its toll.

I made it to the Bridge Creek Trailhead at 1:20, having hiked 21.8 miles. I sat down at the picnic table there and relaxed. The sun came out and even though I put on sun screen, I could feel the sunburn that was going to happen. I waited until 2 pm went by, the 3 but still no sign of my parents. A park ranger drove to the parking lot and stopped. I could not tell why. Around 3:30 a couple that was coming back from a day hike gave me a soda as I waited. At 3:45, I decided that in 15 minutes, if they were still not there, I would walk on the road about a mile and a half north to another trailhead. I thought it might be possible that they could be waiting at the wrong place. I walked on the road so that if they were driving that way I would not miss them. Soon after making my mind to continue, I figured out why the park ranger was waiting there. He too was waiting to pick up another ranger coming off a couple days in the back country.

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4 pm came and so I walked up the road towards the other trailhead. I was 20 minutes in when my parents found me. They pulled over to the side of the road and got out. It was great to see them! It had been since the 7th of June. We hugged, and I put my stuff in the car and we hit the road with my parents insisting that we leave the windows down.  It turned out that the airport was further away than we had thought and they had skipped lunch and came as fast as they could. But since I had not had signal for the last four days, they could not reach me.

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We drove to Winthrop and stopped at a little market to buy some food for the next couple days. When we arrived at the cabin, the first thing I did was to take a shower. It felt great, especially since I had not had one in 13 days.  The amount of dirt to come off me was incredible. After a shower, we went to the main lodge to grab some dinner. I had a hamburger. Turned out that they had free laundry and so I was able to wash my clothes, which was a very good thing.

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The plan is for my Dad to drop me off tomorrow where I will complete the hike to the border and back again to where I can get picked up on the 22nd. 

It was a very good day. I got to shower, do laundry, have a good meal, and last and certainly not least, to meet up with my parents.

Tent site to Rainy Pass

21.8 miles

Location: Latitude: 48.50484; Longitude: -120.71873

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