August 24, 2017
Cascade Locks – Mile 2152.73 (2144.36-2152.73)
Enjoyed sleeping in this morning, and once we were too hungry to stay in bed any longer, headed over to Bridgeside restaurant to get breakfast. It’s a cool cafeteria-style place, and the food was really good. While we were there, we saw Sinatra, who we hadn’t seen since the day after Seiad Valley, and he told us he’s ending his hike here. Once we were done with breakfast, we headed over to the small local grocery store to resupply. They didn’t have everything I wanted, but I was able to do a pretty decent resupply for the upcoming long stretch to White Pass. Although, one thing they didn’t have was little packets of instant coffee, which means I may not make it through this section. We’ll see how the addiction treats me.
Back at the hotel, we repackaged all of our food and got our stuff ready to go. Check out time came and we still had a bunch of Internet chores to do, so we decided to head back to Bridgeside for lunch (since they had decent wifi there). We stopped at the post office on the way, and I picked up my final pair of shoes for the hike. That makes 4 pairs of Altra Lone Peaks worn for about 500 miles each and one pair of Salomons that only lasted the first week. For lunch, I was still somewhat full from breakfast so I got a small cup of salmon chowder and a piece of huckleberry pie. Everything was soooo good.
When we were finally ready to get hiking, we made our way over to the Bridge of the Gods and prepared to cross into Washington. The bridge really wasn’t designed with pedestrians in mind, so you just kind of have to squish over to the side as traffic passes you. We were walking on metal grating that you could see through to the river below, and it was honestly kind of terrifying (and I’m not even really scared of heights). It felt so unreal to be crossing this bridge that we’ve heard so much about, entering the final state of the trail, the last few hundred miles before it’s all over. Half of me felt like cheering in triumph and the other half kind of wanted to cry. I’m so excited to walk through Washington. We’ve heard so much about how it’s one of the most beautiful sections of the trail. But at the same time, I can now really feel the end approaching. Part of me is ready to be done, but another part doesn’t know how I’ll ever get used to not living in the woods.
Our first few miles in Washington were spent walking through a mixture of hot, open, shrubby areas and lush, green forest carpeted with ferns. The forest totally had a pacific northwest vibe to it. All it needed was some mist. We’ve heard a ton about how Washington is berry central, and within the first few miles, we came upon a deliciously ripe patch of blackberries. So excited to feast on all the berries during this section. There was a bit of a long uphill to camp, but it wasn’t too horrible. We’re camped just off trail along a side trail, and tomorrow we’ll have to finish off the last few miles of the climb but after that the elevation profile doesn’t look too bad. Super excited to really start getting into Washington!