August 27, 2017
Green Lake – Road 8851 (2198.18-2216.02)
Waking up this morning was kind of rough, but once we got hiking in the morning I actually started feeling pretty good. We had to finish out the climb that we started last night, but I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. We were in a more open area, so we actually got some pretty nice views, and the morning temperature was perfect. The hillside was decorated with huckleberry bushes, which were just starting to show their autumn colours, and I feasted on berries all the way up. Once at the top, we wound our way down to Blue Lake, where we stopped to eat breakfast and collect water. The lake was crowded with weekend trippers, which meant there were lots of dogs to pet.
As the morning wore on, I was just feeling tired. Luckily, there were huckleberry bushes lining the trail pretty much all day, which kept my spirits lifted a bit, but I just didn’t feel like hiking. We stopped for lunch, and while we were sitting there we saw a familiar face coming up the trail. It was Adam, who I hadn’t seen since Kearsarge Pass! We were so excited to see him! Every once in a while we’ll look back on all the people we’ve spent time with over the course of the hike and say things like, “I wonder where Adam is?”, and here he was! He sat with us for a bit to catch up before continuing on down the trail, leaving us happy to know we had a friend to catch up with later in the day.
After lunch, we pressed on, and I still felt completely exhausted and unmotivated. I think maybe my body is just starting to react to the things I’ve put it through. I mean, exercising for 12 hours a day while trying to subsist on a diet with virtually zero nutritional content has to backfire eventually. I listened to some music and the trail headed downhill for a bit, which gave me some energy and allowed me to pick up my pace a bit. As I neared a road crossing, I saw a sign on the side of the trail. It was trail magic! The sign advertised beer and tacos and even a movie showing that evening, just 50m down the road. I was so excited!
We headed down the road and found the trail magic, and Adam was there! It was run by a guy named Geared Up, who thru-hiked the PCT in 2013 (and then a ton of other trails) and has been doing this trail magic every summer since. Ina and Chris (the German couple we ran into last night) showed up, and there was another guy named Rip, and another guy who was going SOBO. I ate a big plate of salad and maybe like 8 tacos, along with the consumption of several beers. We had arrived around 4:30, but ended up deciding to just stay for the night. In the evening, Geared Up brought out his laptop and we all gathered around it to watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was so much fun, and exactly what I needed to pick me back up at the end of a day where I was just feeling burned out. Jules from the Cascade Locks Ale House showed up with more beer, mini donuts, and chips. So. Good.
After the movie, we set up our tent on the old dirt road and headed to bed, tired but happy after a night of fun with other hikers. I feel like my motivation to keep pressing on has been renewed, and I’m ready to keep hiking tomorrow.