August 29, 2017
Killen Creek – Walupt Lake Trail Junction (2241.83-2262.10)
After yesterday’s late arrival to camp, we decided not to set an alarm and sleep in, which we probably shouldn’t have done but definitely really needed. When we emerged from the tent, we discovered that our campsite had a pretty cool view of Mount Adams, which hadn’t noticed as we arrived in the pitch dark the night before. I was feeling really nauseous when I woke up, so the first few miles of the day were not very fun. I’ve been suffering from chronic exhaustion and nausea lately and Gummies has been suffering from persistent diarrhea, and I think the only way to fix ourselves at this point is to stop making our bodies do these things. Basically to stop thru-hiking. Luckily we’re nearing the end, so hopefully our bodies can just hold out until then.
As I slowly trudged along I day dreamed about my ideal breakfast in that moment: a tall, cold glass of OJ, a steaming mug of coffee, and a fresh off the press Belgian waffle topped with a pile of hand-whipped cream and fresh berries. My god. These are dangerous dreams to have, especially when you know that the breakfast that actually awaits you consists of a single packet of cold-soaked instant oatmeal (I usually have two packets, but I didn’t have enough for this section) with a spoonful of chia seeds and a glob of peanut butter. Not quite the same.
I felt a lot better after our breakfast break (where I drank the last of the two packets of coffee I had for this section), and was able to make the miles a lot easier after that. While discussing what had happened the night before, we decided that we just need to chill out a bit and not get so wrapped up in making a certain number of miles each day. Of course, the push is still on to get to Canada before winter hits, but doing a few less miles here and there really won’t affect our end time that much. And I want to enjoy this last little bit of the trail. I don’t want my final memories of the trail to be of running myself into the ground and pushing myself to the point where it just wasn’t fun. I think agreeing to slow down a little bit really helped me to relax and not be so anxious about finishing.
Most of the day was fairly uneventful. We were in the forest for most of the day. We were joined by Adam on our lunch break, which was really fun. In the afternoon, we entered the Goat Rocks Wilderness, which I am really excited about. We got some cool views late in the day today, but the main event will be tomorrow, when we go over the Knife’s Edge on Old Snowy Mountain, one of the most famous sections of trail in Washington. We stopped for camp a little after 7, which meant that we were able to get pretty much everything done before true darkness set in, which is always nice. And now, I’m ready to head off to sleep so I can hopefully be well-rested and ready to take on tomorrow!