It rains all night and is still raining in the morning. I closed all the doors to keep the rain out, but the result is so much condensation that when heavy drops fall off the trees above us onto the tent, water shakes off the inside of the tent roof and onto our faces. Yes, it is raining inside the tent.
It takes us a while to get going in the morning, but the rain shows no signs of letting up, and we really need to get some miles in. We chat with OCD while we all pack up — he’s a super ultralight hiker (“16 pounds with five days of food,” he brags when we ask; we’re appropriately impressed) and rags Backup good-naturedly about his various backups. We push through the huckleberry bushes back to the trail and then say our goodbyes, heading in opposite directions.
We walk in the rain. We walk in the rain some more. Late in the afternoon we sit by a lake for a snack-eating and water-filtering break, and it looks like the sun might come out… and then we walk in the rain some more.
Tonight we’re camped less than four miles from Steven’s Pass, where we’ll pick up resupply packages at the “coffee bar,” and I’ll drink a huge mocha with as much whipped cream as they’ll give me. Then we’ll hitch to Skykomish and find someplace where they’ll serve us eggs for breakfast. Then we’ll avail ourselves of the Dinsmores’ hospitality at Hiker Haven and dry out our sleeping bags and tent and socks and shoes and soggy brains.
I read back through the blog entries I’ve written during this stretch from Stehekin. Why has this section been so hard? The first half was hard because ??? (novelty of the hike wearing off? Physical pain and difficulty?). The second half has been hard because of rain, I guess. I told Backup a couple of days ago, “I don’t know if I suck at this or I suck at doing this with you.” We stress each other out. Is that because our approaches to this hike are incompatible, or is it because we’re both still learning how to do it, how to stay comfortable, get enough calories, stay present enough to enjoy it? I really don’t know.