After being treated to a warm dry night in a hotel, it was back out to the cold. The weather was supposed to get better but was still pretty overcast and cold. Whitney and I took our time getting back on trail and took care of final town chores in the morning. We were on trail around 11, and climbing. We powered up and up, with stunning views everywhere you looked. You could see seemingly forever, and I felt small. Very small. Towards the end of the afternoon, it was lots of rocks. Loose rocks, that end up destroying my ankle, and I was very happy to see that once we got over a saddle it mellowed out a bit. We set up camp - and I was happy to have my tent back. I had hammock camped for the past 100 or so miles, but my under quilt (the thing that insulates you from the cold was home made and free and just wasn't cutting it - so back to my tent). The night was cold, but I was so toastie being back on the ground. The next day was more up and down. Washington does that well. Brings you up then right back down several thousand feet each time. We walked through a few burn areas, crossed a few bigger creeks and I jammed out to some musical tunes. Just beyond the top of the climb we had lunch at a perfect alpine lake - did I mention the sun was out in full effect? The rest of the day rambled on. More sunshine and happiness the next day. We crushed miles in the morning, I was feeling good, climbing and almost leaving Whitney in my dust. When I got to the top, we ran into a couple that we've been crossing paths with a bit lately. Pika and Star Girl. So sweet. We chatted then headed on our way. I was flying all morning, and had lunch at Deception lake.
Lunch is often too short, even when we're stopped for 2 hours. I tend to not want to move after. I modified my pack a bit since my frame broke and was starting to rub on me. Quick fix and it was solved, then more steep up and down. I listened to a bunch of pod casts and walked slowly, enjoying the sun and views. There seemed to be a better view with every step. Every lake we passed was more beautiful from every angle. Our campsite for the night was perfect. Near a lake but sheltered by some trees, cool but not cold, breezy but not windy. We cooked dinner and only later in the evening did the clouds roll in and make getting out of bed the next morning tough. But town. Town always helps. We cruised the 7 miles into town quickly and a few miles in we met Star Girl and Pika again and got to chat with them all the way to town.
Upon arrival at Stevens Pass ski resort, the sun was trying to make its way out, and there was some kind of mountain bike race that day; the place was packed. I headed into the lodge in hopes of my package... But it hadn't made it. The lodge didn't pick up their mail as frequently as I needed and it was Sunday. Boo. We also missed breakfast by about 5 minutes. Swing and a miss. I fought tears back, because I was tired, and it's rough when you don't get an expected box.