Not sure where I left off at whites pass but after 12 hours of being pantsless (one washing machine for all the hikers isn't enough) and in a cabin full of boys, I was ready to hit the trail again. The cabin smelled more rank than anything I've ever smelled and we all mostly sat around, ate and watched movies. When we finally had clean clothes, we hiked 13 miles out of town and the weather got seemingly nice for a bit. We stopped briefly because apparently a man had been "thrown from his horse", which peaked my curiosity as a first responder and rider. Click and Squints told us a little bit about the guy as we approached the scene. By the time we had arrived, another thru hiker had gotten the guy food, water and camp set up. The horses were tied to trees and despite wanting to help, the guy was very drunk, had more than one gun and was insisting he didn't want our help, so we hiked on.
We camped with a guy named bushwhack (trail name of course). The last few miles were all horse daydreams. I really miss riding horses. Anyways. Bushwhack is a guy from New Zealand who was so fantastic to chat with. Also, meeting new people this far in still blows my mind. In the morning I woke up cold, again, and struggled to get out of bed. The mornings are getting very cold, and everything being wet doesn't help at all. Cold wet is the coldest.
As we climbed in the morning, we were greeted by sunshine, some friends (Pika and Star Girl), and some epic views of Mt. Rainier. We stopped for lunch and laid all of our down stuff out to dry. Lunch always goes by to quickly. We continued on with the rest of the day as usual, only there were people everywhere. Tourists upon tourists. I say tourists because they look out of place. Not to sound snobby but these people are clean, and their gear is so fresh. There were a few weekend warriors out for the holiday weekend that we saw further out, but as we got closer to the road it was madness. People who have driven, only to walk a mile, maybe two, into the "woods".
Around 3 o'clock, the heavens opened up. The tourists all looked so unhappy as they passed us on their way down from nearby lake. They all looked so unprepared for it to rain. We live out here, so rain is just something we're accepting. When it starts, I put on my rainskirt (aka a trash bag that I'm in love with), and continue moving in order to stay warm. A few miles out from camp the clouds did some crazy things as they danced around and competed with the sun for power. We camped in a cloud again. Soggy everything, and cold. Clouds are tougher than rain, because even your tarp doesn't protect your stuff from getting wet.
The next day was also nothing too exciting. The sun came out mid morning and we raced to a cabin 14 miles away for lunch. One more horse passed us and I got onto horse daydreams again. So much time passed and I was at the cabin before I knew it. When we arrived, Bushwhack and a guy named Alabama, were eating lunch outside. I went in and signed the trail log, then laid my stuff out to dry again and proceeded to stuff my face again.
The cabin was clean (apparently it had been trashed only a few hours earlier and someone had cleaned it up). It overlooked a picturesque meadow, and was close enough to the road that there were lots of people there that weren't thru hikers. There was also a 2 year old who was very fun to interact with as he ran around and rolled on my now dry sleeping bag. We did 12 more miles after lunch and got rained on. Slept in a cloud again. Same old.
In the morning, I was woken up by an urgent need to pee. This has become a nightly thing and I'm sick of it, some nights I can ignore it but most of the time I have to get out of my warm sleeping bag cocoon. We walked through the rain and a few miles in were greeted by 'not Phil's dad'. A trail angel who we helped set up. He cooked hot dogs, boiled water and even had books to read! Bushwhack, Alabama, Whitney and I all had hot dogs galore and hot drinks to go with it. MAGIC. For real though, such an emotional game changer. The rest of the day cruised along, up and down, up and down again. We camped just past a creek, where it rained all night again. Whitney was tired and literally threw a tantrum equal to a five year old at the creek because he was done. The rain was definitely taking its tole on us.
Town the next day. 13 slow miles into town, then straight to the brewery. We ran into the boys and hung out for a while, and honestly I was shocked to see them because they're trying to finish a few days before us. I ran errands with a friend from Seattle who had come to visit, and when I got back, found out that Whitney had a hotel room. Warm and dry. Happiness.